The coronavirus pandemic did not only disrupt economies, health systems, and politics around the world. It also put education in limbo. This is especially true for third-world countries that do not have the capacity to control the spread and transmission of the virus in their schools. But in developed countries, we’re lucky enough that we can reopen classes, welcome students, and continue with the education programs.
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of sending students to school, of course. There’s the matter of students below 18 years old not having access to the vaccine because it was not made for their age group. There’s also the issue of whether it is right to let them attend face-to-face classes when they could be bringing back the virus into their homes where elderly grandparents could be living. Many facets of in-class learning are threatening to derail the education of your children. You need to help them make the right decision when it comes to choosing between online learning and face-to-face classes.
Every Family Is Different
The priority right now is to ensure the health and safety of the family. Incoming freshmen in colleges and universities are going to have a hard time deciding if they should take the classes at home or if they are going to attend classes on their campuses. If they do decide to take the face-to-face classes, that’s going to come at a price. If they are living with elderly parents or grandparents, it would be more practical for them to simply stay in their dormitories.
Besides, school administrations are also going to create a bubble of some sort in their campuses. Some universities have already started creating zones on their campuses. This means that only students from certain classes will cross these zones. This will stop the outbreak of the virus on the campuses.
But every family is still different. Letting your kids attend face-to-face classes will mean that you won’t be able to see them for quite some time. If they do decide to come home for spring break or the weekend, they should have at least been quarantined for 10 days or more. Of course, getting the vaccine will significantly change this predicament, but caution will always be demanded from students coming home from their campuses and dormitories.
But Every Student Is Different, Too
The educational needs of the students are very different, too. Some students thrive in face-to-face classes. They gain confidence in debating with their professors and classmates. They are very social, and they want to be with their peers. Yet, other students are typically shy and would do well in an online learning setting. The lack of need for socialization might put them more at ease compared to attending their classes physically.
How do you know which fits your kids best? Different learning assessments are available for you to get an idea of which program suits your kids. Younger students—those in middle school, for example—have to be assessed by the educational institutions, as well as state-mandated standards. The Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) is a suite of reading, writing, and math tests that will determine the eligibility of students from Grades 3 to 10. Each year, students from these grade levels will be required to take a reading test to determine what they learned after the completion of each program.
Could a Mix of the Two Be Possible?
Mixed learning methods, wherein students will need to attend face-to-face classes for some subjects while attending virtual classes for some, are already becoming popular on campuses. This is an option for students at all levels, although younger kids will have a hard time adjusting to the change in pace. It would have to depend on the particular institution that your kids are going to attend so that matters first and foremost when it comes to choosing the learning method to subject your kids to.
Choosing the best learning method for your kids amid the pandemic will be done in consideration of the health protocols you want to enforce in your own home. As much as you want your kids to have the best experience during their learning years, these extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and sacrifices.
The pandemic’s impact on education hasn’t been fully realized yet. So, it is up to the schools, student body, and parents to find a way to work together to stop the disruption in the learning process. Any decision you make now with regard to your kids’ education will have a huge impact on their future.