An opportunity to learn something

I homeschooled each of my kids for a year. Well, except for August, who was expelled halfway through (family joke but also true).

My version of homeschooling was closer to unschooling. I had a blast and for the most part so did my kids. And, best of all, it did not put them at a disadvantage academically.

Were my kids yet young, there is no way in hell they’d be returning to a classroom this fall.

I understand this is complicated. Parents need to work and teachers don’t want to be out of a job either. However, bottom line, I just don’t feel it’s safe.

There is a potential solution. Education has never been equal or even adequate for many. Had I felt that it was, I would not have homeschooled nor would I have sent my youngest to an exceptional boarding school.

What if time and energy went into developing a universal curriculum? And then identifying those who are going to need additional support (whether it is supervision/childcare or access to technology). Teachers would keep their jobs but the way in which they engage with their pupils would necessarily change.

It would be an experiment of sort but just as medicine is having to adapt to the pandemic, I believe education can as well. My own experience would suggest that worst case scenario, less harm is going to be done (educationally speaking) than one might imagine.

In fact, there is the opportunity to better identify and address disparities, while also keeping our children safe. And it likely would not be that difficult to assemble a group of volunteers to work with teachers to meet children’s needs.

There is the very real possibility of reinventing education—not a bad thing. A school itself is secondary in this equation. The focus should be on best (safe) practices and finding ways to keep children interested and engaged. This is a brave new world and helping our youth adjust to this stark reality might just be the best lesson of all.

4 responses to “An opportunity to learn something

  1. This so true! As the mom to a special needs kid, I can say that the system has largely been an abysmal failure during COVID with the exception of services I provided or payed for out of pocket (1 on 1 therapy and tutoring). I begged for an education and was given nothing useful. I also home schooled each of my 3 for 1 year, and only wish I could afford to fully home school my son. Safety needs to be first and foremost, and I am afraid that it is not being given the serious consideration that our children deserve. We will see COVID cases rise, and that is terrifying. As always, your post spoke to me. Thank you for always knowing just how to say in
    complete eloquence what I am thinking!

  2. artisticcrewe

    What if the family has only one computer and many children? What if they cannot afford a tablet or device for each child for schooling? what about social contact? What about exercise? There are some disparities in this plan, but overall, I like it.

  3. Linnea, I couldn’t agree with you more having been a teacher on every level from Kindergarten (an all time favorite!) to Grad school, there is and can be a universal way. However…this would require a truly free, open economically and racially equal and accepting society. Sadly, as you know, we are nowhere near that. For now though we should not open schools as this will quite frankly further exacerbate the situation!

  4. I love your thinking. Not sure how it would look, but I agree entirely that we must re-think the delivery of education.

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