This school year has been unprecedented, from online learning to quarantining and being asked to move to at home learning for weeks on end, when a case of Covid 19 is declared or there is an outbreak. As a result, this school year has been so disruptive and inconsistent that a large number of students, usually in the grade 1 and grade 2 level have experienced very little growth in the area of literacy development, and some students have unfortunately even fallen behind in their literacy development.

Falling Behind in Literacy

Parents are understandably concerned about their child(ren) falling behind in their literacy skills as it has such a major impact on the other aspects of their child’s education, including their mental health, social skills and academic progress. Some parents have asked for their child to be able to repeat their current grade due to concerns of their child(ren) not being able to keep up with the rest of their peers.

Not to mention that the summer is a period of time where students are not practicing their literacy skills as consistently. The phenomena of literacy regression after a summer break is nothing new but with the introduction of the pandemic this year, more precious time has been taken away from students during the year which just compounds the problem even more. The most affected students are those who are just at the beginning of their literacy development, a time that is so crucial to a student’s foundational development of their literacy skills.  Although teachers do meet students where they are, the pandemic has definitely made literacy development a more difficult challenge this year.

What Parents Can Do To Help

Government agencies are aware of the impact that the pandemic has had on this specific school year and are conducting studies to try to come up with solutions to address this issue. However, the results of these studies are not immediate and nor are the solutions to be proposed after the findings.

The upcoming school year will be a challenging one for both educator and student alike. Educators are undoubtedly going to be implementing interventions to help students with literacy development, however, it will rely on many other factors as well including access to resources, specialized supports and staffing, to ensure that a difference can be made for each child’s unique needs. As nearly most teachers usually write in final report cards year after year, more than ever, it is probably a good idea to heed this professional advice and ensure that children read throughout the summer. Literacy can be practiced through digital means or with tangible books. The point is to ensure your child continues to read as much as possible throughout the summer, to strengthen their ability to return to class in the fall ready to learn and as prepared as they can be.

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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”― Frederick Douglass

What was your child’s experience during this unprecedented school year? Feel free to comment below and get this important conversation going.

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Please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only. This information is not advice and should not be treated as professional advice. You must not rely on the information in this blog as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider.

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