Yesterday our local school district in Mequon, Wisconsin announced that schools would be closed for the next month. All of the schools in our surrounding area are doing the same thing. Starting Monday, all 3 of the kids in our home will be educated at home for at least the next 4 weeks. Which makes us predict:
What will be the good, the bad and the ugly parts of online school for the next month?
I have mixed feelings about the whole, no-school thing. I think everyone my age is going through some of the same feelings though. So without further ado…
I like the idea of waking up and just doing school in bed. Then you get done with school work early and get to spend the rest of the day doing whatever you want. Not only that, but you can also do school anywhere. I could go to work with my dad for the day and only spend an hour or 2 of doing homework. The rest of the day I can work at the office.
Unfortunately, like most things, there’s a bad part. I’m going to miss everyone. Friends and not. I was talking with my mom about how even those class clowns and “distracting” people are part of the joys of going to a school.
Ugly, or more like unknown. Either way, there are lots of blindspots in the new way of having school. I have no idea how any of the classes are going to work. Not only the everyday work, but also the projects and other assignments we’ve been working on for a while.
One thing is for sure. Everyone is confused and scared about this new way of learning. However, I think, like you’ve just seen, there’s good, bad, and ugly in almost everything. You just need to learn to embrace the parts that make you feel the best.
This is a fascinating time. Kids are getting a real life lesson in how health problems that originate on the other side of the world can lead to a toilet paper famine in their hometown. Which means there are no shortage of learning opportunities right now. But here is how I evaluate a month of online schooling from home.
Our school district is trying to develop self-directed, life-long learners. I see the next 4 weeks (or more) not as a step away form normal schooling, but an advance towards the future state of self-directed education. Students who learn how to thrive in this independent learning environment will be well prepared for online education, training and betterment the rest of their lives. Although me and Eddie Vedder both worry about those who can’t find the betterment.
The reduced in-person social interaction will be a bummer. We are social creatures. At this time of uncertainty and anxiousness it helps to be around your friends and school mates. It allows you to process and discuss your feelings in an age-appropriate way. I remember discussions at school after President Reagan was shot, after the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and during the first Iraq War that really helped me process the events. I don’t think there is a SnapChat filter that can replace that. I also worry about the class clowns who won’t have audiences for the next month. All those funny comments, just going to waste… It is so sad. #CueTheSarahMcLachlan
There are a lot of families that will be negatively effected by this. Our family is fortunate that my wife Dawn will be home to play Headmaster at The Albrecht Academy For 2 Boys And A Girl. But there are a lot of kids impacted by this whose parents both work outside the home and can’t just not go to work. There are children in single parent households that won’t be able to easily accommodate for this change. There are families without the technology or access to easily continue to grow during the next month. And there will be homes where academics will be completely abandoned during this time, because there are no academic champions in the home. I worry about those kids the most.
However, humans are really good at adapting. We will find ways to make this work. And we will all learn something from it. Perhaps we will even figure out how to be a class clown at an online school. Now that would be a real silver lining.
What do you think of taking online school at home? We want to hear your good, bad and ugly. Also remember, wash your hands regularly. And no butterfly kisses until we get the all clear from the CDC.