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COVID’s Impact on Children and Their Learning

The years since COVID-19 have been a challenging for adults and children alike. One of the most significant impacts of the COVID pandemic has been on the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. But what about learning? How has the pandemic affected kids academically? We know that learning gaps have occurred, but what do we need to know to help our children grow, learn, and thrive? Let’s take a closer look.

The Impact on Learning Gaps

Studies have shown that during lockdowns, some kids did better than before while others did worse. High achievers were able to focus more intently from home since there were fewer distractions, but kids with developmental disorders or learning difficulties had extra challenges. Impacts on learning aren’t well studied yet, but teachers noticed losses in reading and mathematics due to lack of face-to-face instruction and increased digital fatigue.

Preparing Kids for Academic Challenges Ahead

Now that all kids are back in school full time(for now!), it is important to address any academic weaknesses as soon as possible. This is especially true for children who are behind grade level or those who have difficulty keeping up with their peers academically. It is also important to take into account social-emotional needs that may affect their ability to learn effectively. If your child is struggling academically or emotionally in school right now, here are some things that can help:

  1. Talk to teachers: if your child is struggling with academics, talk to their teachers about what learning gaps they have. They may have missed some fundamentals that they can catch up on with a little extra help at home or some tutoring.

  2. Tutoring services: tutoring services can be helpful for students who need extra help catching up on material they missed during lockdowns or those who need additional support due to special needs or disabilities.

  3. Online resources: there are many online resources available today for parents looking for educational materials for their child such as websites like Khan Academy and Education Perfect which offer educational activities and games appropriate for different age groups.

The COVID pandemic has had an undeniable impact on our children’s education in ways we are still trying to understand fully today. It is important that parents remain aware of potential learning gaps caused by the pandemic so they can intervene accordingly if needed. Fortunately, there are many resources available today to help parents support their children’s academic growth - from tutoring services to mental health professionals and educational psychologists - so don’t hesitate to reach out if you think your child could benefit from additional support.

Here are the resources mentioned:

And an article that explains the process of assessing learning difficulties: Assessing Learning Difficulties


Becker, S. P., Breaux, R., Cusick, C. N., Dvorsky, M. R., Marsh, N. P., Sciberras, E., & Langberg, J. M. (n.d.). Remote Learning During COVID-19: Examining School Practices, Service Continuation, and Difficulties for Adolescents With and Without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Adolescent Health., 67(6), 769–777.

Cost KT, Crosbie J, Anagnostou E, Birken CS, Charach A, Monga S, Kelley E, Nicolson R, Maguire JL, Burton CL, Schachar RJ, Arnold PD, Korczak DJ. Mostly worse, occasionally better: impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of Canadian children and adolescents. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2022 Apr;31(4):671-684. doi: 10.1007/s00787-021-01744-3. Epub 2021 Feb 26. PMID: 33638005; PMCID: PMC7909377.

Panagouli E, Stavridou A, Savvidi C, Kourti A, Psaltopoulou T, Sergentanis TN, Tsitsika A. School Performance among Children and Adolescents during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review. Children (Basel). 2021 Dec 4;8(12):1134. doi: 10.3390/children8121134. PMID: 34943330; PMCID: PMC8700572.

Soriano-Ferrer M, Morte-Soriano MR, Begeny J, Piedra-Martínez E. Psychoeducational Challenges in Spanish Children With Dyslexia and Their Parents' Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Front Psychol. 2021 May 28;12:648000. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.648000. PMID: 34122234; PMCID: PMC8193576.

Termine, Cristiano, Dui, Linda Greta, Borzaga, Laura, et al. Investigating the effects of covid-19 lockdown on italian children and adolescents with and without neurodevelopmental disorders: A cross-sectional study. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues. 2021;No Pagination Specified. doi:10.1007/s12144-021-02321-2.


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