Covid has made this a difficult year for all of us - parents, students, and teachers. And we’re only beginning to understand exactly how it will be impacting childrens’ education for years down the road. Because even once students return to school, this gap year will still be impacting future student growth and development. Research recently published by the UK-based Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) gives us a clearer sense of the cost that over a year of distance learning has had on childhood learning objectives.
Among primary-school children, it finds a consistent pattern of “learning loss.” In particular, both reading and mathematics progress was significantly lower in 2020 than in 2017. Students, “on average, making two months less progress in both subject areas compared to the standardisation sample.”
This puts parents in a difficult situation. What if my child is behind? What if my child has difficulty communicating with their teachers or classmates? Many parents have similar worries. Among parents of primary school children in the UK, 56% were “concerned about their child starting at school following the lockdown in the spring and summer.” And 96% were concerned about their students’ speech and language development.
Especially for younger students, who are expected at this point in their lives to begin the process of socialization and interacting outside of their immediate family, Covid severely limited their opportunities to hit those developmental benchmarks. To correct this, both parents and educators in 2021 are going to have to be especially mindful of what those benchmarks are and what resources are available to help students catch up to achieve them.
That’s why we are making available a free workshop covering early educational development to anyone who feels they could benefit from it. If you feel lost, are not sure what goals you should be reaching for for your child, or are not sure how best to promote good thinking habits in your child, we invite you to sign up for that workshop by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest.
And if, like over half of UK parents, you are concerned about your child’s soft skills development and readiness for school next year, we encourage you to review our class offerings this summer for younger students. We are offering both Deep Thinking and Public Speaking classes for rising 3rd graders and up. We want to help all our students start the 2021 fall semester with a running start, to give them the best chance not only to make up for those two months of learning loss, but to really excel as students make their way back to school.