If you’re a parent, you may be struggling to decide whether or not you want your child to return to school during the pandemic. You may not feel that learning from home is the best option for your child or may want them to have access to a higher level of support for their individual needs. Every brain receives information differently, and some simply have a harder time learning at home. Given the challenges posed by the pandemic, you may be questioning the use of attempting to stick to the normal education-to-employment you and your child may have discussed. You want the best for your child, which can make it difficult to weigh their academic success against the risks of safety and contagion.
The Pros and Cons of Virtual Learning
Remote learning has posed challenges to students and their families throughout the pandemic, causing some to question how soon it will be until the practice subsides. Remote learning can complicate life for parents who must now balance working from home with overseeing their child’s education. Learning from home can make it harder for students to stay motivated, causing them to be less driven than they would be in person. Virtual learning has made it harder for teachers to assess the personal progress of their students, having to rely much more on the completion of assignments as indicators of success.
This is not to say that virtual learning doesn’t work. Students who are more introverted, responsible, diligent, or independent may thrive in these circumstances. While it may pose challenges for some, remote education has also changed the ways that some students learn for the better. Some have found virtual learning particularly enjoyable and effective for students in 11th and 12th grades who are already becoming more independent. Students on their way out of high school and looking towards college may find virtual learning allows them to sharpen their decision-making and time management skills. It can also provide the chance for them to spend more time focusing on their futures, saving up for their goals, or working. Learning in a remote environment can also help young adults develop the skills they’ll need for future employment and collaborative efforts, which are likely to involve similar circumstances to some degree.
The Pros and Cons of In-Person Learning
The benefits of in-person education can help form the foundation of adolescence.
Attending a physical school can give students the chance to spend more one-on-one time with their teacher, participate in group discussions augmented by human interaction, and experience higher rates of motivation to work more thoroughly and at a faster pace. Some students may find it easier to gain a deeper understanding of the materials when learning in person and may have greater access to educational resources specific to their course material. If your child is confused, the teacher needs only look at their face to know that they need help. Perhaps most importantly, in-person learning can allow your child to connect with other students, solve problems, and develop relationships with people of all backgrounds. The meaningful friendships that students build in school serve as a crucial part of their self-development and should not be overlooked.
Of course, the main reason to avoid in-person learning is because of the ongoing global pandemic that has spread to nearly 30 million people in the United States alone. While restrictions can be put in place, human error and varying levels of commitment mean that allowing your child to return to school makes them subject to human error, varying levels of commitment to standards, negligence, and complications that could be avoided by staying home.
From the Teachers’ Perspective
Virtual learning can cause some teachers to become discouraged. It may make them feel as though they can’t do their jobs properly, or as though they can’t fairly assess a student’s progress without providing the complete educational experience necessary to help them succeed. Given the length and intensity of the pandemic, it can be difficult for some teachers to accurately gauge how useful it is to stick to ‘normal’ when preparing their students for college and adult life.
On the other hand, some teachers have been able to make virtual learning serve their students as much as possible. Like any new technology or circumstance, virtual learning can present opportunities for creative new approaches to education. Some simply prefer teaching from home because they don’t want to put themselves, their families, and their students at risk. Many have adopted the mentality that, while imperfect, virtual learning is a safeguard against preventable harm.
Every parent wants the best for their child. Throughout an ongoing pandemic that has drastically altered the way we go about our once-normal affairs, it’s important to maintain open communication with your child and make sure that you are both doing the best you can to stay sane, safe, and successful. Whether you choose virtual or in-person learning, stay in contact with the teachers and staff to make sure that they are getting the right support. Don’t be afraid to change your mind depending on how your child is handling these transitions, and get professional guidance if you need it. At HealthyU, we offer a variety of forms of assistance for anyone having a hard time through the pandemic. If you or your child are struggling with intense stress, anxiety, depression, or are simply looking for a source of support in making difficult decisions, reach out to us today. You can contact us at (619)542-9542.