The Pandemic Ditch

How Tutoring Can Dig Your Child Out of an Academic Slump

Parents are worried and students have been frustrated that the return to school last fall didn’t end up being the academic catch-up they had hoped for. Ongoing pandemic precautions, Covid-19 illness, and lack of continuity have disrupted “the plan” and interrupted achievement. So how do we proceed?

A new study is pointing to online tutoring as a possible remedy. As a 1-on-1 tutoring service, Pacific Learning Academy already knows about the improvements in understanding (and scores) after the attention of a dedicated, in-person instructor for middle and high school math, reading, science, foreign language, etc… However, this new study also supports what we are seeing after we switched to online support a year ago and continue to work with students via Zoom today.

The research team specifically looked at volunteer tutors as a way around lack of funding by both students and the school districts that serve them. Their randomized pilot program showed continued improvement after only a few lessons with online tutors (most received just one lesson per month in the study, on average) and the evidence was suggestive that more tutoring would yield even stronger results.A hand coming out of a hole

Previous research had already pointed to intensive tutoring as an effective boost to academic achievement and learning, especially in person, with qualified tutors. Academy tutors meet students in their homes in Sammamish and Issaquah, at local libraries, or at our school office in Sammamish. Now we know, thanks to this study, that outside support in the form of online tutoring can help students dig out of the pandemic learning hole.

One note: Many parents have shared that they are seeking in-person tutoring because their child (and family!) has had enough of online “learning” these past two years. What we have seen at the Academy is that there is a huge difference between an online classroom with cameras-off anonymity and the personal rapport that builds with one-on-one tutoring with a dedicated and qualified instructor who knows your child, their interests, and their particular struggles in math, physics, English, history and more. I personally love using Zoom because I can easily show video, use the white board annotation, record the lesson so the family can access it, work collaboratively, and show my mouth while I’m pronouncing Spanish. In-person lessons necessitate a mask and distance (at least at the moment) and it’s not quite as easy to share documents and follow up.

While this particular study used untrained college volunteers (and still saw progress), Pacific Learning Academy hires degreed tutors, often with teaching certifications, masters’ degrees or PhDs. They are professionals who are then additionally trained by the Academy in study skills, learning styles, the study cycle, and more. A 100% guarantee that your student likes their tutor further increases the odds of climbing out of the pandemic ditch, whether you choose to meet in your home in Sammamish or Issaquah, our school office in Sammamish, a local library or online (anywhere!).

We’ll bring the ladder and celebrate with you as your student climbs out of the pandemic ditch!


Want to hear more about Accredited Middle & High School classes, academic support (Tutoring), The SAT/ACT Diagnostic Comparison Test, or test prep?


Pacific Learning Academy is a one-on-one school offering single courses and dual enrollment, as well as full-time middle and high school. Pacific Learning Academy is Washington State Approved via the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI — see listings HERE) and a nationally Accredited private school via AdvancED/Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). High School coursework is approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). We also offer tutoring in all subjects from 6th to 12th grade, including test prep, either in-home or local libraries across the Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, etc…).

February 20, 2022
Pacific Learning Academy