March 13, 2020, changed education forever. This day marked the beginning of remote learning worldwide. Educators scrambled to turn their homes into classrooms. Parents adjusted their daily routines to become in-home school staff. Students were instantly homeschooled. No recess, no in-person lunch socializing with friends. Everything came to a screeching halt for the health and safety of humanity. During this time, many have pushed for students to return to school for various reasons. Many need the personal touch of their teachers. Some struggle with the lack of socializing. Others are subject to an unstable learning environment.
The focus has been on the downside of remote learning for students. Yet, there are some good things about it.
- For starters, students can work at their own pace. Self-pacing can help develop independence and increase problem-solving skills. It also allows them to master their interests first and focus more on areas where they struggle. Self-pacing also develops quality time management skills. A skill they will need for the duration of their lives.
- No bullying zone. Remote learning has kept many students from in-person bullying. A lot of children silently suffer from daily browbeating. Homeschooling has shielded them from teasing by their peers. And believe it or not, many adults tease children too. Staying home relieves the pressure kids feel when they are in school. There is no direct competing and no feelings of shame. They are free to be themselves and develop who they will become.
- Older students can work and attend classes. Since the start of the pandemic people have lost wages. Many high schoolers are working to help supplement the family income. They are also supporting themselves financially. Online classes allow them to fulfill educational needs. It also helps them assist in maintaining the home front.
- Parents can support their children in a new way. Homeschooling has shown parents who their children are as students. It is also given a sneak peek into the tasks of teachers. While this transition was difficult, it gave parents a chance to see how their children learn. Hopefully, many took notes while home with their scholars. Maybe this experience will provide better support when everyone returns to the classroom.
- It avoids unseen barriers. There are several things parents and students struggle with. From finding clean clothes to reliable transportation. Remote learning has ended some hurdles people face. While certain struggles have not ended, it still allows students to attend school.
- Kids can learn from peers in other countries. Teachers can plan lessons structured around different cultures. To take things a step further, they can work on connecting with students across the globe. Safely of course.
The pandemic has revealed so much about education that was already known. However, everyone has a better insight into what is really needed. Education is something that has always gone undervalued. As many prepare to return to the classroom, hopefully, this will change.
Liz Lampkin is a Lifestyle, Love, and Relationships writer. Follow her on social media @Liz_Lampkin.