Parents in the United States are presented with the dilemma of deciding what to do with their children’s education during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are one of these parents, below is a list of choices you can consider making, and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Don’t do anything until school starts. This choice suggests that as a parent, you can relax and allow your child to ‘be a child.’ Let him play, do his usual play activities, and just wait for school to resume. This is an excellent time for children to do what they want.
Advantage: You won’t feel the extra stress of planning what your child needs to do or learn. For all you know, he might even learn more by letting him be.
Disadvantage: If you let your children choose what to do, they might end up not using their time wisely. Some would rather spend hours in front of the television watching cartoons or playing video games, or they may even be into phone apps that are not safe for them to use.
Look for a well-structured homeschool program on the web. During this time, many parents may be already searching through the internet for homeschool programs that are age-appropriate for their kids. Homeschool programs have various guidelines depending on their platforms, and as responsible parents, you need to choose wisely. If you prefer your children to learn while practicing religious routines, you can enroll them in a program that incorporates Bible studies in between subjects. If you think they’ll do better learning about practical stuff, then find a program that combines teaching cooking, cleaning, or gardening.
Advantage: Homeschooling is very advantageous to children and even parents who prefer to be able to monitor their children closely. Their programs are mostly well-organized and easy to navigate, especially now that most are making them available online.
Disadvantage: A lot of these programs are expensive, and if you decide to shift to a school setting, your child might have difficulty adjusting. Also, your child might end up getting stuck in a program that doesn’t fit his needs.
Ask guidance from your child’s school and stick to the school’s curriculum. This suggests that you call your child’s school administrator or teacher and ask what materials they use for teaching and if they can be made available online. This is probably the only choice you have, particularly if the school discourages you from following other programs.
Advantage: The school is with you in educating your child and is obliged to foresee his performance. This also places lesser stress on you as a parent. You would just have to make sure that you follow through at home, ensuring that he is doing his homework and projects.
Disadvantage: If the school has no available resources online, it will be difficult for your child and for you too. This will make a virtual school impossible, and your child may not be able to continue learning and coordinating with his teachers and administrators.
Make your own homeschool program. This last choice may need extra effort from you, especially if you’ve had no formal training as a teacher. Still, as a mother and as your child’s first teacher, you will surely be able to do your best in setting a place and a system that will help your child maximize his learning and creative skills and even some of the areas that the school has not addressed.
Advantage: It’ll be a great bonding time for you and your child while you can do what you need to do at home. Also, your home will become your child’s place of comfort as well as his place of learning. You can purchase books online and learn together, exploring the many things that have to be discovered. You can also teach your child activities that he can do daily, like cooking, cleaning the house, gardening, and a lot more.
Disadvantage: It sounds exhausting for parents – and it IS exhausting. It adds more stress to those who are raising their children on their own, working to earn and doing the household chores at the same time. Additionally, your credentials might make you feel uncertain of what you are teaching your child.
If you are having a difficult time choosing between the four options, you can try combining them by selecting the best parts and then creating a robust learning program for your child. Ultimately, you know your child, so go with your intuition as a parent. Good luck!