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.