Due to the COVID situation, schools have done their best to plan for learning eventualities. To keep children and employees safe, schools have turned to virtual learning, which is a completely new paradigm for everyone involved: instructors, students, and, most importantly, parents.
We’re all figuring things out as we go. It’s similar like creating a plane while flying it.
Everyone is going through a significant transition, which is certain to cause anxiety. Virtual learning is a novel concept for many parents, and it may be scary. As a result of the epidemic, many families may be experiencing financial strain, job insecurity, or the difficulties of working from home.
The fact is that every parent wants their child to succeed in school, even if they are dealing with adversity.
The following were discovered as the top five challenges experienced by parents (of students in grades K-12) with virtual learning in a McAfee research, Distance Learning Challenges, taken in April 2020:
- 50.31 percent of parents want to keep their children focused on academics (rather than other online activities).
- Establishing a daily schedule – 49.26%
- juggling domestic duties and teaching commitments – 41.83 percent
- Setting a night-time and wake-up schedule – 33.40 percent
- Working from home while also teaching – 33.31 percent
There is no simple solution to the problems that parents have with virtual learning. We’re all figuring out how to organise our days and make the most of learning at home in the most trying of situations. This will necessitate a learn-as-you-go strategy, as well as adapting to your child’s unique needs and collaborating with them as co-stakeholders in their success.
But take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Given all the other things you’re juggling, the task may appear onerous at times, especially if one of them is a job that needs you to leave the house. We think that by learning about all the primary challenges that parents are encountering in these new times, we can foster a feeling of community and bring some comfort in knowing that we’re all figuring it out together.
The Most Serious Problems Parents Have with Virtual Learning
Parents are unsupported with the tech
Only 5% of instructors as well as parents believe they are receiving full training and support for EdTech in their schools, according to a report by EdTech start-up Promethean. It’s no surprise, then, that you as a parent feel isolated.
Everyone is getting used to their child’s school’s virtual learning interface, and many parents are likely to encounter into problems. However, if you’re having problems, chances are that many other parents are as well.
Consider starting a support group or another form of communication with other parents to discuss issues and solutions. We must assist one another as much as possible. Contact the school if the problem persists. We at harvest international school are always ready and happy to help
Encourage students to ask for assistance.
Virtual learning relies on student’s ability to focus and not get distracted. There may be instances where students may not be able to follow along and it is difficult for the teachers to identify the students who cannot follow along. So it is important to encourage students to ask for assistance whenever required and schools may even offer a few support sessions for individuals who require it.
However, many children are hesitant to ask for assistance or are unsure of what to ask for. In that instance, the student’s learning will be disrupted, resulting in an unstable foundation and long-term consequences for their education.
This is where the involvement of the parents is crucial. Giving the student a platform to practise questions based on their teachings is one thing that will assist parents in this. This accomplishes two goals:
- The answers to the practise questions will aid in determining where the student requires assistance.
- Answering questions will help students build a better foundation and the confidence they’ll need around exam time.
In their home situations, pupils have access to a variety of distractions. You can set them in front of the computer, but kids are kids, and it’s not a stretch to imagine that they’ll eventually switch to a game.
According to a 2016 study, students check their smartphones 11.43 times each day on average for “non-class purposes.” And this was in a setting where a teacher could go about and observe what was going on in order to keep the students engaged. With virtual learning, the convenience of proximity is lost. So parents should try and minimize these distraction if not completely.
Creating a home atmosphere that is conducive to learning
School is school, and home is home. Even though these venues have completely distinct vibes, children are increasingly being urged to adopt a school mentality at home.
This might be challenging, especially if everyone is at home for the entire day. And a frantic household can be extremely distracting.
Parents should do everything possible to provide a peaceful environment for their children and assist them in psychologically separating that room as a study space.
Some families may find the cost of technology to be prohibitive. A high-speed internet connection is required at the very least. For families with numerous children with a single screen at home, this can be a real dilemma: on the one hand, it’s unfair to their children; on the other hand, investing in additional machine may be financially prohibitive.
Laptop, noise-cancelling headphones, and an extra larger display are all excellent additions that could improve a child’s learning experience, if they are affordable to you.
Motivation must be monitored.
Classrooms are purposefully constructed to encourage learning, whereas bedrooms and kitchen tables are not. It can be tough to switch into “school mode” in those circumstances.
It is necessary to keep track of long-term motivation. Because a teacher on the other end of a Zoom call is unable to do so, it is frequently left to the parent. It’s a lot to ask of them to do their own job while also running the house (ensuring that everyone eats on time, etc.).
Setting clear, measurable goals with their children, and doing it on a regular basis, is one of the best thing’s parents can do to give their children something to focus on. Check in with them on a regular basis to check if they are on track to achieve their objectives.
A student may find it difficult to remain engaged at times.
Sometimes a student just can’t seem to get into a class, and without an instructor to step in and provide personal assistance, it can be a major roadblock to advancement.
Parents can play a more active role in helping pupils stay engaged. According to one study, school students benefit from chats with their parents about learning and school-related concerns, as well as shared readings.
Brain Brakes for Virtual Learning
Every student has a different attention span. This is put to the test in a virtual learning environment.
Furthermore, paying attention on a Zoom conversation, which lacks many of the emotional and physical cues that in-person training provides, places a greater cognitive strain on pupils.
Ensure that your youngster gets “brain breaks” in between classes. This time allows them to unwind and renew their minds.
Physical well-being of students
Virtual lessons are a bit of a crutch, but it’s the best that schools can do. However, this is insufficient. And, as we previously indicated, children do not get nearly as much mobility in virtual learning as they do in traditional schooling.
Physical inactivity can result in physical problems as well as a reduction in attention span and cognitive performance. On the other hand, regular physical activity during the school day can help children focus.
Encourage your children to exercise before starting school and, at the very least, after school hours. It could be a struggle since they may feel compelled to play video games as soon as school is ended. However, after a full day of doing just that, sitting down to look at a screen is not ideal!
Many kids will be absent from class. Everything they are used to has been replaced by sitting in front of a computer screen in their own home. The buzz of the classroom, meeting their friends, and the daily activities of school life – everything they are used to has been replaced by sitting in front of a computer screen in their own home. Students may develop a sense of isolation as a result of these circumstances, which might impair their capacity to study.
Maintain an open line of communication with your child regarding their emotions. If at all possible, assist them in maintaining contact with their buddies (though, let’s face it, their generation is far ahead of ours in this regard). The goal is to be present, patient, and understanding, as well as to provide as much assistance as possible.
Virtual learning has presented a slew of issues to children, which has inevitably filtered down to parents. In addition to everything else, we must make education a priority and prevent our children from viewing virtual learning as a vacation.
But we’re all in this together, and we’re all learning something new at the same time. Regardless of the precise challenges you’re dealing with, the following tips should serve as a general guideline:
- Make sure to give favourable feedback.
- Allow yourself to be patient and adaptable.
- Avoid penalising children during school events, especially if they are accustomed to positive reinforcement rather than scolding from their teachers.