Mar | 2021
7 summer strategies to minimize the Pandemic year’s damage to your child’s education
Tags: child counseling, educational planning, pandemic and education, pandemic and educational assessment, pandemic and learning, Stanford 10, student assessment, Tucson child assessment, Tucson Counseling
5 min read
What you will get from this? By the end of this article you’ll have a toolbox of strategies to choose from to use this summer to make sure your child hits the ground running this fall. You want to minimize negative long term fallout from the pandemic and educational learning.
Whatever grade your child is currently in – or you are in – you are likely wondering if your child (or you) will be ready for the next grade.
Millions of parents around the world are wondering if there child is truly prepared for what’s next. As I have worked as a counselor, academic strategist, and expert evaluator, it is clear to me this has been the hardest year for a majority of parents and students. It is critical that the damage done by the pandemic chaos is minimized.
You CANNOT trust that your child learned what they needed to this past academic year!!!
Here are 10 strategies you can use this summer to ensure your child, adolescent, or college student is ready for the next step.
1) Use a nationally normed measure to determine your child’s academic strengths and skill gaps, such that their Full Profile is revealed clearly with percentile to compare your child to National norms. I have discussed this in detailed in my blog entitled “7 critical remote learning parent COVID-19 survival strategies”. As I said in that blog, from over 15 years of collaborating with school teachers and academic tutors, one of the best measures to use is the online version of the Stanford 10 test. Here is a link to an overview description and table revealing content areas this well-known measure assesses. Organizations like Seton Testing only charge $35.00 and your child can take this at home with you serving as the Proctor.
2) Obtain a reliable and independent opinion regarding your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Let’s face it: the remote learning model and chaos of the last year crippled a teacher’s ability to get a true feel for your child’s competence. Understandably, most teachers have reported to me they felt like they were just trying to keep their head above water. We all felt overwhelmed!
3) Obtain next year’s curriculums for your child’s core classes, especially in English, math, science, and other critical courses, from next year’s teacher. Then, email that teacher and ask them what you can have your student do this summer so they are adequately prepared.
4) If your child exhibited impairing learning, cognitive and/or emotional problems during their remote learning, make a bullet point list of all of the problems they exhibited. Then, consult a tutor and/or emotional behavioral specialist.
You can get tremendous bang for the buck if you find someone who is a true expert in customizing to assess exactly what you need, and not more. Too many professionals who assess learning disabilities drive up their costs by using too many measures. After 15 years of conducting high-quality assessments, some of which I testify about as an expert witness in court systems, it is clear to me the typical quality of learning disability and/or psychological assessments is quite poor. This is why it is especially important to refer to the blog that is mentioned in my #2 point above. Ask the potential evaluator her for a sample report. If they’re not willing to give you one, there is a problem.
5) Email your student’s current teachers and ask them to clarify what the “nitty-gritty” of the curriculum was for this year. In other words, ask each teacher what they consider to be the core content knowledge and/or reasoning skills they wanted your child to develop. Then, ask that teacher what your child could do this summer in order to make sure they have internalized those skills.
6) Consider having your child work with a private tutor this summer in order to ensure they have developed the appropriate content knowledge and or analytical/synthesizing skills to handle the next course and not content domain. Even one hour a week over this summer could prove pivotal for your student! Again, you could interview the tutor by using the list of questions they provide in bullet point two above.
7) Ask your child’s current teachers and/or a private tutor what they consider to be the best online teaching tools available for the content areas where your child struggled this year. Many children are motivated enough such that they can work through a self-paced learning curriculum. There has been an explosion of online courses available.
Final Point: Obviously, we are all exhausted from what many of us consider to be the most difficult year they have experienced in their life. We certainly do not want to make our children feel like this summer cannot be relaxing. But these 7 strategies provide easy and effective ways to minimize the tremendous damage this pandemic has caused.
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