I actually wrote on our elementary’s school survey last week, “If my kids cannot return in the fall, I will set myself on fire.”
So, that’s where I’m at with homeschooling and COVID-19.
Kidding aside, I can’t imagine opening up one more Google Classroom lesson without tensing up. I’m done. My kids are done. And my husband is done with hearing about how “done” we all are.
But here’s what: despite this being a complete circus of a school year, tomorrow is still coming, and so is the rest of their future. Although things might not look exactly the same, I still want my child to continue a path towards graduation and college — and ceasing all things academic this summer won’t help anyone.
School’s out for summer. Will our students be ready for what’s next?
Up until about a day ago, you couldn’t pay me to indulge in the notion that I would make my kids (and by proxy, me,) do anything academic after the glorious mess we just went through.
But I couldn’t help but wonder, maybe it’s just me? I’m not a teacher — or, as I’ve had the self-awareness to admit, I’m not a very nice person under pressure, so maybe I was more of the problem than the solution.
I don’t think we’d find anyone, professional educator or not, who would presume to say that what we all just experienced was anything more than “crisis learning.” We adapted, did what we had to do, and survived. And our family was very fortunate — we had access to the internet, chrome books from the school, and daily check-ins with our teachers.
I can only speak for myself, but honestly — school is finally over, summer is here, I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. All I know is: I don’t want to be the one doing it.
And then I had my “aha” moment! I don’t have to — there’s another solution. A more practical, useful, and quite frankly, professional and prepared solution.
“Have you called Sandy?” a friend of mine casually texted me a few days ago, and of course I was like, “No. Also, who is Sandy?” (Why don’t I ever know anything?)
She sends me her info and Sandy Tutwiler is the Owner of Tutor Doctor Frisco-McKinney and solely based on a quick glance at their website, I’m already super impressed. In addition to thoroughly answering any question I might have, it includes a fabulous blog and a section designated for SAT/ACT practice tests.
I reached out to her with some pretty specific concerns I feel like we all can relate to, and it breaks down sorta like this:
What about the “summer slide”?
School will re-start in the fall, whether it’s online, or in the building. We talk about the “summer slide” but let’s be real, it’s truly the “spring/summer slide” — or if you’re like us, a six-month throttle into a black hole…that is if I don’t get a little intervention now.
Each kiddo is different and learns differently, so Tutor Doctor performs a personal evaluation of the student to determine not only what to work on, but how to best execute it for that child. Lessons are available in person, or online, whatever makes the family most comfortable. Sandy explained,
During times of stress, we (humans) don’t learn/retain information. Typically, during the summer most see a 20% reading and 30% math skill loss – but with the stress of not being taught in the conventional way, being at home, not being around friends, hearing constant news about death and social distancing, etc, researchers believe learning loss will be more like 30% reading and 50% math. This is a HUGE!
Plus, we tried our best these last few months, but there are quite a few skills that might need to be re-taught (ahem, taught the CORRECT way) or at the very least, re-affirmed. Things, like quarantines and restrictions, are beginning to relax and students will be able to focus a bit more.
Most importantly: Tutor Doctor’s team is trained and excited to teach, bringing a mentor relationship (versus someone “nagging” them about getting studying done).
For my tribe of parents and kiddos who require 504 or IEP services, or maybe just hover around the average, below-average level, we have been punted the ball, so let’s run it in…
We know the info that was planned to be taught, and we gave it our best, and no matter what the score was, basically, everything went pass or fail. This means two things: 1) nobody could get ahead in the GPA race, and 2) it’s likely it will all be re-taught next fall.
This gives these kids the opportunity to get, not necessarily the “upper hand” because it doesn’t work like that, but rather, the opportunity to be on the starting line when the gun goes off. To give you a more illustrated example: for a lot of kids, the race began but we were still trying to tie our shoes, so we were behind from the start.
What about the SAT and ACT?
Ok, this next part is kinda awkward. Mostly because we’ve all been overwhelmed by the news about everything, and it’s hard to see the forest through the trees at times… SAT/ACT is still a thing.
Be careful what you get from the Internet — just because certain states have discussed omitting testing as part of their application practice, that’s not the case everywhere, and can be reviewed and renewed as quickly as it was cut.
Sandy made a great point I hadn’t even thought of yet — test scores are not just for admissions, but scholarships as well, so even if 2021 will see a dip in those specific requirements, make no mistake, they will still be used in practice; and to that end, given the rise of pass/fail due to COVID-19, it may be essential to have a bookend group of test scores to provide a better picture of that student academically.
Tutor Doctor not only offers services to prepare for those exams but offers free online practice tests.
I’ll share something I wish someone had told me in high school: You don’t have to need help to use help. Colleges give zero, err; I mean, they’re unconcerned about how you achieved your grade, as long as it’s high on the transcript. There isn’t a tab for “got tutoring for this one” so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
Tutor Doctor offers both typical 9-12 needs, but also AP course assistance.
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out Tutor Doctor’s website, definitely check out the amazing blog, and remember: if you’re not a teacher, don’t try to be a teacher — the doctor is IN my friends!
Availability 7 days a week, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm