Covid has caused a lot of pain and chaos and has been extremely detrimental to the learning of students of all ages, all over the world. In a world that quickly became accustomed to virtual learning, there wasn’t enough time to prepare, experiment on the most effective methods, and implement resources that work. Over the past six months, we find that more than half of students that come in for assessments in both reading and math are scoring an average of two grade levels below the grade they are currently in. Let that sink in for a moment. The Covid Slide, as some may call it, has resulted in the average child falling behind two whole grade levels.
Kids were forced to succumb to learning through a screen and existed as guinea pigs to a fairly novel way of teaching. That’s why we are here to help. At Math Genie, we assess each child before they are officially enrolled in our program so we can properly place them on the book(s) that best suit their needs.
As Covid seemingly winds down with more people getting vaccinated, many parents are ready to send their children back to in-person instruction. While this is certainly very exciting, the last year has not been very productive or successful in terms of learning for kids.
How Do You Know If Your Child is Behind?
Get them tested for free at Math Genie! Our assessments have been carefully designed to be synonymous with NJ state-mandated requirements. In some states and areas of the world, state mandates of curriculum have been made lower to compensate for the Covid Slide in the average student. In Dallas, TX, trustees voted to lower academic standards for the school year and also considered extending the school year to compensate for the learning loss among most.
The Covid Slide
Similar to the “summer slide,” the Covid Slide is a term coined by educators to describe the significant loss of learning that students have endured over the last year. You might be thinking, “are learning losses that significant that people gave it a specific name?” Experts report that the Covid Slide will be far more significant than any similar one. A major contributor to this is that parents were hit with the brunt of the work. Many were forced to homeschool, though they were not equipped to. While maintaining a full-time job and juggling their typical responsibilities of life, parents became teachers.
In April of 2020, nonprofit organization NWEA predicted students would fall an average of 6 months to a full year behind, depending on age, grade, and subject. A year later, these predictions and reports are proving to be scarily accurate. In an interview with the dean of Johns Hopkins, Christopher Morphew through PBS NewsHour, reports showed evidence of high-risk students performing as far as one to two years behind their peers in terms of learning. While this can be described as a collective trauma on students by some, it’s important to recognize that kids everywhere are being impacted not only academically, but also emotionally.
The Education Budget
Children in low-income, high-poverty areas are struggling the most, since parents are often unable to teach them and fill in the missing pieces of education at home. School shutdowns have proven to cause disproportionate learning loss for students of black and Hispanic backgrounds. Read more here about how Covid has impacted minority students.
Not Just the USA
Across Educational Credential Assessment or ECA, researchers compared various countries in the world and the effect (so far) of learning outcomes based on the duration of school closures. Read more here to learn about how the Covid Slide is present in all countries across the globe, and even more profound in low-income areas and less-educated homes.
Decreased Attention Span in Kids
Kids are losing focus fast. They have more trouble sitting still for just an hour of instruction than they have before. This can be attributed to a lot of things. They’re learning from home, surrounded by thousands of distractions, and have a hard time seeing mom and dad as their teacher. Research from The American Psychological Association, or APA showed that mental fatigue increases and focus declines when trying to ignore a virtual distraction like an email or text message. In a synchronous learning environment, it’s impossible to avoid distractions as teachers utilize the chat features and virtual whiteboards to teach multiple concepts to students one at a time.
Covid disrupted learning in kids as young as kindergarten to as old as college students. With less focus, there is unavoidably less retention. This will lead to lower test scores and potentially turn into a snowball effect where kids refuse to take their education seriously until it’s too late. Think long-term and prevent the Covid Slide from permanently messing with your child’s life.
What Does the Future Hold?
The repercussions of this time will be evident for years to come. It’s important to remember that students should at least have a basic understanding of fundamental concepts and foundational skills before they move on to harder concepts. As kids age, they are expected to already have a basic understanding of things so they can build on those concepts and become involved with more advanced learning.
This is especially true for math. Without basic skills, a student can’t move forward. If they lack specific skills that are needed as foundational aspects of their grade-specific curriculum, they will struggle indefinitely. Learning gaps must be addressed promptly and comprehensively. Without knowing how to add, they can’t multiply. Without multiplication, there is no division, and so on. The cumulative nature of math exasperates this problem.
We want to emphasize to parents that the severity of the Covid Slide will likely have long-term implications for their child, especially in math, unless they are brought back on track immediately. Decreases in test scores may lead to lower collegiate acceptance rates, future declines in employment, and a reduced chance to build a successful career and life. To some, it may seem like we are thinking too far ahead, but in reality, we must remember that schooling in our youth is what prepares us for the real world. It’s the time that we begin to develop discipline, routines, mental stamina, our self-concept, drive, a good work ethic, and far more skills essential to stable and prosperous lifetime earnings.
How Can Math Genie Help?
At Math Genie, we believe that each student that walks through our doors has the true potential to be a genius, and thus a Math Genie. We not only help kids get back on track. We keep them ahead of the curve. We teach them concepts before they are even introduced to them at school. We broaden their horizons with individualized lesson approaches that foster long-term intensive results. We teach kids to love math and prime them to understand math as something that can come naturally to them. We take the fear out of math and we teach our students that the sky's the limit
At Math Genie, we meet each student where they are. If they are significantly behind, we show up each week ready to knock down walls of self-doubt and spend the necessary time to help those tricky concepts click.
As a teacher, there is no way to describe how rewarding it is to see a child succeed at something they were struggling with for a long time. You begin to see their entire self-image transform. They become happier, more confident, and in turn, more focused because they believe they are capable of completing their work efficiently.
Our program and curriculum have proven time and time again to be successful. If you don’t believe us, check out the success stories of our Math Genie students. Furthermore, research shows that just 12-weeks of tutoring can provide students with the progress that would come from 3-5 months of a typical school. At Math Genie, our students look forward to learning new things because it comes naturally to them in the way that it is presented. They are courageous and develop important life skills that the typical classroom might not touch on. Our classes foster confidence, grit, and can dig deeper into personal growth as they see themselves improve regularly.
What are you waiting for? We offer math, reading, writing, and coding classes.
Sign up for your free class and assessment today. We can’t wait to meet you!
-The Math Genie team