Orange sky at night homeschoolers delight?

This weekend we return to the wacky world of schools version of home schooling. When we joined thus school, all parents had to buy an iPad which would become the school iPad. It would be integral to the teaching approach. It never seemed to be fully exploited. Well that was until the schools went into lockdown. Now it’s allowed the school to run the usual school timetable completely remotely. After a few weeks we can confirm that the technology works well. The quality of the lessons varies between subjects. Some of the lessons just feel like it’s basically read a text book for an hour. Lessons like Mathematics have used existing online teaching apps which work really well. To that extent it definitely feels like Maths could just become a home based lesson as standard, with the teacher just providing a guiding overview and tracking development.

Lessons like History can be so hard to bring to life. They tend to be too dry for many kids purely delivered from the classroom. Anything which opens up this teaching approach gets a thumbs up from me. Suddenly History is exploiting interactive media. How about the next stage being history lessons delivered from local historical sites.

P.E is a subject he dislikes at school. Too much pressure, too little time to change clothes in cramped and noisy changing rooms, so many kit items to remember. Yet at home he has loved following the lesson requirements in the safety of his garden. English is another subject which has worked much better in the home. At home Son is much more relaxed and will happily ask for help. In the classroom he just won’t ask….

What hasn’t changed sadly is some of the marking and review processes. That doesn’t apply to all the subjects. Some of the comments are supportive, encouraging and helpful. Unfortunately too often correct spelling is stressed rather than actual content. How is making a dyslexic type out each spelling mistake three time going to help him. It will certainly knock his confidence. He had to submit a project which he worked really hard on. When I checked it I was seriously impressed. I learnt a lot from it and I got an A in that subject at college. Yet when it came back from the teacher the only comment was that it was ok and please correct the spelling mistake…. The look on his face when he read that feedback told me everything.

Then we have subjects that won’t accept work unless it’s done on paper and then submitted via a photograph. What is certainly not helpful is making someone with handwriting problems write (not type) work out then mark it down as not being good enough and needs more work. What’s not good enough is that teaching approach.

Going forward he is happy to keep working through schools online programme. He is hoping that it will run for the rest of the school year. From a parenting point of view, I’ve got used to it pretty quickly. The quality of the teaching has varied between subjects. But without a doubt Son has been much less stressed out about school. The question will be what happens when schools reopen. Ultimately it’s his call. If it’s September then has time to have a good think about if he wants to return or opt for full home schooling. At least now we will have a better grasp on what homeschooling may entail. What works for him and what needs changing. If schools open in the short term then it will force his hand. In the current climate and without significant change in school practices, he’s just not ready to go back. I suspect it’s the homeschool option. At least he won’t be crashing into homeschooling, he will have already tipped his toes in the water. And whisper it quietly, it’s not as daunting as it seemed 6 weeks ago.

79 thoughts on “It’s back to online school

  1. Completely agree with the ‘dryness’ aspect of some lessons. I know a family who has an afterschool as a business, and all subjects have been successful except for history and art – those are just too difficult to carry out online. Great and informative post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So sorry to read about a flawed system taking swipes at your son’s dignity and individuality at every opportunity. They’re supposed to educate and uplift, not label and denigrate. Here’s hoping you find a silver lining in all their apathy and negativity.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just thinking. Your son is still a child. Is it appropriate to put the burden of choosing school or homeschool. What I am about to suggest is not authoritarian, but I think common sense. When the time comes around, ask him what he would like to do, but let him know the final decision will be yours. He gets input, but without the pressure or stress of responsibility. Also let him know it is safe to approach you if after trying it he thinks the decision was the wrong one. Be the parent, but ensure he knows he is being heard.
    Trying to see this through a child’s point of view…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s a good tryout before you make the decision whether to do homeschooling full-time or not. It seems to me that the early results are encouraging and despite the overall extremely stressful situation of pandemic and a total overhaul of daily routine your son is actually enjoying his school – maybe even more than before. Fingers crossed something good will come out of it all!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If homeschooling becomes the way forward, Son is going to have to get used to you being gone sometimes, or he’s going to need a club or group where he can be when you have work appointments. And so you can have a little time of your own.
    Maybe start talking about it now, get him used to the idea over time… let him figure out some options of where he would like to be when you have to be away.

    The History Channel and other Documentaries or programs might help with History. With homeschool you can use different ways to approach the material. Tailor it to him.

    Ben isn’t really learning anything. But it was difficult to teach him at school with his behavior, so… 🤷🏼‍♀️💌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At present I’m not sure leaving him on his own is going to work due to his anxieties. It’s as if he’s creating a self contained world. I’m already resigned to not going for runs. The issue will be if my job folds due to the virus. How to keep the money coming in. Going to be lots going after the homebased jobs now.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m pleased that your son is feeling better, since he is able to do schooling from home. I’m also pleased that you’ve had the chance to see what this might be like, without having to make decisions before you know if they will be the right ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This sounds really positive for your son. Just make sure you have time for what you need too. I think if you get into a routine you’ll have it sussed and if he’s less stressed, he’ll learn more and feel more motivated.

    Buying iPads for school is high pressure .. we don’t posses an iPad here (though I have just bought myself one for my birthday 🤫)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I did the same with mine. It was £400 but I worked out my savings from no more alcohol purchases, people giving me some money for my birthday abs decided it was time to treat myself. 🤓
        Good luck with term starting. We’ve already had 5 meltdowns and it’s only lunchtime (3 of them were me 🤪)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It does feel like that for me. But it’s sons call. I’m starting to suspect that my job may fold as public events and cycle races are going to be at a premium for the rest of year. Going to need another homebased job. Not go to be easy as many will be looking as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeesus… What is distressing me is the throwing of so many people under a bus here. Many will be looking. That is a fact. Not a . ‘we’re all doomed,’ moan. And yet, on it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry that comment never loaded properly.. I had also said. And still politicians stand there and prat on, saying nothing of any substance. ‘People are happy with this,’ ses Boris the clown. ‘so we don’t want to go getting a strategy, cos we don’t need one right now. ‘ Does this fool seriously think he’s been elected to come out with this crap? Plainly.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Same here ANd worst of all…up here where he is loathed with a passion. They didn’t like Corbyn. He was unappealing but Boris had some life and was funny they said.. A sort of Churchill figure head. I said ‘ Seriously????’ For the first time EVER in my life I wanted to say, ‘ Don’t insult Winston thank you.’ Come to revise their feelings now… big time. Now is too late in terms of having a zoo buffoon in charge, presently cowering out of sight…’Scared.’ oh what a shame. As if this is all some kind of reality show. I’m a Bojo get me out of here.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well…here’s the other deal… right now? Forms could just be signed removing him to a mental hospital. No questions asked. Someone is seriously needing to do it and make this country a safer place. /

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yep, standing wittering about we don’t need a strategy is beyond belief and it is not good enough. I would get them all removed to a mental hospital . Plainly they are all insane.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I do not like the spelling comment either, though I need to say when I was a marker in university, I made similar comments, but not if there was ONLY ONE MISTAKE. I made sure the letter grade was in relation to the student’s comprehension, or lack of comprehension, of the subject matter. But, I warned those who had no idea of grammar, punctuation, or spelling that future papers would be downgraded if there was no improvement. Proper communication is necessary in this world to ensure then points one is making can be understood. Of the 150 students I was marking, there were only about 30 who had proper English writing skills. There were so many times I had to decipher what word was intended, what tense of verb was being used, where one sentence stopped and another began, why in one paragraph three different ideas were being presented while other paragraphs were idealess, I basically wasted more time trying to find the gist of tlhe matter than trying to determine the students’ learning ability.
      The papers were atrocious to say the least. The professor I was marking for commended me on taking such care to determine the underlying matter beneath the English misuse. He said if couldn’t understand what a student was trying to say, he would have given them an automatic “F.” The students, however, rebelled. They weren’t used to being told they didn’t know how to write English. Seems their grade school teachers didn’t care about their writing skills. Many came from the “must-pass” system that schools were then using (some still are).
      Needless to say, only a few students liked having their lack of skills challenged. I’m thinking the rest got jobs where written English was unimportant.
      Anyway, I don’t think that teacher was fair to your son. A simple circle around the error with the word “spelling” should have sufficed, the comment and punishment were unnecessary and uncalled for.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think picking up on spellings has its place. But it’s got to be done in a way that suits the person. The government is super keen on correct spelling. Each exam (regardless of the subject)now has marks set aside for it and grammar. Problem is that the approach ignores dyslexia. Dyslexics have two options. Take the test without help and get marked down for each mistake (no allowance provided) or use help (like a scribe) but then you can’t access the spelling marks (so you are starting with less marks available).


  8. That sky says it all, doesn’t it? There’s a bit of dark but more of gorgeous. Hopefully life for you will work out like that sky, with beauty slowly but surely easing over the tough bits.

    I’d hate for you to give up on your runs. It won’t do you or your son any good in the long run. Would shorter runs be helpful? Shorter and done maybe twice? Maybe when the mud comes to life once more getting soaked in it twice wouldn’t be such a good idea😀 but you get the drift… Plus maybe, just maybe being away for far shorter runs might help ease your son into small anxiety-coping mechanisms, baby steps…?

    I hope by some miracle, you get enough work that pays sufficiently. That’s a security blanket we all need.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I agree with you on History. (Other things, too, but history stuck with me.) I never enjoyed history, which I think now is a shame. It’s just that it was always so dull and dry. A good teacher can bring anything to life, even a dry subject.

    You’re so right about spelling your wrong words out three times. That never corrected my spelling mistakes. I still make some on the same spelling errors. What does help is spell check. (Not auto-correct) It has helped me to take notice of the words that I commonly misspell. I still make a lot of spelling goofs, but it has helped a lot. If I pay more attention to the mistakes it points out and why and how I am misspelling them it eventually sticks.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. If they understood how helpful it is… well, your teachers seem a bit like wardens, so I’m pretty sure they would never side with my opinion of how helpful spellcheck truly is. It is crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Like in your case, the situation forces us into situations we had not checked out otherwise. Homeschooling now is something that seems to work out for your son and you. A much more relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps only homeschooling is not the solution because I am sure he needs contact with others and to experience life outside of his bubble. But perhaps there could emerge a mix in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Online schooling is let’s say, a feature that we did not have a chance to try. If you haven’t applied to online courses yet, which is, an adventure as well. Gosh, I sound like an old grumpy woman and I am barely 24. Anyway.

    It’s an opportunity in my view, especially in these times, to teach the kids at home new lessons and to develop in a more comfy way.

    I have to admit, from the bottom of my heart, deeply, that I do hate the teachers that simply tell you what you did bad. I mean, yes, I had one mistake, but then, what about the rest? In all of this work that I put attention and basically my soul, the spelling mistake was everything? BRUH 😖

    I do believe that this “decision” that the teachers make to only highlight the mistakes have something to do with their past and self-esteem as well. I had one encounter in high school when a teacher did that to show me that she was better than me in English.

    And don’t worry about it, even if it was harsh for now for him, it will teach him a lesson, the fact that the mistake was pointed out. We’ve been through this, numerous times. If you and I can take it, then he can as well. He is more strong than us together, it’s just that he doesn’t know it yet.

    Take care and thank you for the post! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

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