BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — While many students have likely suffered learning loss during COVID-19, it may have a far greater impact on incoming 1st graders simply because of where they are in their development.
That’s why this year, parents and teachers of younger students will have an even more important role.
Early childhood advocates warn that some children may struggle when it’s time to go to first grade this fall.
“That’s when students are learning to do things like recognize letters for the time, read words, learn how to add and subtract and make huge cognitive leaps during those time periods,” said Emily Levitt, Vice President of Education for Sylvan Learning Center.
Levitt said this year, kindergarten and first-grade teachers will have an even greater impact on new students because they will have to help develop skills and behaviors students may have missed out on last year while distance learning.
“I think first-grade teachers really have a job on their hands, maybe even more than any other teacher. Kindergarten is when students usually learn how to do school. They learn how to sit in a circle, listen to a story, share and take turns,” Levitt said. "The incoming group of first-graders haven't done that very much."
Because of the remote learning last year, some kids may have fallen behind or even missed important milestones when it comes to early childhood education. That's why it's even more important for parents to take a hands-on approach in their child's education this year. Parents can help by putting in the extra work with their students and keeping an open line of communication with their teachers about their progress.
If you notice your child is struggling, experts recommend spending extra time with them in the evening reading or creating activities that promote early education skills and creativity.
“You can make really fun learning activities at home and believe it or not Pinterest is a great resource for that,” Levitt says. “For a lot of students, they have fallen really far behind. So definitely make sure you know where your child is, what they’re working with, and stay in touch with their teacher and you should have a handle on how to approach the rest of the year.”
For tips and activities to help combat learning loss with your student, click here.