Virtual Learning – The Experience – My Take

Virtual Learning

Is this really the new normal?

On a day where my oldest grandson would normally be in a classroom with at least 15 other children, being taught by a professional teacher, instead, he sits in the floor of my apartment trying to convince me of how fast he needs to finish his work to play his video games. All the while comprehending absolutely nothing.

I struggle to figure out the course of which to take and the workflow of this “virtual learning”.

There are six courses. All of which are supposed to take an hour. He’s in the fourth grade now mind you.

Currently his mother is out of town and I have him for three days. Each day, surprisingly, his online teacher, only appears on Zoom for an allotted 45 minutes and covers one subject. There are other children in the Zoom meeting at this time.

On three occasions thus far, not once has he been called on to participate actively in this virtual class, even after multiple attempts to respond to questions.

There’s zero interaction with the other children. Minimal interaction with the virtual teacher. Then off for the day to follow the guidelines.

There is an online process consisting of a work book, study guide, notebook, then an online quiz, yes there are even experiments in some of the classes.

He is not in public school for virtual classes, I cannot speak to their process, he must maintain an 80% or above on every quiz and average to attend this school.

I do agree with that.

As I observe the cons of this “new normal “, I think to myself how hard this really is. How hard it must be to not have social interaction with children in your class, granted, I was a loner, however, I took enjoyment from helping my teacher grade papers and being the “teachers pet”.

On the other hand, Liam, my oldest grandson, is a social butterfly. He really needs that interaction.

Last year he pushed for online/ virtual learning. I’m seeing maybe this was not the best solution. Not that we have a choice right now.

There are too many risks involved with in class room learning setting with COVID still lingering.

There’s a great deal of self discipline involved in the online learning, I know this first hand. My 4 years of college was online.

What I struggle with the most is the question, how are we, as a society, expecting children and parents to do this? Especially when many of these children have not even come to grips with their learning styles?

As Liam and I spent from 10 am until 9:30 pm working on reading, writing, projects and quizzes, with few breaks in between, I witnessed the toll it was taking on him.

He was frustrated, I was frustrated.

I saw exactly why he wanted to play video games to escape the daily tasks of the never ending learning cycle.

Learning and knowledge are so important, yet they should be fun! Fun they were not. Today, I must change that for Liam!

Virtual learning is causing a variety of stressors for the children and the parents.

With this pandemic, there are already so many worries and uncertainties involved.

The children cannot get out and play as normal, many activities are closed, thus leaving built up energy that they need to burn off. Parents have lost their jobs or are struggling to work remotely. Tensions in households run high.

Maybe an aspect that we should also be looking into and talking more about is therapy, I do mean this seriously. 2020 has been a huge undertaking for everyone at every age.

Parents became overnight teachers while trying to maintain a household and job. Children became secluded and are expected to learn in ways they are not accustomed to. Yet we say, “deal with it, this is the new normal .”

There are no correct answers or solutions, things with never be normal again.

We have to remember to slow down, breath, remember that the stress applies to our children too.

Everyone is doing the best that they can in most situations. If you need help, ask for it.

If you or your child need a break, take one, honestly, it’s not the end of the world.

Now, the damage that stress causes to ones body and mind can lead to a lifetime of pain, illnesses, etc.

For today, hug your kids, tell them you will get through it together, walk away when you both are frustrated, take breaks, and give lots of hugs. Hugs release endorphins!

That’s my take on this “new normal of virtual learning “, from my experience first hand.

I will help Liam when I have him, I will help his mom when I can. I would love feedback from subscribers, readers, followers, on your take of your virtual learning/ teaching experience for children in the 9/10 age groups.

As always, thanks for reading. Please share!

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