The Already Slacking Second Semester Senior and the Covid Slide

If there was ever a green light for my second-semester senior in high school to take a carefree attitude towards schoolwork, it was the shift to remote learning due to Covid-19. And I can’t blame him. He watched his senior prom, senior BBQ, and bonding with his classmates all slip away. Various marathons of sorts – TV and video games, most notably -- were simply more appealing than going through the motions of school from my basement.


Fast forward just a few weeks and things are looking up! Indiana University, where he committed for college, is welcoming students back to campus in late August, his high school put on a memorable virtual graduation and fun diploma ceremony well suited for the moment, and my son is now able to envision his future away from home.

However, we’re all wondering what types of lingering effects the so-called “Covid Slide” -- the phrase now used to describe the loss of learning during lockdown -- will have on him. My best guess is that he, like many seniors, stopped making much academic progress in mid-March. Once college classes start, he will have taken some five months off from active academic engagement. This is not lost on him either, as he realizes that Calculus requires a strong foundation in pre-Calculus, and that he, admittedly, slacked off the past few months of school.

Online Resources for College Prep

So, being the nagging mother that I am, I created a list of resources for him to explore -- from math to writing, and more - to hone his skills and get ready for college. Here are some that I’d recommend:

Math-gurus united to create the Youtube channel Numberphile, which offers videos for high school and college students. With fun graphics and a sense of humor, these math whizzes can make even the most daunting topics engaging for students.

The New York Times has put together this list of writing prompts to help students consider a variety of topics and articulate their thoughts and opinions in writing.

The House Tutoring Lounge is also working with college students this summer to identify areas where they need improvement and hone their academic toolbox prior to starting college. We’re supporting them through one-on-one private tutoring and have the experts to help with most college-level courses.

My son seems happy to turn off the video games and brush off his pre-Calc book, ready to dive in again and prepare for this next phase in his academic journey. Perhaps, in a turn of events, the Covid Slide will present an opportunity for real summer academic growth.

Stay well.

Susan Pasternak is the Academic Director at The House Tutoring Lounge in Glencoe. To learn more about how The House can provide customized academic support for college students, call Susan at 847-416-3616 or email her at

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