ORLANDO, Fla. – The excitement of heading back to school brings with it a fresh start. But because of the pandemic, many students are starting the new school year already behind. That learning loss is referred to as “the COVID slide.”
“There’s no question there’s been a learning gap. There are several studies that show (students) have lost up to nine months of their math skills,” said Dennis Freeman, director of In-Home Tutors Orlando, an agency that matches families and tutors.
So when should parents consider additional help for their students?
“My mom always used to say this. It’s easier to keep up than catch up. Don’t let your child get behind and then they get demoralized and frustrated and they lose self-confidence. If you see them slipping at all, it’s a good time to bring in a tutor or take advantage of after-school programs the school is providing. So you will find one of the benefits of tutoring is not only will your child’s grades come up, but your child’s self-confidence and belief in themself, belief that they can do it, should come up as well,” said Freeman.
Freeman says another key component for academic success is to be mindful of your child’s assignments. He suggests logging on to school platforms like Canvas to make sure your student is turning in their work and completing assignments on time. And as for homework, routine is key. Freeman says to designate the same time and location daily for homework. For younger students, he suggests compiling a “homework kit” with pencils, crayons, markers, scissors and glue so your child isn’t distracted by gathering materials.
“Set it up so that your child has lots of signals that this is time to sit down and do their homework. And so you set the routine so they get used to ‘this is my homework time.’ I’ll sit down and that will take away a lot of the tension in the household and fights over homework,” he said.
Freeman says the average cost of a tutor is between $45-$55 per hour, and that as little as one hour per week can build your child’s confidence and help them excel in their classes. You can learn more about In-Home Tutors Orlando and read their blog about study tips here.