“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
During the first lockdown, a lot of students missed out on a lot of their education, leaving them more at risk of not finishing their schooling.
With exams cancelled, we’ll have to see how the closures have affected students. There are a few ways to ensure that a student gets the grades they deserve.
Let’s have a look at them.
Our Advice for Keeping Up with Your Studies During Lockdown
This starts at home. The schools can help struggling students but when the student can’t go to school, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of those at home. Parents play a vital role in ensuring their child’s academic success and this role starts well before they take their GCSEs.
Students are more likely to fail when they can no longer fully access the educational system and only get to see their teachers over Zoom. It’s much better to prevent the problems than to try and fix them.
Here are our top 10 tips for ensuring that your child doesn’t start to struggle at school.
- Work with the teachers and professionals at the school: if start to see signs that your child is struggling, get in touch with the school.
- Do as much as you can to avoid the situation getting worse.
- Encourage all types of learning. It doesn’t always need to be in front of a screen. They can learn from books, games, discussion, etc.
- Acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses to better manage their difficulties. Be willing to make concessions with their least favourite subjects (as long as it doesn’t overly damage their overall grades).
- Speak to them. Show an interest in their schooling. Ask them how they feel about school and their future without putting too much pressure on them.
- Help them to set goals. During the lockdown, it can be useful to have set goals that you can achieve regularly.
- Limit the amount of screen time.
- Keep up their extra-curricular activities as much as possible. Suggest alternatives, especially if their usual extracurricular activities have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Make sure they’re keeping busy.
- Maintain a routine as if they were still attending school.
- Consider academic support and private tutorials as a way to help them improve their performance at school.
How to Stay Focused During Online Classes
Remote learning and online classes haven’t helped students to concentrate better in school. Young students find it hard enough to sit still in a chair all day and doing so in front of a screen is even tougher.
Here is our advice for staying focused during online classes:
- Sit down at a desk: Sit properly in a calm and quiet part of your home, away from other family members so that you can pay attention to your teacher. Ideally, you’ll want a space dedicated to work. It’s better to have a place where you can comfortably listen and work.
- Avoid distractions: Turn off email notifications, leave your phone in another room, close any windows that you won’t be using, etc.
- Stick to a schedule. Usually, your online classes will be offered at a given time each day. This can help you form a routine. In the morning, get ready as if you were going to work. Get dressed, have breakfast, etc.
- Take regular breaks: If you’re struggling to focus during a class, consider getting up and walking around for 30 seconds to a minute. Then sit back down and refocus. Try to have a 15-minute break between each class. Stretch, get some fresh air, air out the room. Just stay away from your phone!
- Participate in your online classes: This isn’t always easily done but make sure you’re asking questions and answering your teacher’s questions when you have a chance. Not only will you remain more focused, but you’ll have a better memory of the class. In addition to getting more out of your classes, they’ll also go more quickly!
- Eat and drink at regular times: make sure you have a good breakfast in the morning. Our brain burns 60% of our energy according to Doug Boyer of Duke University, USA. It needs to be fed.
- Exercise: When you’re not in front of a screen, make sure you’re moving around and getting the blood pumping. Exercise can help concentration.
- Make sure you get enough sleep: A regular sleep pattern can help you concentrate better during the day. A lack of sleep will cause problems with concentration and memory.
Why Is Academic Support a Good Idea?
Your child’s education is going to be interrupted by school closures, that’s for sure and you might still have to go to work. Even if you’re working at home, you can’t be certain that your child is fully focusing on their classes or isn’t finding the change difficult.
Academic support is a useful tool to help both struggling and gifted students to get the most out of their education. Each child will enjoy personalised tuition. Students can benefit from catch-up classes to go over what they missed out on during lockdown or when the schools were closed.
Academic support can:
- Help to keep students organised during the lockdown. It can be difficult to stay organised when you’re no longer attending school. They won’t get to study with their classmates, for one.
- Improve their grades. Not every parent can dedicate the time needed to teach their children.
- Provide tailored tuition. The students can ask questions whenever they want without having to worry about what the other students might think.
- Help students adjust to distance learning. The student can learn more about study techniques and approaches to get the most out of their other online classes. Not every student loves learning on a video call.
- Help the parents! We’re not all experts in every subject our children are studying.
- Help students revise for exams.
The Best Sites for Academic Support Tutorials during the Pandemic
Whether your child is in primary school, secondary school, college, or even university, academic support can help them with their studies when academic establishments are closed.
Here are a few platforms where you can find tutors or academic support either online or face-to-face (if you’re allowed):
- Superprof: Over 10 million tutors teaching over 1,000 different subjects. There are thousands across the UK teaching at different levels. Many of them offer online tutoring. You can get a Student Pass for £29 a month to contact tutors.
- Sherpa: Similar to Superprof, this platform offers tutoring for all levels. Here you can get online tutors to help with schooling.
- TutorHunt: A platform offering both online tutoring. The lessons include a virtual whiteboard that the tutor and student can work on together.
- First Tutors: A platform offering online tutoring and personal tutors for a range of subjects. There’s a one-off fee of between £4.99 and £29.99 (depending on the tutor’s rate) to connect to the tutor.
Now you’re ready to enjoy academic tuition during the pandemic!
If you're looking for tutoring of any kind, check out the range of private tutors on Superprof. There are tutors for all levels and subjects from all around the UK and the world. There are three main types of tutoring available and each has its pros and cons, especially during the pandemic.
Face-to-face tutorials were often the preferred tutorial as even though they're often the most expensive, they're also the most cost-effective. In a one-on-one tutorial, the tutor can adapt their teaching approach and pedagogy to the student that they're tutoring. The extra work they put into planning the lessons is reflected in the rates. Sadly, with the restrictions in place regularly changing, it's quite difficult to know how long before you'll have to cancel any regular face-to-face tutorials.
Group tutorials are in a similar situation to face-to-face tutorials during the pandemic. While they are great for those on a budget, regularly gathering in groups isn't advised during the pandemic and a lot of tutors have stopped offering group tutorials or took them online. That said, when you can get them, they're often the cheapest type of tutoring as the cost is shared amongst all the students in attendance.
As we've mentioned, online tutorials are the best option during the pandemic. As tutors don't need to travel and can schedule more tutorials each week, they tend to charge less than the face-to-face tutorials. Furthermore, as they take place remotely, they're completely COVID-safe.
Many of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson for free so try a few out and see which one is right for you and your budget.