How Hamilton Parents Can Help Kids Succeed this Semester
As the year begins, schools across Hamilton remain closed due to the new coronavirus lockdown measures, with elementary students learning remotely until at least January 11, and secondary students out of the classroom until at least January 25.
While these public safety measures have doubtless come as a relief to many families concerned about the health of their families amidst spiking case rates, it also puts an added burden on parents who will need to find creative ways to keep their kids engaged in their studies — often while working from home themselves.
As many Hamilton parents discovered during the lockdowns in early 2020, learning from home is not as simple as just moving studies online. For children and teenagers, learning is a dynamic process that requires support, attention, and hands-on help. So how can Hamilton families ensure that their children will be able to succeed in the coming semester if the lockdowns continue into February and possibly beyond?
The Challenges of Remote Learning
In order to respond to these new conditions, it is essential to identify the major challenges of remote learning, and find realistic ways of meeting them.
It is no secret that remote learning has had an uneven effect on student performance: while some students have done well and even thrived when learning online, others have struggled to keep pace with the curriculum. Typically, students who are organized, disciplined, and have an aptitude for working independently have done fairly well. Those who require more structure and a more social learning environment have often needed extra help.
As identified by educators, the most significant particular challenges involved in remote learning are:
- Distractions: While a classroom may offer opportunities for daydreaming, learning from home opens up a wide array of opportunities for distraction. Minimizing distractions and creating dedicated spaces for learning is therefore essential.
- Technical Issues: Learning online isn’t always easy — glitching video calls, poor sound quality, and bad connections can all make learning online a lot harder.
- Personal Support: In a classroom, teachers can design their lessons to leave time for one-on-one help. This becomes a lot harder when the whole class is conducted via Zoom.
- Trust: In order to teach effectively, teachers need to earn the trust of their students. This is much easier to do in person than online, and students who have never met their teacher outside of the digital classroom have a harder time connecting than those who have had a chance to get to know their teacher in person.
As with many learning challenges, the solution is often quite simple: students who are struggling need more structure, more time with the material, and the personalized support that can help them identify their areas of weakness and overcome obstacles to learning. In all three of these areas, tutoring is a reliable way to improve outcomes.
How Prep Academy is Supporting Students During the Pandemic
At Prep Academy Tutors, we have adapted our approach to keep up with changing guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic, providing the students we serve with options for in-home and online tutors when possible and shifting to online-only instruction as required.
We have also developed innovative solutions to the social aspect of learning by moving forward with new ways of providing tutoring — for example, through a learning pod with certified teachers that gives students a chance to learn alongside their peers.
These options will become available again should regulations change, but we continue to offer online tutoring during this period of lockdown. If you want your primary or secondary students to start the semester strong, our tutors in Hamilton Ontario are ready to help provide expert help across a range of different subjects.
3 Ways Tutoring Can Provide Essential Support
At the root of many of the educational problems students are facing during lockdown is lack of support.
Students are not simply sponges that suck up information during their classes and squeeze it out when it comes time for tests, assignments, and exams — in order to learn effectively, students need feedback, and a chance to explore ideas and problems with someone who can guide them.
Here are three ways that tutoring in Hamilton can give kids the guidance they need to achieve academic success.
1. Tutoring is Complementary to Regular Classes
Ideally, tutoring provides a supplement to what students are learning in their regular classes — a tutor is like an older peer who knows the course material well and can explain complex problems in an easily-understandable way.
One of the reasons it is important to find a tutor near you is to ensure that your children get help from someone who knows the curriculum they are studying in class, and can direct a student’s learning with an eye to what is coming next.
2. Tutoring Provides a More Personal Approach
Every student needs some degree of personal support when learning. Concepts that will be easy for some might be quite difficult for others, and a good tutor will tailor their approach to the particular strengths and weaknesses of each student.
3. Tutoring Helps Build Confidence
One of the greatest dangers of falling behind, especially during critical learning periods, is that it can cause lasting damage to a child’s self-esteem, making it harder for them to build confidence in their intellectual abilities.
At the primary and secondary level, learning that you can learn — that skills and concepts that at first seem impossible can be mastered through effort and hard work — is essential. By encouraging children to apply themselves and showing them that effort pays off, tutors can help them improve their sense of self-worth.
The beginning of a new semester is the perfect time to take stock of the learning challenges your children will face in the coming months. Though schools may re-open for in-person classes by the end of January, there is no guarantee there won’t be further lockdowns to come.
If you’re worried about your child’s academic performance and want to make sure they have the support they need to end the school year strong, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors in Hamilton today.
How Students are Achieving Success with Online Learning
There is no question that in the world of primary and post-secondary education, 2020 has been the most disruptive year in living memory.
As the coronavirus pandemic hit Canada in the early months of the year, schools and universities alike were left scrambling to figure out how to realistically handle a massive shift to online learning. Parents, meanwhile, were often confronted with the challenge of keeping up with their own work while supervising their children’s schooling.
Fortunately, by the time schools cautiously reopened in September, online learning had gone from being an emergency necessity to being something that parents and teachers had been able to get a better grasp on.
Though no one would claim that online learning is without its challenges, according to at least one survey, a clear majority of students believe it to be preferable to going back to in-person classes full-time while the pandemic is still unfolding. And some students even report a preference for online learning because it frees them from the social pressures that are a major hurdle to learning in-person.
While there is no end yet in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, it is becoming clear that the 2020-2021 school year can still be a time of learning and growth for primary and secondary school students — if students are able to adjust to a radically different type of online study.
If you want to help your kids get the most out of their education during this difficult time, here are three of the most important factors influencing the degree to which students can adjust to and even thrive while learning online.
1. Sufficient Preparation
Preparation is essential to success in just about any long-term project, and this is exactly how online learning should be imagined — as a marathon rather than a sprint.
Several months into distance learning, you’ve probably started to develop routines and practices to help manage your child’s studies. But it is often the case that these practices have something of an ad-hoc quality to them, and an arrangement that started as being a temporary solution has become a daily frustration.
Taking the time to step back and think about how your time and space could be organized more effectively will help you be more intentional about your family’s approach to online learning, and can help you remove distractions and create a more effective environment for learning.
If you are interested in providing more fulsome support for you kids, here are a few things you can do to help them get the most out of the online learning experience (you can also check out our tips to prepare them for online tutoring here):
- Involve your children in creating weekly schedules
- Encourage kids to pick out school supplies and decorate their workstations
- Dedicate time every morning to light exercises and stretching
- Build active time into every day
- Set daily goals
- Schedule tutoring for a time when kids have had a chance to recover from daily lessons
When you treat online learning as a new normal rather than an unpleasant deviation, you can start to reap the benefits that come from a well-designed online education routine.
2. Extra Support
Now more than ever, children need extra support from the adults in their lives if they are to meet their learning goals and thrive in this new educational environment.
At the same time, you may not be at liberty to dedicate as much time to educational support as you might want to — after all, you may be facing your own challenges adjusting to the difficulties of working online, and won’t necessarily have the freedom to drop everything to take up your children’s education full-time.
Tutoring has always been a great way to supplement your child’s education, but during the pandemic expert online tutoring services can be an absolute lifeline for parents who are juggling work, housekeeping, and learning support.
As a tutoring service that has long been offering extra help and curriculum support to children in the education system, Prep Academy Tutors understands that effective tutoring plays an important role in helping children master difficult subjects.
For this reason, we have adapted our services to offer as much support as possible so kids can continue to learn during the coronavirus pandemic, both online and in-person (you can click here to learn more about how we work to maintain high levels of service during the pandemic).
Perhaps the most important aspect of succeeding with online learning, however, is maintaining a degree of flexibility. An arrangement that works in September may not be feasible in November, so being responsive to the needs of your children is essential.
The lack of opportunities to socialize is one of the hardest aspects of distance education, especially for younger kids for whom learning is a communal activity, but striking the right balance between online education and in-person learning can be difficult.
This is why Prep Academy Tutors has responded to the challenges of tutoring during the pandemic by offering learning pods. What are learning pods you might ask? A learning pod is a small group of students learning in-person from a qualified teacher in a controlled environment. More restricted than a classroom setting but still providing the freedom to learn in a social environment, learning pods provide a safer way for kids to learn together during the pandemic.
Signing your child up for a learning pod through Prep Academy Tutors is an excellent supplement to online learning, especially for more outgoing students who find that being isolated from their peers is an obstacle to development.
One of the things that has become increasingly apparent over the past few months is the extent to which a return to normal is unlikely, even if the number of cases starts to decline. Many experts predict that the pandemic will fundamentally reshape how we think about learning.
Families that are able to adapt to this new reality and achieve success with online learning will be much better positioned than those who yearn for an unrecoverable past, and if you want to find out what kind of role tutoring can play in the hybrid education system of the future, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.
Educational Support in The Time of Online Learning
Online learning is being recognized as the new normal as students are now learning at home either exclusively or on alternating days with in-class lessons. This transition to a more independent and flexible learning style is an excellent opportunity for students to learn at their own pace in a safe and comfortable environment.
The reality of this shift in learning is that it’s an adjustment for many students accustomed to having teachers and friends supporting them. Private tutoring is an effective way to help students through this transition, as tutoring has changed to accommodate these new needs.
The good news is, with resources like online and distanced tutoring, students can get the tools and resources they need to support their online learning journey. Prep Academy Tutors can provide in-home and online tutoring services to help support students during this transition.
The tutoring landscape may be changing, but tutoring services remain available and are a significant resource to help students at this time.
What Tutoring Looks Like Now
In response to social distancing rules, tutoring is now often done either online or at a smaller scale to ensure safety. The most common options for tutoring as of now include:
Online tutoring is a great way to get your child used to virtual interaction and learning. It is the safest means of academic aid as it is provided online and at the flexibility of your child’s schedule.
In addition to online tutoring, students can receive tutoring in small groups to learn collaboratively at a safe distance. Tutors will offer small group tutoring for groups of 3-6 students.
Learning pods are resemblant of small group tutoring. These pods are small groups of 3-6 students put together by like-minded parents. Parents will enlist help from a certified teacher like a tutor to lead the group and provide curriculum-based education.
The Need for Tutoring at This Time
Many parents may wonder why students would need educational support when they learn at home with more flexible expectations. The reality is that there are various ways tutoring can provide support at this time:
Test Preparation: With online tests becoming more prevalent, students may be struggling to prepare for and write these tests. Prep Academy Tutor provides test preparation services to help students develop the skills they need to study for tests and approach writing tests online under pressure.
Emotional Support: The fear of the unknown and the limited ability to socialize with friends and loved ones have impacted students’ mental health. A private tutor can provide compassionate assistance and support at this time to help students overcome overwhelming feelings and apply their focus to academic success.
Organization: Learning from home requires organization. Students need to manage their time and schedule accordingly to ensure that assignments are done correctly and on time. With less access to teachers, students require tools and resources to develop these skills to carry into their future. Tutors can help students build and improve these necessary skills that come with long-term benefits.
Socialization: Everyone feels the impacts of being distanced from friends and loved ones, and students are no different. Tutors provide students with a new friendly face to interact with, albeit online, to regain a sense of normalcy.
How Parents Can Provide Educational Support
The reality is that homeschooling could be the new normal for the foreseeable future, which means students need all the support they can get to get comfortable learning virtually and stay focused.
We offer countless tips to help your kids with online tutoring to ensure they retain information and progress on their academic journey.
Learn About Online Learning
What does online learning look like for our students? How does Google classroom even work? It can be mutually beneficial for parents to learn about online learning.
The things teachers can do online are incredible, but getting used to online features on Google Classroom can be challenging for students with limited experience.
Consider spending some time navigating your child’s online learning platform so that you can answer their questions and provide support. Teachers use these platforms to communicate with parents and students. Being familiar with the system will also help you stay on top of your child’s schedule, and you’ll have a clear understanding of what to expect in the coming months from virtual classes.
Set Up a Workstation
You hear time and time again how important it is to set up a workstation when working at home, and the same rings true for studying remotely. Having a workspace for online learning supports students in various ways:
- It removes students from distracting common areas
- It establishes an area that students can associate with schoolwork
- Others in the home can identify the area and avoid it during school hours
- It encourages a sense of independence
- It provides a place where students can store all school-related materials
- It separates school and work from other areas in the house
You can designate a part of the kitchen table, a desk, or an area in the basement for online learning – it doesn’t matter where this space is.
Stay in Contact with Educators
Students want to know the future of their education. Both parents and students must maintain contact with educators to plan and understand the current state of learning.
Maintaining communication can help parents monitor their child’s progress and keep students informed about virtual learning plans. By staying up to date, you can support your child and prepare them for whatever the next step in their education.
How Prep Academy Can Support Online Student Learning
Prep Academy Tutors offers a range of tutoring services across Ontario to provide students with any academic support they may need. We can help whether they need tools and resources to adapt to online learning or have gaps in knowledge to fill.
We have tutors located across the province who are certified teachers prepared to provide your student with the personalized education they need to succeed.
Don’t hesitate to contact our team to learn more about matching your child with a tutor in your area. Our tutors can support students in a wide variety of ways.
Adjusting to the Changing State of Education in Ontario
As education continues to change in Ontario and around the world, educators, parents, and students need to be prepared to adapt to new ways of learning. Right now, that approach is online education.
We are all playing our part in making the transition to online learning easier on parents, teachers, administrators, and students who are all eager to regain a sense of normalcy.
As parents and educators adjust to the changing landscape, it is also essential that students understand the current situation and are able to access the resources they need.
The tutors at Prep Academy Tutors are providing ample resources to aid students at this time. We offer a range of solutions, including one-on-one, online, and small group tutoring.
What Does Going to School Look Like Right Now in Ontario?
Let’s address what going to school looks like in Ontario right now. Primary students choose to either partake in blended learning (a balance of in-class and at-home learning) or exclusively learn at home. On the other hand, high school students participate in mandatory in-class lessons other day and engage in online education when they are not at school.
Most recently, the TDSB released updated regulations for wearing masks in schools. These regulations state that “Staff are required to wear Level 1 or 2 medical masks at all times when indoors, and outdoors when unable to maintain a physical distance of two metres.”
Elementary and high school students must wear masks at all times, except during a mask break – a break where students socially distance and safely remove their face coverings for a short time.
The Current State of Education in Ontario
Ontario schools are facilitating a blended learning approach and, when preferred, exclusive online learning for elementary school students. The next step would either be a reversion to remote online learning or a gradual integration of more in-class time dependent on how the current situation progresses.
The Changing Landscape
As numbers fluctuate and affected schools close, it is crucial to have a plan in place for your child’s education. Due to the changing landscape, consistency is vital – which is why an increasing number of parents are opting for their students to learn online exclusively.
Parents can use private tutors to help students transition into their new means of education, whether they engage in blended learning or they’re learning exclusively online. Prep Academy Tutors has professional tutors in Mississauga and across Ontario to suit all of your child’s educational needs.
The Ontario Government is reportedly providing up to $1.3 billion in critical support, including over 37 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), to help classrooms safely reopen across Ontario.
Premier Ford said in a statement that “This school year will be unlike any we have ever seen, but by working together, we can all play a part to keep our children, teachers and education workers safe and ensure our students continue to thrive and be inspired to learn during these extraordinary times.”
The province has provided funding (more than any other jurisdiction in the country) to help support academic institutions at this time. This funding includes the hiring of up to 1,200 custodians, the hiring of more teachers, and the implementation of advanced cleaning protocols in schools and busses.
Up to 625 nurses have been hired in schools to offer efficient and effective support, including screening and mitigating.
Monitoring School-Related Cases
Ontario’s school boards and the Ministry of Education are closely monitoring schools and keeping parents, educators, and students up to date. The government provides an updated summary of cases in schools that indicates how many cases have occurred and where.
Ontario schools typically offer vaccinations to Grade 7 students for Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus and Meningococcal disease. CBC reports that these vaccinations will no longer be available in schools and will instead be at community clinics and doctors’ offices in 2021.
How Parents Can Help Students Adjust
We are all adjusting to the ongoing regulatory changes and adapting to our new normal, so we all must support one another. Our children, for one, can benefit from educational and emotional support to make their transition easier.
The good news is that there are many different ways you can support your child’s transition and help them to reap the benefits of a more flexible education:
Parents often think that students don’t need academic support when they are learning from home. The reality, however, is that students learning from home can significantly benefit from personalized tutoring. In addition to improving student grades, a private tutor’s guidance can help students build skills and gain the tools they need to succeed with online learning.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we are committed to shaping the leaders of tomorrow and providing them with high-level strategies and skills to approach new means of learning. You can learn more about our tutoring services to identify how we can help your student; we offer online tutoring, small-group tutoring, and more.
Maintain open communication with students to keep them in the know and aware of any changes they may face in the future to prepare themselves.
Fear of the unknown can take a toll on a student’s mental health, which is why it’s better to discuss the current circumstances with your student. Answer any of their questions and decide together the best route for their learning, whether in class or online.
Preparedness to Pivot
Rules and regulations in schools continue to change in response to the ongoing situation, but we can plan to accommodate these changes as needed. Have a plan in place and maintain open communication about the future of education. Preparedness can help teachers, parents and students feel better equipped to tackle any other changes to the education system that may come our way.
How to Prepare Your Child for Blended Learning in New York
The State of education in New York — and around the world — is rapidly changing as a result of COVID-19. Currently, the State of New York is looking to reopen some schools for blended learning in the new school year.
Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester is prepared to provide private tutoring to help students adapt to the blended learning that they can likely expect in the school year to come.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that schools will only reopen in regions that are in phase 4 and maintain a daily infection rate of under 5 percent.
Due to fluctuating numbers, the government will make the official decision to (or not to) reopen schools in August. The government has also said it will react quickly and ask students to return home and engage in virtual learning if numbers in regions rise.
As we prepare students and teachers to return to school potentially, it is essential to provide students with the tools they need to adapt and find success with blended learning.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended learning refers to educating through both traditional in-class and e-learning practices. Blended learning blends the flexibility of remote learning with face to face learning to provide a comprehensive education.
Blended learning will likely become students’ new standard for the considerable future and will require some accommodation and time management. This transition will be a significant learning curve for educators, students, and parents who are new to balancing online and in-class learning.
The good news is that Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester is prepared to give students the tools they need to adjust to these changes and develop time management and study habits for academic success.
Tips for Transitioning Your Child Into Blended Learning
Talk About Hygiene
When schools reopen, it will be a requirement for students to social distance on campus. Schools will reconfigure community spaces like gyms and atriums to make this feasible. It is essential to emphasize the importance of social distancing at school (and in general) and to educate your child on how to maintain hygienic safety in the classroom.
The New York State Education Department presented a framework of guidelines to the Board of Regents that schools will need to maintain to sustain operation after reopening. These guidelines include consistent hygienic practices that will be enforced and expected from staff and students, including social distancing, wearing masks, regular handwashing, and disinfecting common areas.
Consider One-On-One Tutoring
Every student learns differently, which means that students will respond to blended learning in various ways. Depending on an individual’s learning style, this style of learning may elevate a student’s learning abilities or create gaps in their knowledge.
One-on-one tutoring can provide students with the additional tools and resources they may need to accommodate this transition.
At Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester, our private tutors provide a personalized approach to education to fill any gaps in knowledge. We give students the tools they need to gain academic confidence.
We believe that every child is capable of learning and requires a personalized approach to education to set and reach their academic goals. Consider how your child can benefit from private tutoring at this time.
We can provide one-on-one, small group, and micro-classroom tutoring services across Westchester County either at your home, in your backyard, or a safe public space of your choice. Note that our micro-classroom students contain a maximum of 5-7 students.
Streamline Communication with Educators
Blended learning will be a new experience for students, educators, and parents alike, which is why it’s essential to keep all communication lines open. Discuss with your child and their educators (both teachers and tutors) to monitor their progress and identify the tools they may need for further success.
Prep Academy Tutors prioritizes communication to ensure that everyone is always on the same page and involved in a student’s educational journey.
It’s essential to understand how significant changes in education and life can impact a student’s mental health. How is your child coping with these changes? What do they find to be the most challenging about the transition? Talk to your child to understand where they are at; encourage dialogue to address different pain points as they come.
Encourage Classmate Discussions
No one will understand quite what students are experiencing right now more than their peers. Students all learn differently, but they can also learn from one another and their shared experiences. Consider encouraging your child to talk to their classmates so that they can form feasible strategies and find success at this time of transition.
Manage Online Distractions
Technology plays an essential role in blended learning. It is crucial to help your student manage any online distractions that may occur when e-learning.
Consider how you can help your child stay on task when learning on their device, even when entertainment sources are just a click away.
You can reward your child for staying on task with free computer time, or integrate other incentives that will motivate them not to let their attention wander. You can also challenge them to focus for specific periods and allow breaks in between tasks. It all depends on how your child learns best.
Stay informed not only on your child’s academic journey but also on the overall state of education in New York.
Considering that circumstances are changing quickly in the state due to the fluctuating cases of COVID-19, it’s essential to utilize the news and school newsletters to stay in the know. Staying informed will help you better plan ahead and discuss future changes with your child before they occur.
Prepare to Pivot
It will be confirmed in August whether or not schools will reopen in New York come September. Governor Cuomo has stated that if numbers and conditions change between when announcement and the first day of school, schools will not reopen.
He has also stated that schools will close again if numbers change. It is essential to be aware of the fluctuating circumstances that impact this situation and have the tools and resources to pivot quickly.
Prep Academy Tutors of Westchester will continue to offer online tutoring and other tutoring services to help students continue education as these changes occur and help minimize the gaps in knowledge they may experience.