Governments worldwide began closing schools immediately in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, sometimes even before closing recreational luxuries like shopping malls and movie theaters. Over 1.6 million students in 194 countries across the globe were affected by swift lockdown orders. Many students did not return to their classrooms for the remainder of the academic year.
American students have missed roughly 30% of their in-person learning time this past school year. It is expected (and understandable) that this large gap of time spent outside of the classroom will result in some educational achievement loss.
Getting students back on track after nearly a half year spent outside of the classroom sounds like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways we can help ease students back into the swing of things as fall approaches. Here are five manageable ways to help students readjust for the school year ahead.
Ease back into schedules and guided instruction with flexible virtual summer camps. Snapology has daily 3-hour morning and afternoon camps as well as 1-hour mini-camps to choose from. Fun themes include Star Wars, Pokemon, Superheroes, STEAM Club, and more. Your kiddo will be able to communicate and collaborate with peers via webcam while having a blast playing, creating, and building. But shh….don’t tell them it’s educational! Check out Snapology’s packed summer & early fall schedule at virtual.snapology.com.
Have your child choose a topic of interest or new subject to explore for the rest of summer like meteorology, storybook writing, architecture, or their favorite sport. Spend some time each day or week focusing on a new facet of their subject, learning something new, and adding to a creative project. Your child will love becoming an expert in their subject. At the end of the summer, they can share what they’ve learned and created with family and friends by revealing their “final project”.
One positive takeaway from this experience has been the abundance of access to virtual materials. We now have rich databases of lesson plans, at-home experiments, virtual libraries, educational videos, even live animal cams from around the world that you can access from the comfort of your own home. Take advantage of these resources as the school year nears.
After what may feel like the longest summer break of all time, students are sure to benefit from a little routine adjustment before the first day of school arrives. Work together with your kiddo to draw up an end-of-summer schedule and start working on a plan for what a school day will look like. Spend these last few weeks slowly building up your schedule with designated times for learning, exploring, and working on projects. One easy way to get your kiddo back into the groove is with Snapology’s short virtual programs. These one-hour online programs are based on fun, creative play and collaboration. Your child won’t even realize that they’re learning! View the full online schedule at virtual.snapology.com.
Thankfully, educators and students worldwide are “in this together” and scholastic pressures have been eased for learners of all ages. Schools have prepared for these educational gaps and don’t expect students to jump right back into where they were before. Most schools are also prepared to provide students with more mental health resources than ever. At home, you can encourage your kiddos to share their feelings about the return to school by talking and writing. Consider starting a parent/child journal where you share thoughts each evening. Have open discussions with your child about their fears and apprehensions so that they know they can count on you through this transition and beyond.