Home-schooled Part One
In our post, How are you managing the new task of parent and makeshift home-school teacher, we talked a bit about the newfound responsibility of parents who home-schooled children. While this time has given parents lots of headaches, it’s also been full of life lessons. Parents and teachers are doing the best they can. Some of us realize that we could do better; others are administering their last ounce of patience. Wherever you fall on the line, we sure aren’t judging you. Remember, they’re life lessons. You live, and you learn.
Last week, in our post, Chronicles of a real teacher, virtually home schooling your kids, a teacher chronicled their experience over a few weeks leading up to the first week of home quarantine. It was very entertaining for our readers, so I thought it would be interesting to take it further by asking family members, friends, and teachers about this new experience they are mitigating. I got so many great responses that it is too much to spill it all in one post. So, dig into this four-part miniseries, “Home-Schooled”, and enjoy!
Over eighty percent of parents responded that they had never home-schooled their children before, and sixty-seven percent of them are even enjoying it. While it’s no easy feat, most are managing to the best of their abilities and patience with the tools that they have. Although not surprising, only three percent of the parents who responded said they would consider home schooling in the future.
What is the most frustrating part of home-schooling for you?
Helping my child stay focused.
“Getting my child to understand that she needs to listen to me when it comes to what activity we are doing. She doesn’t understand that the teacher chose this activity and that we have to follow along. Mind you; she’s a kindergartner, though!” If you are a parent, I’m sure you’ve been there at some point. Getting kids to listen can feel like you are standing at the bottom of Mt. Everest looking up. Not all kids love school, and now that they are home, it can be even more of a challenge for them.
With so many external diversions to take their attention away, the most common answer among parents was, in fact, getting their kids to concentrate and get their work done. Remember that teachers spend years studying and researching ways to best help students comprehend the materials presented to them. They continue learning throughout their tenure to keep up to date with new studies and methods. As a teacher, I’m not always 100% successful. Being a home-school parent is never easy. Dear parents, don’t be too hard on yourselves. Oh, and don‘t let your kids fool you either. They have the determination to do things they really want to do, you have the patience to keep on top of them to get their work done. It’s is a learning experience, and it’s only temporary. Just do the best you can.
Learning to use online platforms, both teachers and students
One teacher said, “I have 132 students on my roster. I’m just starting this, and communication by phone and email is frustrating.” Online teaching is a new method for many teachers, as far fetched as it may seem, not all teachers present materials using online platforms. Teachers have been scrambling to choose which online platforms will work best for their students and learning how to use them on the fast track. Working out all the kinks takes time and testing. The internet can be an excellent tool that connects people all around the world, but the reality is that internet usage has gone up by fifty percent in the past month, and not all of us have a fiber-optic cable. Some factors are just out of our control.
Going at it alone
Unfortunately, too many parents are facing this situation alone. Along with many other professionals, teachers across the world have been laid off due to the coronavirus disease. For the most part, activities have been emailed or placed online for students to work out at home. Lamentably, if you are one of those parents who is facing this situation alone, now more than ever, a routine is vital to making out of these next few months alive and well. Oh, and don’t be ashamed to Google the answer. If Google doesn’t know, there are hundreds of home schooling groups on Facebook, look for answers there. Keep calm and carry on.
Playing the blame game doesn’t help anybody
Forty percent of parents noted that their child’s teacher was doing a fabulous job, and another forty noted that teachers were doing the best they could. Just twenty percent said that things were a bit chaotic. Remember, none of us had a heads up about the global pandemic taking kids out of school. This response is worth noting as it is 100% true and easy to be overlooked by frustrated parents. “There wasn’t enough time for teachers to get things together for us to help these students further as well as not enough hands-on paperwork and book use.” The majority of parents really appreciate the work that teachers are doing and think that teachers merit a pay raise.
“I receive 140 mail messages every day, and I’ve noticed that some of my students don’t know how to use the platform, even though I have explained many times,” explained one teacher. You know how easily kids’ minds can stray and how hard it can be for them to focus and listen sometimes. We can’t always blame the teacher. It’s a new scenario for educators, new for parents, and new for students. May I say, it’s not ideal for teachers either. Let us all take a deep breath; we will eventually all get the hang of things.
Things will get better in the days to come.
Stay tuned for part two of our miniseries, Home-schooled.
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on!”Franklin D. Roosevelt