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The Pandemic’s Impact: How the Absence from School is Challenging Kindergarteners’ Progress

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Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by

Written By Student Hires  |  K-12, Elementary School, High School, Middle School  |  0 Comments | January 15, 2024

As we navigate the aftermath of the pandemic, inevitable repercussions are becoming increasingly clear, particularly in education. Kindergarteners who were not in school during the pandemic struggle significantly in their educational journeys.

Reports indicate that a significant number of parents have opted to skip kindergarten for their children post-pandemic. This decision stems from the belief that their children aren’t adequately prepared for this crucial stage of schooling due to disruptions in their ability to socialize and learn fundamental skills.

Moreover, thousands of students disappeared from American classrooms during the pandemic. Those who attempted to return faced a daunting wall of administrative obstacles. According to a quote from the Hechinger Report, “One of the biggest problems that we have is kids that are missing and chronic absenteeism,” says Pamela Herd, a Georgetown University public policy professor. She studies how burdensome paperwork and processes often prevent poor people from accessing health benefits. “I’m really taken aback that a district would set forth a series of policies that make it actually quite difficult to enroll your child.” 

The path to restoring pre-pandemic levels of academic achievement is proving to be long and complicated. The widespread closures of schools due to teacher shortages and COVID-19 spread have set children back academically, raising concerns among parents about their children’s future learning experiences.

Indeed, data shows that approximately twice as many students as before the pandemic are missing so much school that they are considered chronically absent. Recent data shows that this absence from school has led to significant learning loss among school-aged children.

Researchers have begun to quantify many children’s academic and emotional struggles due to the year and a half of disrupted schooling. World Bank experts have sounded the alarm, warning that the most significant side effect of the pandemic will be children’s lost learning, estimated at an alarming $17 trillion.

In light of these findings, we must act swiftly and decisively. Our children’s futures hang in the balance. As a society, we must invest in robust support systems for our young learners, ensuring they receive the resources and assistance they need to thrive in the post-pandemic world.

The struggles of kindergarteners are a stark reminder that the pandemic’s effects are far-reaching and long-lasting. Let’s take this opportunity to learn, adapt, and create an educational environment where every child can succeed.

Why Are Children Entering Kindergarten in 2023-2024 Showing up with Weaker Math and Reading Skills?

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is largely to blame for the weaker math and reading skills observed in children entering kindergarten in 2023-2024:

  1. Many children missed crucial early education experiences due to school closures and remote learning challenges. These early experiences are critical for developing foundational math and reading skills.
  2. The pandemic has significantly impacted parents’ ability to support their children’s learning. Many parents struggled to balance work and home-schooling duties, and not all families had access to the necessary resources for effective distance learning.
  3. The pandemic has caused heightened levels of stress and anxiety, which can affect children’s cognitive development and learning capacity.

All these factors combined have resulted in a generation of kindergarteners showing up with weaker math and reading skills.

How Can Parents Manage These Learning Challenges During the Post-Pandemic?

Parents can be pivotal in managing their children’s post-pandemic learning challenges. Firstly, establishing a consistent routine that includes time for learning, playing, and resting can provide children with the structure they need to thrive. Parents can also supplement school learning with educational games and activities at home to reinforce basic math and reading skills. After-school programs are also a great way to increase learning when parents aren’t available. Creating a calm, supportive home environment can help children feel safe and reduce stress, enhancing their learning capacity.

Additionally, parents should stay in close communication with their children’s teachers, keeping track of their academic progress and any areas where they might be struggling. Hiring a tutor or seeking additional educational resources is helpful. Lastly, it’s essential to remember that each child’s pace of learning is unique. Patience, encouragement, and recognizing small achievements can go a long way in boosting a child’s confidence and love for learning in these challenging times.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably disrupted the education sector, significantly impacting young learners, particularly kindergarteners. As the data suggests, these learners show weaker math and reading skills, indicating a crucial need for immediate interventions. By leveraging resources like the Student Hires and implementing effective at-home strategies, parents and educators can work hand in hand to bridge this learning gap. Despite our challenges, we have the opportunity to reinforce our education systems, ensuring every child has the support they need to succeed academically in a post-pandemic world.

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Student Hires

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