“And all at once summer collapsed into fall.” These words, attributed to the eternally witty Oscar Wilde, pretty much captures the mood of the waning days of August. Suddenly, and without warning, you may notice a new nip in the morning air and perhaps even some mottled foliage on the trees.

Of course, there is also another hurdle to consider as students head back into the classroom this fall: the ongoing pandemic and its continuing impacts on students who have now experienced so many months of disruption to their normal school routines.

The multiple transitions between online and in-person learning, coupled with a very different classroom experience replete with social distancing and masking protocols, have no doubt taken their toll on many students. Some may have experienced learning loss in one or multiple subjects; others may be less confident of new concepts learned in a more independent, virtual environment; still others may have struggled to remain fully engaged, especially without the extracurricular activities and other social benefits of regular school life.

And these challenges may persist, even as this year promises something of a return to “normal.” Needless to say, staying on top of it all can certainly be a daunting task - in any school year, but especially in this one.

For some students and their families, tutoring has emerged as an enormously valuable tool in these pandemic times. Students with less developed organizational skills, for example, can benefit from regularly scheduled tutoring sessions that help them prioritize tasks and implement effective study plans. With this type of ongoing support, students can avoid those dreaded situations in which assignments are completed at the last minute, and in a rush, and with tears of frustration all around. Sound familiar?

For other students, ongoing tutoring support reinforces the key concepts taught each week in class, thus ensuring that problems, if they do arise, are caught and rectified early. Too often, students wait until far into the academic year and even right before the final exam period to address learning gaps that began to accrue many months earlier. At that point, the “gap” may be more of a “chasm” and difficult to remedy in the remaining weeks of the school year. Remember the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and seek help early if your child begins to flounder.

Finally, some students prefer a more targeted approach - organizing some intensive review sessions directly before a scheduled test, or meeting with a tutor to brainstorm ideas for an imminent project or essay.

While all of these learning needs were certainly relevant before the current pandemic, they are especially so now, given the many academic and personal challenges of the past eighteen months.

As always, Forest Hill Tutoring is here to help. Together, we can ensure a successful return to the classroom, for this year and beyond!