Students of all ages, particularly K-12 students, have been hard hit by the pandemic. Now that vaccines are becoming more and more accessible, there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic about schooling. But even if all goes well, and students are able to fully return to the classroom, nothing can undo the damage the pandemic has done.
Many students have fallen behind, and it won’t be easy to play catch up. Statistics show that K-12 students are expected to return to the classroom about 30% behind where they should be in literacy. For math, according experts at Brown University, K-12 students are a staggering 60% behind.
The question many parents are facing now is how they can get their kids back on track, especially in math. One promising resource is a tutor. To help make things simple, here are a few benefits of a math tutor for students who have fallen behind due to distance learning and the stress of the pandemic.
The most obvious benefit of a math tutor is that they provide one-on-one attention. Whether online or in person, tutors customize their lessons according to their pupils learning type and needs.
Everyone learns differently. Students tend to excel at one type of learning more than others. Generally speaking, however, there are four types of learners:
- Writing and reading learners
- Visual (or spatial) learners
- Auditory learners
- Kinesthetic (or hands-on) learners
Math tutors tailor their lessons according to their pupils’ learning type, and help students develop “number sense” — something teachers in charge of classrooms cannot always do. The learning gains students can make when paired with the right math tutor can be immense.
A commonly held belief is that math is a subject that people either excel at or struggle with naturally. But this isn’t true.
One of the biggest reasons some students struggle with math is that the way they are taught doesn’t fit their learning style. This creates a domino effect: because they aren’t taught math in accordance with their learning style, they come to believe that they are simply not good at math, then lose confidence in their ability to learn the subject, become afraid of asking for help, and then struggle even more.
Students who are paired with a math tutor that understands their learning style might realize that they can in fact excel at math, when taught in the proper way. This in turn helps them build their confidence. Working with a math tutor also empowers students to ask questions that they would be too afraid to ask their teachers.
Learning How to Learn
Learning how to learn is just as important as learning what to learn. But in school, many students are never taught how to learn. Instead, they mostly improvise, or do what they think they’re supposed to do.
This means that when they enter the post-secondary level, these students don’t know the best practises for taking notes, studying for exams, or even organizing their work desks or computers. They may be very smart and studious, but without knowing the most effective ways of studying, they’re at a significant disadvantage.
The sooner a child learns how to learn, the better. Healthy study habits last a lifetime—in school, of course, but also in the workplace.
Math has always been a subject that certain students have a hard time with, and the pandemic has not made it any easier. With the help of an experienced math tutor, however, students can end the semester strong and start preparing for a fresh start in learning come September.