Published: January 12, 2021
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.