The pandemic has upended many ways of life, and arguably, education has been one of the hardest hit areas. Many children struggled to keep up with online curriculums, schools were often re-opening then shutting down again, and both parents and educators were left frustrated trying to manage environments where working parents, school, and home life were all mixed and interfering with one another.
But it hasn’t been all bad – as the theory of evolution says (more or less), you either adapt or die. The ways in which the pandemic has changed life as we know it has spurred innovation and new ways of doing things that have been positive in the realm of children’ education. Let’s take a look at what some of the changes are.
School are developing permanent virtual curriculums
There are many reasons why a parent might choose to homeschool their children: to be more in control of their child’s education; to avoid exposure to teachings that go against their values; to better support a child with special needs, and so on. Because practically all schools had to create virtual curriculum and programming, many have chosen to continue to offer this mode of education for those parents that prefer a homeschooled set up.
A greater variety of homeschooling options have popped up
Spurred by new competition from virtual public school programming, there has been a tremendous amount of growth in private homeschooling curriculums. According to the US Census Bureau, there was a 50% increase in homeschooling during 2020. You can now find styles and programming suited to a wide range of beliefs, values, and approaches to education. From a more traditional, religious based curriculum such as Classical Conversations, to a more nature-based approach such as Blossom & Root, there are a variety of options that have arisen because of the demand due to the pandemic.
Technology is bridging previous gaps in education
It’s incredible how a tablet or laptop can change the depth and sophistication of a child’s education. The pandemic created a necessity for these electronic devices to be distributed to many families in order to receive a virtual education. Even with students back in the classroom, a tablet can allow for more advanced learning techniques and help teachers and parents better monitor their student’s progress to address any gaps, challenges or special needs. Yes, books will always be a staple in a child’s education, and parents should be mindful of screen time, but the educational use of tablets and laptops have been shown in studies to improve motivation in students and a higher grasp of concepts.
Putting parents back in control
The pandemic made it clear that parents must be ready to fight for their children to receive quality education, even if that is at home. In many ways, various issues arising out of pandemic rules have caused parents to become more involved in their child’s education, which is incredibly beneficial to a child. The more involved a parent is, the higher the chances of a child succeeding. Being in your child’s corner as regulations keep constantly changing is the best option for your child to continue to have the education they deserve, despite what may be happening in the world.
Whether you decide to send your child back to in-person learning, or keep them at home where you have more control over their quality of education, the good news is that there are more options available for parents to be more involved in their child’s education. Despite the setback experienced during the pandemic, now more than ever do parents have more options available to ensure their child is receiving the education that is aligned with the values of the home.