A few days ago, I heard someone say, “When it comes to COVID-19, we’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat.” It’s true, isn’t it? The pandemic is a shared event, but your experiences with it are unique to you. How it affects health, work, relationships, and so on will vary from family to family.
The same is true of distance learning. Yes, we’re all adjusting to online schooling, but the experience varies wildly from home to home, school to school, and subject to subject. In this blog, we’ll talk about the variables that affect students’ virtual learning experiences—and how to know when your child needs help weathering this storm.
The Virtual Learning Variables
Do you feel like virtual learning has you at the end of your rope… only to look around and see a fellow parent who seems mostly unfazed by it all? Or even likes virtual learning? The problem isn’t that you’re a lesser parent or your child is a worse student. The virtual learning approach varies wildly right now, and that parent you spoke with could be having a completely different experience.
Variables that affect your child’s virtual learning experience can include…
- Their confidence level with each subject
- Their executive functioning skills (like organization and time management)
- The online platforms used
- The school’s virtual learning schedule and expectations
- The teacher’s ability to provide individualized support
- Class sizes
- The teacher’s confidence with technology
- The demands of parent work responsibilities and schedules
- The number of siblings sharing devices and internet
The list goes on and on. If you feel like your child is drowning in the virtual learning “storm,” resist the urge to look around and compare yourself to other families. Instead, keep an eye on your child’s particular struggles, so you’ll know when it’s time to call for help.
How to Know When It’s Time for Help
There are two primary areas where virtual learners need help: executive function skills and subject tutoring.
Executive function skills like time management and organization are critical for students to be able to work independently and manage virtual learning requirements. When children don’t have the executive function skills they need, parents become the “school police.”
If your child struggles to stay focused, loses track of assignments, or forgets to plan ahead for big deadlines, an executive function coach can help instill those skills (and relieve you of your school police badge!).
We have long provided executive function coaching and are happy to help with that. But it’s even more important to recognize when your child needs subject tutoring.
Subject tutoring help is for students who are struggling with particular subjects. Even in a “typical” year, some subjects are more challenging than others. For example, math tutoring is always our most requested subject-specific service. This year, however, more kids are falling behind and struggling to keep up. Large virtual classes make it extremely difficult for teachers to provide individualized instruction (and for students to ask for the help they need).
Even a virtual subject tutor can work wonders in helping a child regain their confidence, catch up, and get ahead in challenging subjects this year. That’s because virtual tutors can do more in a one-to-one or one-to-a-few setting than teachers can do with large Zoom classes.
Unlike teachers with big classes, tutors can use interactive digital whiteboards and other tools to provide engaging, interactive, and personalized instruction. Tutors also make it easier for your child to ask for help or get clarification when they need it.
If your child struggles to follow the teacher’s virtual instruction and complete tasks independently, it might be time to seek out a subject tutor. If your attempts to help are met with frustration and resistance, it might be time to seek out a subject tutor. And if the trouble is in math, science, or foreign language, it’s definitely time to seek out a subject tutor!
Those “cumulative” subjects require skills and knowledge that build year over year. Waiting until school gets back to normal to get help in subjects like these will make the next levels much tougher. So don’t wait—the sooner your child has subject tutoring, the better.
Request a Tutor
Our tutors are trained and ready to provide support to virtual learners who are falling behind. With personalized, engaging, and interactive tutoring sessions, your child can catch up, keep up, and regain confidence—all without your help!
To get started, just click below and schedule a consult. It’s the simple first step in getting a tutor that can help your child “ride out the storm” this year and ensure smoother sailing in the years to come.