Reflections on Education in Isolation
As we enter week 3 of online schooling, some parents are embracing it wholeheartedly whilst others are struggling to juggle the demands of working from home with trying to get their children to settle to a new way of learning. Our Director of Education, Fiona McKenzie, has been talking to parents and schools about how they are coping and what is working for them.
Sophie, one of our UK based education consultants, is isolating with her husband and their two boys aged 11 and 13. She has been keeping up up to date from the 'frontline' of online schooling. Sophie comments on the lack of routine as being a key challenge so she has put together a weekly timetable to help structure the days and give everyone a sense of purpose and achievement. To help other parents, Sophie has shared this on social media with links to some of the activities she is planning. Find it here.
Different schools are taking different approaches to their online schooling programmes. I particularly like the Knighton approach – this small prep school in Dorset educates children from the age of 3-13. They are focussing on learning dispositions such as optimism, independence and self evaluation and setting challenges in these areas which can be revisited on a regular basis. Click here for some of their activities and ideas.
Some of the older students we have spoken too are using it as an opportunity to get ahead and take master classes in subjects they are interested in taking at University, or are making a start on their A Level or IB subjects. Carfax education Online is introducing a range of programmes to 'catch up', 'step up', and 'master it'. These are designed to help students bridge the gap between GCSEs and A Level or IB, and building them up to University. We will be posting further information about this next week.
Taking to parents of younger children, many are seeing this as an opportunity to introduce their children to new things that they would not normally have time for. Returning to the simple pleasures of their own childhood with card games or board games or cooking with their children or doing online museum tours. We have put together a list of recommendations for you to explore and also come up with some recommendations to keep children reading.
For some families this period of time is an opportunity to reflect on what they want for their child’s education. Some are realising that home schooling their children can have many benefits and bring unexpected pleasures. We have certainly witnessed a rise in enquiries about home schooling and have written about the benefits and challenges here.
The Good Schools Guide offers wise advice, reminding us that parents are parents and not teachers and not to expect to expect too much of themselves or their children. Everyone is in uncharted territory. They also remind us that children miss chunks of schooling for all sorts of reasons and they still manage to catch up and pass all the exams they need.
In this period of uncertainty what we can be sure of is that this period of lockdown need not be a permanent blight on a child’s academic career. Whilst we cannot know what learning will look like once this is all over, what we can ensure is that children of all ages will have learnt and grown through this experience and will be ready to embrace whatever happens next.
For more information on our services and education matters, call us now on +97144385276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.