When schools closed due to COVID, parents everywhere were hurled into homeschooling overnight. We’ve seen valiant efforts across the board – from full-time doctors teaching their kids Science after long shifts, to creative schedules involving off-curriculum ac, international relations and even D.I.Y. skills.
In our latest parent survey, we found that parents feel they’ve learned more about their child’s education since the start of lockdown.
Although most parents wouldn’t have chosen to homeschool their kids for the past three months, understanding more about how their child learns and where they need more help has been a welcome surprise for many too.
So when schools do eventually go back, what new lessons will parents be taking with them along the way ?
- Identifying problem areas
- Discovering kids’ learning styles
- Detecting when teens study best
- Knowing kids’ passions
1. Identifying problem areas
Seeing their kids learn at home has shown parents lots of what normally goes on at school. Struggles with Math and Mental Ability subjects, learning gaps in History or a fear of French may have been easier for kids to underplay previously, but when you’re administering their home learning, there’s nowhere to hide.
Although kids can feel red-faced that they’re not finding everything easy, knowing where they need extra help is the first step to finding a solution.
Whether that’s prioritizing problem subjects in their weekly timetable, asking for extra help from their teacher or booking weekly lessons with an online tutor, tackling tricky topics will let them fill in learning gaps and keep progressing.
“Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small jobs.” – Henry Ford
2. Discovering kids’ learning styles
Classroom learning is the core of most teens’ education, but it tends to be one-size-fits-all. Homeschooling isn’t easy, but it can allow kids to learn in a way that really matches how they actually absorb knowledge.
If they’re a visual learner, i.e that could mean drawing diagrams of cell structure in Biology, or creating a timeline of key events for History. Or if they’re an audial learner, finding audiobooks and podcasts on the topics they’re studying can work best for them.
3. Detecting when teens study best
The usual school day – from Morning to Evening – fits well into most parents’ regular working days and also it’s nice to have breakfast and dinner together after all. For growing teens though, it’s often been thought that they should actually start their day later than this.
And for lots of families since lockdown, the flexibility of homeschooling has given them the chance to schedule studying at a time when they’ll get the most out of them i.e. when they’re wide awake. Some parents have said they’ve gone for a late-morning start each day; others have focused on academic studies in the morning, followed by creative, practical or outside projects after lunch.
4. Knowing kids’ passions
After keeping on track of core subjects, learning at home has given lots of parents the freedom to teach off-curriculum subjects that match their teens’ passions.
Parents now-a-days guide their kids by becoming one of the kids’ ages and start to create an extensive home curriculum of Black History, reaching from the earliest Black Britons in Roman times, through to US Civil Rights, recent UK Politics and finishing nicely on Stormzy.
Some parents help their kids’ by knowing that their children want to be a vet, so they’ve taught them how to look after animals, taking more responsibility as children learn.
For parents who aren’t experts in what their child wants to pursue, our online platform can double up as coaches.
Parents everywhere will of course be glad when schools can safely reopen, and kids can go about catching up on any learning loss. But this extra involvement in their kids’ education and the lessons parents have learned from homeschooling will stick with them – and their kids – in the long run.