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How Parents Can Tackle Students’ Unfinished Learning

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has disrupted learning. Since the winter break, students, parents, and teachers have encountered unexpected school closures, quarantines, Zoom fatigue, and staff turnovers that have impacted learning even further. And for students with disabilities and learning challenges, getting the services and accommodations they need has been difficult.

Recent Headlines Tell the Story

  • Staffing Shortages are Hurting Students Who Need Extra Reading Support
  • Schools Ask for Volunteer Teachers to Avoid Remote Learning During Omicron Surge
  • Parents of Students with Disabilities Try to Make Up for Lost Year 

According to a report by McKinsey & Company – COVID-19 and education: the lingering effects of unfinished learning – the impact of the pandemic on K–12 student learning has been significant, leaving students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the 2021 school year.

What does this mean for your child? Has their reading and learning decreased during the pandemic? Are you filling in more to support your child’s learning at home? Are you worried that your child is falling further and further behind?

From Impossible to Possible

Bookshare is the essential reading tool for struggling readers to make it through the pandemic and beyond. It provides students with the reading materials they need for the classroom (plus millions of other interesting and engaging books), paired with assistive reading features that allow them to read with less intervention from parents or teachers. How does Bookshare support struggling readers (and their parents)?

  • Support learning during COVID – Whether class takes place at school or home, students can access their assigned books and read in ways that work for them with ebooks in audio, audio + highlighted text, braille, and large font. 
  • Catch up and accelerate learning – Unlike print books, PDFs, and other ebooks that lack accessibility and assistive reading features, Bookshare allows students to focus on comprehension and learning, rather than struggling to decode, see the text, or physically manage books.  
  • Make parents’ lives easier – Bookshare saves parents time and energy. They can access their child’s books in one place and let them read on their own with less parent intervention. 

“My seventh-grade son is doing well reading with accessible books. He passed his Accelerated Reading tests with a 100% for comprehension. Using reading technology, he can see highlighted words and hear text read aloud. He can choose font size, background colors, and rate of speed. He’s even given up video games and sets his alarm to wake up early to read before school. Amazing!”  –Lisa R., mom

Bookshare Was the Breakthrough Megan Needed

“Every night, the tension mounted for Megan to complete her reading assignments. The books she is assigned to read are too high of a lexile level. It was an absolute source of stress,” says her mom, Jenny. “Megan did not comprehend what she read and the vocabulary was difficult. I felt she had no time to be a normal child. When her teacher introduced her to Bookshare, our lives changed. Bookshare has made a tremendous difference for our family. I wish our school would have had access to it earlier because many kids, like Megan, fall through the cracks.”

Free Resource for Struggling Readers

Bookshare is a FREE, federally funded library of ebooks designed for students with reading barriers such as dyslexia, blindness, or cerebral palsy. Students who struggle to read traditional books are empowered to read in ways that work for them with specialized ebooks in audio, audio with highlighted text, large font, and braille. Paired with popular reading tools, Bookshare helps struggling readers by engaging them with high interest ebooks in formats that make reading easier.

“Got my son’s Bookshare account activated last Friday, and he’s already read the first in Sayantani ‘s The Serpent’s Secret series, and the last in Tracey Baptiste’sThe Jumbies series (he read the first two verrrry slowly). Bookshare is a game changer for him!” –Lindsey, mom

Mario Oliveros contributed to this article.

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