(KERO) — Learning loss can happen at any time when a child leaves a formal class setting.
“School is not like riding a bike. Conceptual learning is something we have to train ourselves to do in a very particular way,” Dr. Joseph Atman Executive Director of Middle Tree said.
Since students have been out of that environment for such a long time, struggles in school are to be expected. Learning loss is when a student is unable to retain information learned in school and can happen at any time.
COVID learning loss is when “students for a number of different reasons are not only unable to recall what was learned previously, but to retain new concepts, given the environment everyone has been thrust into," Dr. Atman explained.
We’ve seen that learning loss locally: The Kern Integrated Data System reporting that among the three major school districts in the county, Bakersfield City School District, Panama Buena Vista Union School District and Kern High School District, students in 6-12 grade saw a 14 percent increase in D’s and F’s in fall 2020 compared to 2019.
Dr. Atman has five tips for parents and guardians he believes can help keep their kids on track.
Number one: bring concepts to life.
“Maybe have them see a math problem within something you’re doing around the house or in the kitchen,” Dr. Atman said. “If you can bring things out of that theoretical realm, that conceptual realm goes a long way.”
What else he said can bring students out of the theoretical realm is tip number two: playing games.
“It’s just paramount for brain development, and it can be anything: board games, puzzles, word searches, scavenger hunts, all of these can circle back and be applied back to the classroom setting,” Dr. Atman said.
Speaking of settings, Dr. Atman recommended this third tip: creating a schedule and routine for students at home.
“It lets students know, 'okay this is what is expected of me, and that they need to hit these various marks,'” Dr. Atman said. “It keeps them organized as opposed to laying around in PJs all day.”
In addition to structure Dr. Atman’s fourth tip: Use free and local resources. Libraries, community centers and online resources like Khan Academy and Freerice. He also recommended parents read up on common core on the California Department of Education website.
Last is tip number five: socialization in safe ways and outdoors with family or pods you’re comfortable with.
“There’s a reason for younger students especially that they have that break that’s intermittent throughout the day. What do we do? We get students out,” Dr. Atman said. “We let them run it off a little bit.”
Dr. Atman added that students who have parents that may work throughout the day shouldn’t hesitate to communicate with their teacher and district about needing help in obtaining that structure at home.