distance learning

Learning Loss: The Summer Slump is Now COVID Slide

The tutoring business is booming after schools switched to distance learning

NBCUniversal, Inc.

With plans for in-person learning at schools in a state of flux, there is one business that is booming. The tutoring business.   

Mathnasium is a center where tutors help students with math at various locations. Besides doing online tutoring, Mathnasium also offers in-person, one-on-one tutoring at its centers, which now has plexiglass at each desk, and has been reconfigured to accommodate social distancing.  

Business has increased, according to franchisee and executive director Karen Lossing.

“There are studies every year that track summer learning loss in just summer break, and now they have what they call the COVID slide," Lossing said.

She expects business will continue to grow as students continue distance learning.

“Especially now since plans are in place, as far as how schools are going to be handled, parents are taking a little bit more ownership of ' How I am going to help my kid?'”

Instead of the summer slide, it's the COVID slide.

Karen Lossing, Executive Director of Mathnasium

Another tutoring company, Tutor Doctor San Diego County, is also growing, according to president and co-owner, Chris Lien.

“We’re finding a shift. Before, a lot of it was homework help and academic coaching,” said Lien. “Now, it’s much more program management, and really helping, not only students but the parents grapple with this new distance learning," he said.

But tutoring costs money and Lossing, a former teacher, worries about' the academic divide.

“The kids who are struggling, are they going to continue to struggle? And at what point does it become defeating because you're so completely lost, you don't know where to begin?” she said.

Mathnasium offers some scholarships. Tutor Doctor San Diego County offers group tutoring, where parents and students who know each other can share the cost.

Depending on the kind of tutoring -- private, in-home, or at a center, tutoring cost can be an average of $35 to $55 per hour. Mathnasium is a center where students usually come to the tutors. The cost is between $25 to $35 an hour.

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