Counselor weighs in on possible long-term impact of pandemic on learning

Decca Knight says kids need family support, and return to a normal schedule as school begins
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 11:01 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “I think so many kids have gotten into this lackadaisical ‘I’ll get to it’... It’s kind of increased the procrastination of some of our kids. I don’t think they have a good understanding of time anymore,” says Decca Knight, owner of Blue Ridge Parenting & Consulting.

Many of us can relate to that, especially children who haven’t been inside a classroom for months. And once summer came, many families put the brakes on the books.

“A lot of the parents are just so overwhelmed and stressed out - doing anything just seems overwhelming for a lot of families. And so I think a lot of families have just taken a break this summer.”

No worries, says Knight.

But she says now is the time for families to support their students to help avoid a major achievement gap.

No one knows exactly how much learning has suffered during the pandemic.

According a study online by the Brookings Institution, students could begin the new school year with roughly 70% of the learning gains in reading from the previous year. In math, it could be with less than 50%.

“And I know it’s really hard for a lot of families to stay that course, especially if the parents are working,” says Knight.

Getting back into a school frame of mind will take some effort.

Knight says getting back on track means getting back on schedule.

“Even if we’re all virtual, we still need to start getting our kids into the schedule. We need to get them up at a certain time each day. We need to get them into doing their work.”

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