Although this pandemic might have affected many adults with losing jobs and social distancing, we often forget that one of the biggest changes that were affected. Distance & Virtual Learning, Call It What You Want, but children had to resort to this new educational style. The school system being turned upside down into a distance learning only.
This change came as a surprised in mid march when children were asked to learn the rest of the school year in a virtual system. They would be given a device to learn.. Say What? I know my kids know how to maneuver through an iPad but this was a whole new thing. Asking my child to learn everything through an iPad was not what we expected as a family.
In order to finish off the current year since the COVID-19 started in March, the school wanted the children to meet on zoom. Distance and Virtual Learning was to be implemented. The weekly schedule included two 45 minute zoom meetings with the class. Along with that came weekly assignments that needed to be completed and turned in through a district approved app. It was a very strange and and not the normal way of learning. But they were able to complete the year and have a virtual graduation as well.
Fast forward to August and the new school year started. The kids were expected to know a lot more than they did at the end of the school year. The zoom meetings were scheduled from 8:00am to 2:25pm with an exception of Wednesdays being independent learning days. The start of the year was rough for both my daughter and I, as well as my son. I was not prepared for such a huge difference in what she needed to know.
Having to sit in front of an Ipad screen, with great focus was not what my daughter expected. Trying to encourage her to do her best was a struggle for me. From the March to June versus June to August, it’s as if the children skipped a whole half a year of learning. The children went from learning the sounds of letters to writing paragraphs. A whole new world of learning was introduced to them.
During the midst of all this, there was my son who lost his daily playmate. Prior to the pandemic, he would be able to play with her after school. But since she’s been home for months, he was able to play with her all day. But once the school started, it was a bit of a surprise for him.
Overcoming The Struggle
The first few weeks were a lot of tears, headaches, confusion, and misunderstandings. So may problems occurred. Learning to maneuver through all the required apps was not easy. The system malfunctioned during zoom meetings. There were internet interruptions, device issues, and getting used to the schedule and the routine took some time. It took some time but my daughter but the routine was getting better. When a set schedule was in place, we were all able to follow it with some ease.
It just came down to the actual academic part my daughter had to eventually learn and do. We learned the different parts of each app that was being used. Communicating with the teacher, and sending and editing homework became easier. Working on classy work and dealing with technical issues were less difficult.
We also learned to implement more activities for brother to engage in. We did daily phonics/mathematics/manipulative/arts and crafts/ and some search and find activities. There was more independent play time for him while sister was in school but the adjustment time didn’t take too long. He soon learned that while sister was in school, he would either play by himself or with mom. And once she was done, he would get his playtime with sister.
Learning through a screen has become the new adaptation for these children. Hopefully this all will become a memory in the history and the kids can get back to their normal school days.