“A good education is the greatest gift you can give yourself or anyone else.” – Mahtab Narsimhan
Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in almost every way. With lockdowns impacting social, economic, educational, and medical facilities in almost every country around the world, the consequences will be felt for years to come. Job losses and economic recession have already begun to invade our lives.
With educational facilities closed to prevent large scale exposure in communities across the country and the world at large, homeschooling or virtual learning is the norm. In this new normal, parents are grappling with balancing working from home (or outside of the home) while still doing their best to ensure that their child is receiving the best education possible. However, this new normal presents with its challenges not just because of the difficulties that come with balancing everything, but also the child being able to attend to the computer screen for learning instead of being able to do their own leisure activity or just the simple fact that the child struggles with attending overall.
Faced with these struggles, parents are trying to figure out what is the best educational option for their child at this time. Below are the presumed pros and cons of each educational option to hopefully help parents with their decision of how to move forward during this time.
In-Person Schooling – In some parts of the country, in-person schooling is currently an option. More specifically areas where COVID-19 cases are low in the number of schools that have an abundance of resources that can effectively conduct schooling in a socially distant manner. This option is a definite pro for children who do need to be in the school setting in order to attend. Other pros that present with this option children are still able to interact with their peers in a socially distant manner, parents can return to work, and your child’s IEP can be upheld according to how it is currently written. The cons of this option are that your child needs to adjust to the change in the environment (i.e. the spacing of desks, everyone wearing masks) and the uncertainty of contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Homeschooling – Homeschooling can seem daunting for many parents because “you’re not a teacher.” Consider this quote by Charlotte Mason “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” You don’t need to be a teacher of a degree to be your child’s educator. You can teach your child and maybe at times even better than any professional can. Why? Because you already know your child. You know their quirks, their strengths, their joys, you know them in and out. Using a homeschooling curriculum such as the Charlotte Mason method you will be surprised to see how your child soaks up knowledge in such a short period of time. The pros of homeschooling are that you can give your child the attention he/she needs and make the necessary accommodations with having to advocate a school system. The cons of homeschooling are if you have other children that also require your attention you may be interrupted during learning and it also presents an issue for working if you don’t have additional support.
Virtual Learning – Virtual learning despite being new to the vast majority of students, has been the schooling method for many students for over a decade now. Students who prefer learning from the comfort of their homes have been learning in this way for a while now. With virtual learning now being the new norm for over for at least 50% of the nation’s students, teachers and students alike are adjusting. The pros are flexible with time and location. Whether the family chooses to take a vacation or send the kids to the grandparents for a week, the school can always follow. The cons that present unfortunately are lack of dependable technology (laptop and/or internet), student’s time management skills, and distractions in the environment where the learning is taking place.
The pros and cons listed in this blog are not exhaustive but meant to serve as the beginning of aspects to take into consideration when determining what is the best course of action moving forward for your child’s education.
Stay safe and Happy Learning!