Practical Solutions to Address Learning Loss |

Practical Solutions to Address Learning Loss

The state of education in the United States of America wasn’t great to begin with, then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The long-term effects of school shutdowns and haphazard launches of virtual learning have yet to be fully realized, however, enough data has been pouring in to cause frantic worry. It shows  that learning loss has increased post Covid-19 pandemic, especially in Mathematics. In addition, some children are no longer attending school, and absences have risen. Even teachers are frustrated and leaving their profession in large numbers. 

These are challenging times for educators and parents alike. School districts nationwide are taking drastic and necessary actions to remedy learning loss. There is no one perfect solution but a dire need for parents and their children’s schools to come together to work toward better educational programs.  Even then, we know the learning gaps may result in poor schooling experiences of our children, loss of self-esteem, rise of behavioral and emotional difficulties that may last them into their adult years, increase in high school dropout numbers, decrease in college enrollment, and difficulty in securing meaningful employment for supporting their families.1 On top of this, Education Week is reporting that 92% of parents believe that their children are doing fine and are at grade level, as surveyed by Learning Heroes.2 

As we are waking up to reality, what to do?  What can you do as a parent while your school district comes up with a solid plan of action to save the academic future of your children?

There is plenty to do!

First, make dua for your children’s academic success and ask Allah to guide you in your efforts!  Then take some practical steps to help yourselves and your school districts. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Teach your children to reach out for help when they are stuck. 

Inculcate a love of learning in them by modeling it to them. Help them build stamina against frustration and confusion that they experience when learning and emphasize the importance of asking and participating in class. You know your children more now than you did before … because you spent a year with them at home! Use the bonds that you strengthened with them to communicate academic planning. Give them encouragement, duly earned. Use the after-school hours to address any learning losses they may be experiencing. Present a positive and upbeat can-do attitude. It’s contagious!

2. Many schools are offering after-school tutoring, so sign up your kids. 

One-on-one learning is 15-20 times more effective than group learning. Look for sponsored tutoring programs in your area. If you can afford it, enroll your child in a program such as Kumon, Sylvan Learning, etc. 

3. Form a parent homework support group at your local masjid. 

Coming together with like minded parents who share the same values and concerns unites a community around a singular cause, which in this case is supporting our children. And when this support comes from the local masjid, there is an added bonus. Let's be honest, we don’t all know how to help our children with homework. Some of us are as intimidated with math as our struggling children, or we are not able to help with reading and writing assignments due to being better at a second  language than English. Workshops for parents on how to help with math homework, reading and language assignments, how to navigate technology, how to understand the curricular outlines and providing supporting learning materials for home can go a long way in filling the learning gaps of our children. Parents can also lend help with their subject areas of strength, and hold mini classes. 

4. Look for schools that offer summer learning programs. 

These are different from summer schools. Learning programs are geared toward filling skills gaps. If not offered, then ask your school to find funds in their budgets for such opportunities. (See further reading recommendations below for more details.)

5. Enroll your children in acceleration academies. 

It is now understood that students with low academic achievements benefit tremendously from participating in acceleration academies. Many high schools have waived minimum GPA requirements for Advanced Placement classes at their high schools, in order for all students to have a chance at high quality learning environment. Consider this option even if their achievement levels are not high, if your school district allows it. They may not earn high scores, but may learn to compete, acquire great study skills, and come across learning methods they may not have in their regular classes. Of course, they would need to buy in and get support under the watchful eyes of their parents, when they do take up the challenge of enrolling in a difficult class. Even though this is one option for the parents to help their children climb the academic ladder, It is good to keep in mind the intense pressure and stress students generally feel in these advanced classes.  It is not uncommon for the students in advanced classes to experience burnout. A lot of discussion and thought should go into making this decision 

6. Find learning opportunities that align with your child’s interests. 

Many community colleges and community centers offer fun learning opportunities in academic subjects for students in all K-12 grades, under youth or homeschool programs. Give them a call or visit the college’s website.

7. Search for STEM libraries in your county and neighboring counties.  

In addition to increased access to resources, some libraries have volunteers for homework help and programming that may be of interest on various topics.

8. Be on the lookout for help for yourself. 

Find out if your school or PTA offers classes for parents on how to help their children with math and Reading/Language Arts homework. 

9. Find low cost or free e-learning programs.  

Khan Academy is the best online resource for filling skills gaps and it's free. Even parents find it useful when stuck on concepts while helping their children with homework. Khan Academy has a full range of academic subjects. Time4Learning is another low-cost program that requires very little planning effort by parents. Children spending a few hours a week on these programs have accelerated gains, thus reducing their skills gaps.  

10. Ask your child’s teacher to share your child’s skills report with you. 

All public school children in the United States take standardized and growth assessments, such as STAAR in Texas and HSA/MSA/MCAP in Maryland. These tests generate a growth report which shows all the areas your child needs work and at the ones where he/she is excelling. You may ask your children’s teacher to help you understand the scores on standardized and growth tests and also use this information to develop a home help plan for your child.  

InshaAllah, God willing, with common sense and deliberate efforts you can help your child with any of their academic needs until they have caught up. Do get together with like-minded parents and engage in solution-based discussions to form concrete action plans for addressing the educational needs of all children in the community during these difficult years. These efforts will benefit not just in the near future but also may help overhaul the declining state of education in America, predating Covid-19 pandemic. 


1 Dorn, E., Hancock, B., Sarakatsannis, J., & Viruleg, E. (2021, July 27). COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning. Mckinsey. Retrieved from 

2 Peetz, C. (2022, November 15). Why Aren’t Parents More Worried About Declines in Student Achievement? Education Week. Retrieved from 

Further Reading on Academic Decline

Toolkit to Overcome Learning Loss (2021, July 14)

Test Scores Dropped in DC, Maryland, Virginia since COVID-19 Struck following U.S. Trend NBC4 Washington. Casillas, M., & Mattalian, S. (2022, October 25)

National Data: Schools See Doubling of Chronic Absenteeism Maryland Association of Counties - Conduit Street 1969. January, B. (2022, October 19)

Flexibility Or Else: Teacher Retention In The Brave New World Of Education Forbes. Perna, M. (2022, July 12)

The pandemic has undone years of educational gains in Texas schools. Here’s what the road to recovery looks like. Texas Tribune. Lopez, B. (2021, December 1)

Tayaabah Qazi has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, an AdminI/II Certification from the State of Maryland Education Department, and a Secondary Teaching Certification in Chemistry as well as a CPP certificate. She has served in the education field as a teacher and an administrator of schools. Recently, she served at Community College of Baltimore County as a Coordinator of Adult Basic Education program. Currently, Tayaabah is the Director at Prime Learning Solutions. She has been a long-time resident of Maryland for 17 years, with her family, but hails from Southern California. She is also a staunch believer of the 4 Cs: Compassion. Commitment. Conversation. Cultivation. You can read more of her works at She can also be found on LinkedIn at


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