Until an effective vaccine for the coronavirus is available, it is not safe for all of us, especially the children, to be near one another. The unavailability of a cure or solution is why the entire world has imposed different quarantine guidelines in their countries to contain and prevent the spread of the virus.
Aside from offices, one of the most affected by quarantine guidelines is the education system. Since mass gatherings or congregations are highly discouraged, if not prohibited, schools are forced to find ways on how to conduct their classes.
Countries such as France and Korea have eased their quarantine guidelines and re-opened their schools. Unfortunately, in just a week, 70 new cases were reported in France, and these were all linked to students returning to the classroom set-up. Reports say that parents were relieved upon the re-opening of classes since adjusting to homeschooling was exhausting, mainly because they were also working from home.
Some institutions are also considering shifting to online classes. This arrangement would entail using video conferencing programs where students and teachers may conduct classes through electronic devices. Online courses would highly depend on the availability of devices as well as a reliable internet connection. In home-based schooling, parents may still need to supervise their children as they attend classes through video calls as well as reinforce their lessons.
What is the best choice for our children? How can we lessen the impact of the pandemic in their education? How can I help my children adjust to the new normal? These are just some questions that I ask myself. Of course, I want my children to get the best education there is. But is it possible in a time of pandemic?
Parents who have long practiced homeschooling have fully adjusted to this set-up. Fortunately for them, they do not have the same dilemma as the majority of us do. The ultimate question is, should I shift my child to homeschooling during the pandemic?
Here are some critical questions I asked myself as I consider making the shift:
Am I Capable?
Homeschooling can be taxing to parents. Thus, it requires dedication and the desire to succeed. Parents would have to be responsible for implementing a structure with their child and choose appropriate materials. There is also a question of whether I could teach my children complex ideas in a simple manner.
Do I Have The Time?
Homeschooling does not end with teaching your children. As instructors, we should also understand the lessons, so we should also have the time to review them. We also have to consider our children’s age group. The younger ones would require more attention. As children grow older, they become more independent and would require less supervision. You also have to take into consideration your job, chores, and other responsibilities at home.
Do I Have Enough Resources?
Modules are a big part of homeschooling. These are provided by institutions that offer homeschooling as part of their program. However, your child’s learning should not stop there. Depending on the learning curve and progress, you can design your child’s schedule and consider hiring coaches, enrolling in workshops, and other learning activities. You have to make sure that your child develops not only in academics but also in sports and socialization.
Now that we are all stuck at home, and the risk of infection is very high, we should make use of our time well. The world may have slowed down because of the virus, but learning should always be continuous. Education is not limited to academics. We can also take this opportunity to teach our children life skills that will become useful later in their lives. These skills are essential to know no matter what structure of education we choose for them.
According to Dr. Ryan Harvey, M.D., “It’s important to be flexible and adaptive when creating your homeschooling routine, and letting your kids be involved in this planning process will ensure they are engaged and willing to learn throughout the day. A routine is important, though, so consider starting your day as you would a regular school day – by getting dressed and sitting down for breakfast.”
Homeschooling has enough room for flexibility. Your child’s education can adjust to your family’s lifestyle. However, I believe that it is not for everyone. Even in times like the pandemic, we should still consider what is compatible with our lifestyle and our children’s learning style. No homeschooling is the same. We have to support whatever method children are comfortable with. We have to listen to their needs rather than imposing what we like on our children.