Just like many other parents I have been educating my children from home throughout the lockdown (11 weeks so far). This has brought me many challenges, but for the most part, I have actually enjoyed teaching my children. Now that the lockdown has been lifted and schools are reopening for students I am seriously questioning whether I should send them back and not because of the virus; but the standard of education being delivered from this ‘outstanding’ school.
In March the UK government closed the schools and the whole country went into lockdown. I think it’s safe to say that during this time we were all consumed with hearing the horrors of how quickly the virus was spreading and awaiting the latest death toll figure. Therefore children’s education was somewhat sidelined.
At the beginning I was thinking they would be at home for a couple of weeks; I personally just wanted to ensure that the children had enough light educational activities to get on with so that they wouldn’t be glued to the plethora of devices in the house. However, that didn’t last long and I admit that even at present it is a constant battle!
After 3 weeks at home and with the UK government extending the lockdown; for me it was time to get serious about ensuring the children wouldn’t fall behind academically. So I began to assess their educational needs: finding out what they found easy or difficult and how they liked to learn (we all learn in different ways) etc. Previously I had for the most part left this to the teachers in the schools as I assumed as professionals they knew best! I was wrong. Being able to implement a more relaxed and creative learning environment has definitely been beneficial and I have seen positive results.
I must add that my children have had a relatively good experience at school, they enjoy going and are achieving academically.
Really what more could I ask for?
But bursting classes of 30 students, 1 teacher and maybe a teaching assistant, will never deliver the kind of well thought out person-centered education that individual children need. Children need that one to one time to learn not just given worksheets to get on, with and end of term assessment to ‘prove’ they are learning.
For me I have seen much improvement in my children’s educational levels whilst being at home; however, I know this has not been the same for everyone. Before this pandemic I thought I would never home school my children, my view on this has dramatically changed.
Maybe part-time schooling is a way forward, a real mixture of classroom based learning and one-to-one tutoring.
Previously published on “A Parent Is Born”, a Medium publication.
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