As we’ve learned over the past few years, public schools are having a hard time keeping children’s education up to traditional standards. The online schooling attempts during the covid-lockdowns left many children and parents frustrated.
In some instances, parents were told by the schools to step out of the room while their child was being instructed, which (rightfully!) didn’t go over well with most parents. Many children lagged far behind. In rural areas, some kids didn’t even have access to online learning at all. Colleges closed and abruptly ended in-person classes—leaving some students stranded and searching for work and a place to live.
The problems were many and serious. When school started up again. children were masked, separated from friends by plexiglass cages, isolated on the playground, if they even got to go outside at all. Other “precautions” took children out of normal, healthy social interactions, which are a big reason many parents choose public schools in the first place. Sports and extracurricular activities were non-existent.
A wake-up call
The year of cameras in the classroom also taught parents a lot about what teachers were actually teaching kids. They learned that teachers were teaching sensitive and controversial topics that are meant to be taught in the home—if at all. Parents were left wondering how they—and their children—could combat these issues? Many parents also realized that the things their kids were actually learning in school didn’t take all day to learn. Others found themselves frustrated that the topics were covered in an unsatisfactory way, with too little detail given, or the wrong “spin” put on important historical events.
What can be done?
The answer, of course, is for parents to educate their children at home, using their value systems and their knowledge of their own, unique child. Parents have a vested interest in their child’s education because they know them and love them and want what is best for them.
Even if homeschool isn’t an option for every family, augmenting and supplementing a child’s learning where low-performing public schools have failed is a parent’s role, and is always possible.
Every family has its own reason for supplementing public school education at home. Perhaps they want to add enrichment and depth to their child’s education that public school simply can’t offer. Or maybe a child struggles in reading or math and has to suffer the humiliation of being pulled out of class to attend “special” classes.
Supplemental learning at home gives children the opportunity to expand their natural curiosity that the classroom setting can leave unfulfilled. It can nurture a child’s creative expression that a structured school environment may stifle. Parents can provide enriched learning experiences that will benefit their child and bring family closer together even if homeschool isn’t an option.
Parents can teach self-reliance skills by giving their kids opportunities to do things for themselves—encouraging them to think things through without interruption, make a plan of action, and follow through.
Learning at home can also be an opportunity to reinforce or review lessons from school, such as reports or studying for a test. A parent can fill these needs in the loving, safe environment of their own home. Kids can get back up to grade level after the closure fiasco and the scramble by teachers and administrators to try to catch up when schools finally reopened.
A little time goes a long way
Whether you are a stay at home or a working parent, you can carve out time to supplement your child’s learning experience. Is your favorite show streaming? Put your child in that time slot, instead, and catch your show after they’ve gone to bed. Do you spend time catching up on social media when you get home from work? Can that “me time” wait until after you’ve spent time enriching your child’s education and interacting with them? Is dinner prep taking time away from you and your child? Instant pots, slow cookers, and prepping on weekends are a great way to free up your evenings and make them less stressful. Or, invite your child to help with dinner preparation and catch up while you cook!
Supplementing your child’s learning experience may sound daunting and unattainable. But, actually, it usually happens as you sit and talk to your child and learn together. Did you know that we offer an ebook full of dinner conversation starters to help level-up your at-home education and engagement?
Parents don’t have to feel inadequate or overwhelmed, but they also don’t have to settle for a substandard education for their kids just because they go to public school. A little time goes a long way in positively impacting your child’s attitude toward learning, and the quality of their educational experience.