We traditionally encourage parents to guard against the Summer Slide, a phenomenon where children lose 2-3 months of the previous year’s math learning during the long summer break.
But 2020 is hardly a traditional year.
Before the summer of 2020 even began, more than 50 million U.S. families are already fighting what educators are calling the “COVID slide” — the learning loss that results from students being shut out of school for an extended period of time during the pandemic.
Teachers are worried that students are falling behind. The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), a nonprofit assessment provider, predicts school closures will cause some students to be as much as a year behind in math when school restarts in the fall, with elementary school students at the greatest risk.
Many schools are still struggling to fully transition their students to remote learning. Even in situations where schools have been able to shift quickly, the student experience is largely inferior to traditional classroom learning due to technology challenges, large class sizes, or the lack of consistent access to teachers. Only a fraction of public schools offer “synchronous” instruction, which allows students to engage with educators in real time.
Under COVID-19 lockdowns, student learning has taken a beating in all academic subjects, but math is hit hardest. Most children have gaps in their math foundation even during the best of times; trying to learn math online with a classroom of other students is an almost insurmountable challenge. Parents may try to help, but the vast majority feel poorly equipped to help their child with their math studies.
The resulting frustration (and, often, tears) that families experience now is more than a short-term problem; it’s a slow-motion tragedy with long-term consequences for millions of students. Examining the NWEA’s research, The New York Times called the COVID slide “catastrophic,” saying it could sidetrack a generation.
Because math builds upon itself in layers, the number of children who are capable and confident in math will continue to fall drastically, even as educators, government and industry stress the importance of STEM-related subjects and careers.
The most effective way to remediate these learning gaps is with real-time, face-to-face instruction. Mathnasium designed its new Mathnasium@home service to do exactly that: provide the same expert math instruction and Mathnasium Method™ as in our learning center, through any web-enabled computer. Mathnasium@home learning works with a student’s schedule and is available anywhere.
Unlike the myriad online math learning apps and programs, Mathnasium@home provides a comprehensive assessment to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in a student’s math skills, then builds a learning plan unique to that student. Working with that plan, highly trained instructors tutor students in a way that’s supportive and perfectly paced, so students enjoy learning math.
The sooner gaps in math knowledge are addressed, the less time it takes to remedy them. That’s why it’s important that children get live, synchronous instruction to support their virtual classroom learning as soon as possible before they fall far behind due to the COVID slide.
Mathnasium of Mesa North is a math learning center where students in grades K through 12 come to catch up, keep up, and get ahead in math. Mathnasium offers math tutoring and enrichment, homework help, and test prep services to help students excel in the classroom and beyond. Mathnasium of Mesa North offers in-center instruction, as well as the same great services online, through live face-to-face instruction on Mathnasium@home.
Mathnasium of Mesa North proudly serves students in and around Mesa - Red Mountain and Las Sendas - and Tempe.