Math Learning Gaps Widen During COVID-19 Pandemic

Nov 16, 2020 | Newmarket

Do you really know how your child is doing this school year? 

Are you worried that they may have fallen behind or have fallen further behind?

Do you wonder how school closures and online learning between March & June impacted your child’s learning in this new school year?

Are you confident that your child received the foundational learning that they needed during the last school term to move successfully to the next grade?


You’re not alone in any of these concerns, nor are you alone if you feel confused, frustrated or helpless this school year.

Parents, teachers, principals, and educators are all worried that students are falling behind.

Neither the 2019-2020 nor the 2020-2021 school years are what you’d call ‘traditional’ as a result of the pandemic. Learning and development for millions of Canadian students and their families was disrupted, and in many cases, 100% halted.

Back in March, the concept of the COVID slide became front and centre.

The COVID slide graph

The COVID slide refers to a pattern of learning loss that typically occurs over the summer break but is far more severe due to extended school closures and learning interruption that occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic. The implications are serious:

  • Students would begin the 2020-2021 school year substantially behind in their educational learning as a result of the pandemic
  • Students would continue to struggle during the school year, and potentially beyond.

The COVID slide has been felt right here in Newmarket, and York Region, where our schools have re-opened this school year with both in-person and remote (online) learning options amidst the onging pandemic.


Math Learning is Suffering the Most

While students may be struggling in various subjects, academic experts agree that math learning has been the hardest during the pandemic.

There is also the growing concern that families with students who opted for online learning are getting an inferior education experience, especially in core subjects like math, due to technology challenges, availability of and access to teachers, large class sizes with multi-level grades, and limited real-time instruction. 

Why is math learning suffering the most? Because math knowledge is cumulative – it builds upon itself in layers.

This is why it's crucial that any math learning loss be remedied before a child can move forward in building comprehension and skills. And it’s even more important to close these math learning gaps early on because the effects are both long-lasting and wide-ranging. For example, a child who never fully grasped how fractions work, commonly struggles later in algebra.

During a typical school year, many kids have gaps in their math foundation. But trying to learn math and close learning gaps during a global pandemic, either in the classroom or online has its own set of challenges. One of the main challenges is that it’s currently impossible for schools to provide customized learning that will reverse the COVID slide learning loss for each child. While parents may try to help their child catch up or keep up with math, most feel poorly equipped to do so, and they are already under monumental stress from the pandemic.

We also want to stress that math learning gaps impact more than just grades. A lack of math competency can result in a lack of self-confidence, and down the road, can limit choices for higher education, narrower career options, and result in difficulty navigating the everyday adult requirements for numerical ability.

How Do You Stop & Reverse Learning Loss during the COVID Pandemic?

With support from our team of math tutoring experts here at Mathnasium of Newmarket!

A boy sitting at a desk inside a Mathnasium learning centre for math tutoring

The quicker a child’s gaps in math are addressed, the quicker it takes for your child to catch up, keep up and keep moving forward.  And by using Mathnasium to further support your child during the school year, you are helping them keep pace, and maybe even get ahead. 

It’s true that there are so many math learning apps and programs, virtual learning, online tutoring options out there, many of which are new, having been developed in response to the pandemic. But these programs do not compare to what Mathnasium has to offer your child. We are world-renowned for our ability to change lives through math.

At Mathnasium of Newmarket, we start with a comprehensive assessment of your child’s math skills to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and then we build a unique learning plan specific to your child’s specific needs. Our highly trained math instructors implement this plan by providing math tutoring to your child in a way that’s supportive and perfectly paced, so that your child catches up and enjoys learning math. Win-Win!

Even better, your child can learn math from anywhere - in person at our local centre located at 17725 Yonge Street, #102B, here in Newmarket or online, face-to-face with our Mathnasium@home service. With Mathnasium@home, learning can happen anywhere there's an internet connection, and it's safe and secure!

A girl sitting at the counter at home with her mom doing Mathnasium@home online for math tutoring

Have questions about our math tutoring programs or the Mathnasium Method™? We’ve love to talk to you and offer you a free trial. Contact us today by calling (905) 895-6284, emailing [email protected], or contact us online via our website: