My Children Fell Behind During the Pandemic. What Can I Do?

Sep 29, 2022 2:15:20 PM


Hey Shawnta!

My children fell behind during the pandemic and I don't see our school helping them catch up. I don't have money for private tutoring. What can I do?


Panicked Pandemic Parent


Hi, Panicked Pandemic Parent —

I’m so glad to hear that you are actively involved in your children’s education and that you want to take action. Making sure your children catch up should not cost you money.

Start With the School

I know you said that school isn’t helping, but still — start with the school. Say, “I don’t see any tutoring options for my children. Are there some community partners the school is working with to provide free tutoring?” If the school provides the resource, the problem is solved. If not, ask, “Are you providing academic intervention during the day?” or “When will free tutoring be offered?”

Once you have the information you need, you can get your children into the right program(s) and help them get back on track as soon as possible. 

Research Online Resources

If the school isn’t helpful after asking specific questions, look into the online resources available. If internet access is an issue, check with your public library to see when you can have your children access information online at the library.

  • IXL offers free questions in multiple subjects each day.

  • Khan Academy has free courses your children can use, covering all grade levels and multiple subjects.

Speaking of the library, if your children don’t have a library card, get them one. Have your children check out both the book and the audiobook so they can listen as they follow along in the text.

Remember, it is the teacher’s job to ensure your children are successful. Engaging with the school about tutoring will let the school know that you mean business about your children learning and that you are willing to work with your children outside of school.

Hopefully, this information alleviated some of your panic.



Shawnta S. Barnes

Shawnta (Shawn-tay) S. Barnes, also known as Educator Barnes, is a married mother of identical twin boys. She navigates education from not only the educator’s perspective but also the parent’s perspective. She has been an educator for nearly two decades. Shawnta works with K-12 schools, universities, & education adjacent organizations through her education consulting business Blazing Brilliance. She is an adjunct college professor, supervises student teachers, Indy Kids Winning Editor-in-Chief, Brave Brothers Books Co-founder, & CEO, and Brazen Education Podcast host. She holds five education licenses: English/language arts 5-12, English to speakers of other languages P-12, library/media P-12, reading P-12, and school administration P-12, and she has held a job in every licensed area. Previously, she has served as a school administrator, English teacher, English learners teacher, literacy coach, and librarian. She won the 2019 Indiana Black Expo Excellence in Education Journalism Award. In 2023, she completed her doctorate in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education with a minor in Learning Sciences. She is an urban gardener in her spare time and writes about her harvest-to-table journey at To learn more about Shawnta, visit

The Feed


  • Why Math Identity Matters

    Lane Wright

    The story you tell yourself about your own math ability tends to become true. This isn’t some Oprah aphorism about attracting what you want from the universe. Well, I guess it kind of is, but...

  • What's an IEP and How to Ensure Your Child's Needs Are Met?

    Ed Post Staff

    If you have a child with disabilities, you’re not alone: According to the latest data, over 7 million American schoolchildren — 14% of all students ages 3-21 — are classified as eligible for special...

  • Seeking Justice for Black and Brown Children? Focus on the Social Determinants of Health

    Laura Waters

    The fight for educational equity has never been just about schools. The real North Star for this work is providing opportunities for each child to thrive into adulthood. This means that our advocacy...