It is hard to believe that it’s already been over two years since the pandemic hit. For parents with school-aged children, the last couple of years has been a roller coaster ride of remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. With the recent announcement from the Ontario government that all students will be returning to in-person education full-time in September, without COVID restrictions, parents and students alike feel a sense of relief.
While the first few weeks of school are always stressful, in this day and age, back to school can make the calmest parent break a sweat. After all, this school year was the first to start without COVID-19 restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic.
Many students had become used to the routine of masks in the classroom and learning over Zoom. However, as most classrooms slowly get back to normal, children are thrilled to see their smiling friend’s faces in person. Many were looking forward to being able to participate in extracurricular activities again. In contrast, others are just excited to be able to talk to people in person again and not just through a screen.
The Toll Of The Pandemic
With the province finally starting to open back up and restrictions beginning to ease, students are looking forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy. But what toll did the pandemic take on our children?
It is easy to put the past behind us and think our children are resilient and will catch up easily, but unfortunately, research shows that this isn’t the case. In fact, studies are showing that the pandemic has had a devastating impact on learning.
Not only have our children had to contend with online learning, but towards the end of last year, they have faced schools with severe staff shortages and high absenteeism rates. All of these products of the pandemic have caused students and educators to struggle with mental health challenges, misbehaviour, and lost learning time.
What Does The Research Show?
Canada may still be working through their numbers, but we can see that math and reading test scores across the first two years of the pandemic showed a sizable drop in the United States. Achievement showed even more of a decline between fall 2020 and 2021 than between fall 2019 and 2020, indicating that disruptions to learning have negatively impacted children well past the initial school closures.
Here in Ontario, initial findings have shown that impacts of the pandemic are concentrated in math. Reading achievement in the fall of 2020 was consistent with the prior year, but average math achievement was 5 to 10 percentile points lower than the previous fall. It was also noted that, on average, students made gains during the early phase of the pandemic; however, math gains were smaller than pre-pandemic trends.
These numbers are alarming, but it in no way indicates that our children represent a lost generation or that we should give up hope. Since most of us have never lived through a pandemic before, there is so much we don’t know about students’ resiliency and what a timeline for recovery will look like. However, one thing we do know for sure is that our children need help.
Ontario’s Learning Action Recovery Plan
The Ontario government has taken steps to help students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic by releasing their Learning Action Recovery Plan. This plan outlines the importance of help for students in literacy, math, and mental health. It invests heavily in tutoring support and includes summer learning, a focus on reading, math and other foundational skills, as well as targeted initiatives intended to address unique barriers that some students may face. This will help bridge students’ learning gaps, support academic success, and focus on overall mental health and wellness.
As part of this initiative from the Ontario government, we are able to offer our math programs at a subsidized rate. Over the past year, Dropkick Math has partnered with various school boards across Ontario to help give students access to the education they need for future success.
A Different Solution To Hiring A Tutor
At Dropkick Math, we offer a different solution to hiring a tutor. We are a math intervention program that helps children focus on foundational math concepts (number sense, operational sense, algebraic reasoning, and proportional reasoning). By getting to the root cause of math misunderstandings, children will be able to thrive in mathematics by applying newly discovered techniques.
We may not know exactly what impact the pandemic has had on our children’s future, but it is easy to see that some extra help during this time can make a significant difference. If you have been searching for a “math tutor near me,” look no further. We offer engaging programs taught by certified Ontario teachers who make learning fun.
Putting The Pandemic Behind Us
It’s clear that students are ready and eager to get back into the swing of things. Here’s hoping that the province continues on its current trajectory and that we can soon put this pandemic behind us once and for all.
Learn more about our programs and how we can help your child put their pandemic education worries behind them.