Was this digital school year/virtual learning experience a waste for our students?
As much of Ontario still faces extended closures due to the third wave of the pandemic, most students are attending virtual learning. Parents and students alike are at their wit’s end trying to balance their children’s online digital struggles while maintaining their own sanity. The efforts of teachers to pivot to the online curriculum in a versatile and engaging way for students across grades does not go unnoticed.
Even so, some parents believe that online schooling/virtual learning can be “detrimental” to the youngest learners with the constant time management required. Then there’s the struggle with procrastination, too much digital screen time. And a huge lack of engagement and interaction created in the online learning environment. Reflecting on a regular school day pre-pandemic, one parent references requests from her child to pick him up late from school so he can spend a few extra minutes talking to his friends. The parent noted that children are missing out on physical and verbal connections with their friends.
Parent’s are tired.
Parents address their fatigue of working around the clock; Completing household chores and attending to their children’s virtual school crises, while also try to manage a career. Trying to deal with all of these current circumstances seems to be a giant task. The shuffle between the roles of caretaker and breadwinner, definitely takes a toll on every member of the family. Clearly the pandemic has restricted us in more than one way, our mental health being one of those. After all, it’s common knowledge that ‘humans are social’, so when you take away interpersonal relations, what’s left?
Students are also struggling with adapting to a new form of education (virtual learning/digital learning), that they’ve never experienced before. Kids are so smart, and resilient but they need support! Some parents are concerned that the recent changes in their education and lack of support, may hamper the quality of their education. And concerns of lack of co-curricular activities may affect students’ motor development and physical wellbeing.
The Pandemic isn’t just a medical challenge, it’s a social one also!
We are already realizing that the pandemic is not only a medical challenge but also a social one; it has affected individuals and society alike. Causing anxiety, stress, and high levels of frustration for everyone. According to healthcare professionals, anxiety and heavy amounts of frustration have increased among children and parents alike. Parents are concerned about their new work-from-home lifestyle, while also monitoring their children’s virtual learning. And, this has left parents feeling like they are juggling two full-time jobs. While we know this is causing a mental strain on parents, it is also causing physical problems. Aches and pains, especially in the neck and upper back are now their constant companions, along with headaches. In these circumstances, emotional outbursts are common. We already know that a parents emotional state can directly affect the state of the chid’s mental and emotional well-being. So with all this stress and uncertainty, what can parents do?
Some children are doing exceptionally well despite these challenges brought on by this new form of education, like virtual learning. So, what do we do with the ones who are struggling academically? We certainly don’t want these children blaming themselves for not being able to stay on track with their peers. How can we help both the students, and the parents during such an uncertain and emotionally straining time?
All of it can be a lot to handle for parents and students alike.
Check out these four simple tips to help your student finish off the school year on a positive note.
Finish off the digital virtual school year with positivity:
- Create the best space possible for your student. Having a distraction-free space can help to keep your student focused during their online classes.
- Establish Rules and Goals. Build boundaries around screen-time so that they are not always on a device.
- Set up daily routines. Maintain good morning routines, starting the day off right will help to build positive momentum for the day.
- Focus on the relationship with your child. Be open, listen and look for cues of your students mental and emotional health and well-being.
Children learn their very best when they are genuinely curious about what they are learning about.
Check out some of our Special Interest Units for summer learning activities for your child this summer.
Here’s another blog that might just help you, it’s about homeschooling through those tough days!