Understanding Education & Mental Health During COVID-19
Education has changed considerably since the presence of COVID-19 and need for social distancing first caused schools across Manitoba (and most of North America) to close in mid-March. The future of educational institutions is changing every day as new information leads governments to react accordingly.
The unfortunate reality is that these closures and subsequent changes in education are not only impacting students’ academics but are also greatly impacting their mental health. Fortunately, there are remote learning options to help ease these stresses and anxieties.
The educational atmosphere in Manitoba right now has actively transitioned to home-schooling. Additional efforts are being put in place to encourage remote learning and facilitate continued education to ensure students are able to keep up and continue on their educational journey.
Prep Academy Tutors is proud to be able to continue providing education at this time through online tutoring as well as in-home tutoring in Manitoba and other provinces where this is still permitted. We continue to be proactive by supporting students across Canada on their educational journey, and have also extended our reach to provide private tutoring in Manitoba through our new partnership with Manitoba educators Suzi and Kyle Friesen.
Our tutors in Manitoba and across Canada provide a personalized and compassionate approach to education to suit the needs of students dealing with feelings of stress and anxiety at this time.
The Mental Health Impacts of COVID School Closures:
Your child’s old routine that was once filled with going to school and partaking in various activities was a rhythm and anchor for them that now they are really missing. Without an organized class schedule with set recess and lunch breaks, students can feel disoriented or even stressed out.
Lack of Normalcy
Remaining at home and being unable to go to school signifies to students that something has changed. As all parents and students are different, the level at which the current atmosphere is being discussed with students will vary between family to family. Still, most students will be able to tell that something is different, especially as kids are perceptive to the anxieties of the family members that they live with.
The reality is that not all students have the same resources at home. While some may be more independent, tech-savvy, and able to navigate online portals, others may thrive more in a collaborative setting. It is also important to note that parents, at no fault of their own, have varying capabilities and availability. Some may work full time or may not have English or French as their primary language, which can impact a student’s access to remote support.
Now is a time when students may be comparing themselves to their friends — who is excelling academically, has siblings to spend time with, or has access to ample resources? At a time when students should feel grateful for what they have, disparities can become more and more apparent.
As education and learning have changed due to school closures and the increasing prevalence of online portals, a lot of students are dealing with the pressures of falling behind due to lack of resources, motivation, or access to the right tools.
Missing Essential Moments
COVID-19’s necessary social distancing measures means that a lot of graduations that students have looked forward to and worked hard for have now been modified or cancelled. Some high schools are planning virtual convocations, and moving their graduation dinner and dinners to a Fall date. It’s natural for students to feel disappointed and let down by these modifications or cancellations, and integrating moments of normalcy and socialization at a distance is key to help alleviate some of the anxiety and stress that surfaces.
Like the rest of us, students are missing their friends and family. Suddenly students are going from interacting with their friends every day, to having limited contact — if any at all. Socializing plays an essential role in mental health, which is why it’s important to encourage socialization through different avenues at this time.
How Private Tutoring Can Help
It is essential for students to keep learning at this time. We believe that private tutoring, whether it be online or in-home dependant on rules and regulations, can help students regain academic confidence and a sense of normalcy:
Prep Academy Tutors is proud to offer private tutoring in Manitoba to help students in and around the Winnipeg area to continue on their educational journey and set and reach academic goals.
Human Interaction & Educational Support
Private tutoring provides children with the one on one support they may crave either online or in-home. Even if it’s electronic, working closely with a tutor can provide students with a sense of human interaction.
This one on one relationship offers students a personalized support system that can help encourage them and provide them with any additional support they may need to transition to at-home learning, advance their academics, or fill in any gaps in their knowledge.
Routine & Normalcy
Private tutoring can provide students with a sense of normalcy, because tutoring can become a consistent part of an individual’s routine. Tutoring helps keep students in the routine of learning and critically thinking, while also helping them add structure to their day. Even an hour of learning and applying critical thinking helps to break up the day so that every day doesn’t blend together.
Our educational philosophy is that every child learns differently, and this means that every child will learn differently under these remote circumstances. We offer online private or in-home tutoring to help students overcome any obstacles they may face when learning remotely.
We help students keep up with their classmates by providing a personalized approach to education, explaining things in a way that will best resonate with them, and provide them with a sense of comfort. Our tutors like to play the role of the “smart friend’ who can explain things in a way that is easy to understand,
Our tutors provide curriculum-based tutoring and will spend extra time covering any challenging topics. Our tutors never skip over curriculum material and will always return back to challenging topics to fill any gaps in a student’s understanding.
Tools & Resources for Academic Anxiety
In addition to subject-based tutoring, Prep Academy Tutors also offers test preparation to help students study test material and manage the stress and anxiety that can come with preparing for and completing standardized testing. Our test preparation services help provide students with strategies and resources for studying, test prep, coping with test-related stress, and test writing.
What We’re Doing
Our tutors across Canada are taking the necessary steps to provide students with the compassion and support they need right now to continue learning and advancing.
Specifically, all Prep Academy Tutors in Manitoba have been given the chance to receive training for the proactive mental wellness program, Project 11. Our tutors have enjoyed this professional development opportunity to add to their skill-set in helping students during this trying time. This training is being made available to all of our tutors across Canada.
Project 11 is an engaging cross-curricular video-based program designed to normalize the conversation around mental health, create a stage of empathy in the classroom, and provide students the opportunity to learn about healthy coping strategies when obstacles surface for them. This program has weekly lessons highlighting the benefits of mindfulness, healthy communication, positive relationships, problem-solving strategies etc. and daily activities promoting various healthy lifestyle practices. In this school year alone, over 50,000 students’ classes in Manitoba have benefited from their teachers making Project 11 and mental health education a part of their learning journey.
Therefore, Prep Academy Tutors of Manitoba is proud to integrate this program to provide compassionate tutoring that is personalized to meet the unique needs of their students as well. Especially now, when students are needing support to practice resiliency and reminders of how to practice positive self-care. Our tutors are happy to help instil these life skills which will help them navigate through their personal and academic goals long-term.