As the new and uncertain back-to-school season is well underway and children are returning to in-person learning, there’s a looming sense of urgency that the educational system needs to do better in this extended schooling crisis. The skills and knowledge gaps that children are experiencing because of the highly interrupted school year continues to weigh heavily on parents. And experts say, these skill gaps may have the greatest impact on the youngest learners, those in the formative years of learning to read.
Hoot Reading Blog
Creating Confident Learners
What a year it has been. Over the pandemic, as offices and schools shifted to operating remotely, we saw a complete shake-up in the way we live our lives. Most parents — ourselves included– found themselves sharing an at-home office with their children, while simultaneously managing their kids’ daily schedules, most notably their kids’ online schooling. As a result, many working parents found it nearly impossible to keep up with the demands of their jobs in addition to the needs of their children at home. Feelings of needing to be ‘always on’ with the invisible boundaries of work and home caused stress and anguish and burnout became a very real thing for working parents.
“The Reality is that each new reader – that is, each child – must build a wholly new reading circuit. Our children can form a very simple circuit for learning to read, and acquire a basic level of decoding, or they can go on to develop highly elaborated reading circuits and add more and more sophisticated intellectual processes over time.”
Have you subtly compared your child to others and wondered if your child could be doing better? It happens easily. Maybe you run into another parent at the store and catch wind that their kid is reading several grade levels ahead. Maybe you overhear praise for a student who has just excelled at the science fair and is moving on to regional competitions. Maybe a relative has hinted that your child seems behind compared to what you accomplished as a child. Whatever the source, the question is nagging at you. Is my child behind?
Hoot Reading Offers Special Programming to Help Families Across North America With Pandemic Schooling
Hoot Reading’s App connects kids and teachers virtually, unintentionally perfect for the new normal of learning.
Hoot Teacher Ms. Elizabeth Tornatore gives her best tips on how to create routines that will help your student succeed this school year.
Fun Tips From Ms. Elizabeth Hawkins Lincoln, a Hoot Reading Classroom Teacher
Kindergarten is in many ways, a “rite of passage” in North America. The number of social media posts about crying parents, smiling teachers, and our nervous kids, seem to increase annually. This year, 2020, may be no different. Depending on what your school district does, there may still be many crying parents, nervous kids, and just a few smiling teachers. (Let’s face it, distance teaching during coronavirus was NOT easy for teachers either!) We are all wondering what will actually transpire when the 2020-21 school year rolls around.
Will your Kindergartener get the teacher’s attention they need if school is operating at a distance? As a parent, will you be able to devote the time and energy to distance learning? Will your child miss out on a formative student-teacher relationship or on meeting new children and having positive developmental relationships? There are many questions swirling around the minds of parents of K-12 children, heading into this upcoming school year.
While many universities and colleges have already committed to providing only a distance-learning experience, the same does not hold true for K-12 education. This should not surprise us. The Kindergarten through fifth grade experience is uniquely designed to be more hands-on, physically accommodating, and appropriate for the ebb and flow of cognitive development. The middle and high school years are far more structured and model a transition to self-reliance. It’s also the time when adolescent social development is spinning like an all-consuming tornado, which was the number one frustration of my friends who have teens.
And yet, when the crisis came knocking, most Kindergarten through fifth grade students were provided with a very “adult” method of learning at a distance. The middle school and high school students simply received another opportunity to develop into more mature versions of themselves. My own elementary aged children began to look like mini-adults at the kitchen table, hunched over laptops. I watched knowing this wasn’t remotely close to what they would have done in the classroom.
So, yes, while most distance learning is designed for adults and could be modified for middle and high school students, we all agree that none of it was easy. We’ve all seen (or been in) the social media videos of ranting parents, the distance learning memes, or the “I’m trying!” messages from teachers.