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Virtual Learning…We can do this!!

With all the uncertainty surrounding virtual learning, I’m unsure if I will be able to survive this time around. Many of us parents,, to the reopening of schools battled with the decision of sending our kids back to school or online learning from home. Whichever method you choose I am sure it is the learning method that works best for your kids and or family needs.


Back in March of 2020 when our kids were robbed of the opportunity of going back to school due to the vicious virus that has crippled our nation, I was excited to engage in teaching my son from home. Over time this excitement began to subside as it became challenging with tackling many roles at once; parenting, teaching, cooking, cleaning and maintaining my household. At times I would fall behind on the responsibility of home schooling because let's just face it I can't be ten places at once and I am not a robot.


So here I am 6 months later, despite my previous challenges I am about to venture into a similar learning style except this time its organized and structured.


Virtual Learning

“I have no idea what to expect, but what I do know is my son will be one of the students that will be learning from home.”

When we talk about virtual what comes to mind? For me virtual means everything is to be completed over the web and online. I image it entails having reliable internet access, a comfortable and less distracting work area and a webcam for visual interaction. As exciting as this all seems I’m still left with the worry of will our kids be successful in this learning method.


Possible Challenges

It is unfortunate that parents are forced to make decision that might not be completely beneficial or supportive for their lifestyle. So I'm left pondering whether a Senior kindergartner will be able to sit in front of a electronic device for more than 10 minutes. My son isn’t a stationary child. He's very energetic, loves to play and run around and gets bored very easily. So he needs to be engaged, structured and constantly stimulated. But now he's expected to be at home in an independent setting in front of a screen for approximately 6 hrs with breaks in between to learn. Having a 2 year old that requires a lot of my attention leaves me at times pondering my decision and questioning my ability to devote enough time to my SK child, as he will need my assistance in every area of learning online. Another challenge is the distraction of being at home and not a structured school setting. After all, this is their comfort zone and an area where they associate with relaxing, playing and having fun while being themselves. Yes, nothing beats the structure of a classroom, it is a lot more beneficial for social development and relationship building. However, there are social programs available for kids to interact and be apart of a community to help develop or enhance their social skills.


Is my 5 year old ready to embark upon this new learning Style? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing for certain is I am here to ensure he is able to have a smooth and effective learning experience.


Benefits of Learning From Home

Virtual learning can be exciting. Keeping my son home is still the best decision I've made for my family as I have more control over his health and safety. The uncertainty of our kids contacting Covid19 during a time when hospital are under a lot of pressure is not something I want to subject my child to.


7 Reasons Home Schooling can be Beneficial are:

  • Ensures that your child is in a safe environment.

  • Convenient for both parent and child.

  • More control over child’s learning needs

  • Teaches responsibility

  • Teaches our kids independence

  • Opportunity for child to learn at his/her own pace

"Virtual instructors, directors aka parents, its going to be okay."

I have finally received an email that outlines the process and procedure in Virtual learning and immediate I felt a sense of relief and excitement. The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic Virtual Elementary School have created a system that looks exactly like being in school except its online. There will be a Principal and Vice Principal, a direct virtual learning website, communication line via; text, email and social media, the kids are assigned specific teachers and they will be learning the exact same materials as the students in a classroom setting. After reviewing the process I feel promising and excited to have my child engage in virtual learning. Parents enrolled their kids in home school or virtual learning long before this pandemic. Some reasons are due to bullying, health issues/ Illness, safety concerns and more. It is reassuring to know our kids are not the first and they certainly wont be the last to experience learning from home. I am grateful that I have the privileged to stay home with my kids and facilitate in their learning experience.


To all parents with a virtual learner; your not alone. I too shared the same concerns and the same feelings of uncertainty. But just remember many parents around the world have been practicing this method of learning for years and it has been successfully. So we too can guide our virtual learners into having a successful school year.

 

~ I can do all things in Christ which streghteneth me.~ Philippians 4:13



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