The pandemic is a catalyst for parents who were already skeptical of the traditional school system- and are now thinking about leaving it for good.
When we look out on the mid-pandemic landscape, we see a scary place for a sixth-grader. The past five months, however, have left parents wary of how schools might affect their children. For one thing, some kids don’t like wearing masks. And who can blame them?
COVID-19 has generated an exceptional natural experiment in worldwide education: Parents who would have never otherwise thought taking their youngsters out of school feel desperate enough to try it. In the meantime, school reopening has been quite tumultuous: In some states, the start of school has been pushed back to late September, as principals and teachers scramble to prepare for a semester split between online and in-person learning, struggling to secure the extra testing and staffing needed to safely bring kids back to class
. Now with classes once again closing their doors to most students, families, many juggling childcare, and work, are having to step in to fill the gap.
Parents with kids in primary school say they are most confident in providing some sort of physical activity for their children when they were not at school, but least confident in teaching subjects like music, drama, and art.
Meanwhile, many families spoke positively about how learning through online courses
and apps, others described challenges in navigating so many online resources.
Often, there are insufficient devices in a household, particularly if there is more than one child, or/and parents need a laptop to complete their own job-related tasks.
Many home working parents trying to teach their primary school children described "the stress of unrealistic expectations". According to a survey that came both from their managers in terms of what is probable to achieve while home-schooling and from schools regarding how much work should be completed by children.
Most families also said that keeping their kids' attention has never been so challenging. So what can be done?
Find out what kids need to know.
Losing a few weeks or months of proper schooling is one thing, but if you're facing a whole good year of remote learning or home-schooling, it pays to find out the curriculum for your kid's kids grade includes.
Every country has requirements for home-schooling. Look of your state's home-schooling laws and pay attention. For an idea of what you kid should learn, you can check various home-schooling and parenting guides
, which were created with the help of subject-matter experts and align with common underlying state standards.
Also, you can find many online home-school programs and educational websites that are offering free or reduced-price subscriptions during the pandemic crisis. If your child is in need of guidance, websites like EPIC can provide your family with support hotline.
Find a learning style that suits your family.
Everyone is different, especially when it comes to learning styles. To discover the right home-schooling method for your children, you should think about your attitude as a teacher and what best inspires or motivates your kid as a student.
For a more laid-back style, you should consider options like unschooling. As unschoolers, children are untethered from the requirements of conventional, compulsory education. That means you allow your kids to tinker with whatever resources they find helpful and explore their favourite subjects. Unschooling has been around for some time, but advocates of this unusual yet effective style, say there has been an uptick as more parents turn to home-school overall.
Data shows that it is hard to come by – yet estimates of teens and children home-schooled in the US range from 1.5 million to 2 million. Nearly one-third of children are considered unschoolers meaning their families are "facilitators", available with resources and materials, rather than top-down "teachers". This style allows no fixed curriculum, effort to reproduce traditional classrooms or course schedule. Unless, of course, their kids ask for those things.
However, if you are more organized and your kid loves following a schedule, you might enjoy something more traditional. Websites like Homeschool.com help families find the best curriculum for their kids – a handful of option allow you to experiment with various programs that keep your child motivated to learn. But remember to ask them open-ended questions about what they like to learn. Does your kid dislike reading but loves to tell stores? Or dislikes math but love to help in the kitchen? You can tailor their schedule to fit their natural drive.
Create a home-school routine
If you're looking for a home-schooling routine schedule, then you may want to decide on a plan with a family meeting or simply try to follow your kid's regular school schedule.
Bear in mind that your kid may only be able to concentrate on a task for 10 or 15 minutes. In the meantime, you should consider lots of getting outsides, movements break and sing songs when you can.
Try to stress the importance of physical space that might suit your kid. Does your child love to move a lot? Or does he like to stand? Build a fort to work in? Don't forget you have the flexibility to create your own schedule and learning environment.
Accept that there is a learning curve for you both.
Home-schooling isn't something you can get perfect at overnight. Take it as a learning experience for you both, and will, probably, have bumps. Yet that's something that you can, in the end, reinforce both your family and your kid's confidence. For instance, getting your kids used to a routine is a huge thing. After all, school is a children's job. They have less control over the situation than you, so keeping things as regular as possible is key towards keeping a secure, comforting environment during a time packed with uncertainty. We can, after all, home-school our kids with all them challenges.