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Monday, April 20, 2020

Just Give Up on Distance Learning - The Atlantic

Just Give Up on Distance Learning - The Atlantic

Distance Learning Isn’t Working
Instead of trying to move classes online, schools should support parents in educating their children.

As a homeschool mother, I’ve spent recent weeks giving pep talks to girlfriends. These friends tell me they’re spending their day troubleshooting lessons given over videochat. When they aren’t standing over their kids’ shoulders showing them which math problem to do, they’re printing their worksheets or scanning them to send back to the teacher. It’s exhausting for parents with one kid, but with three or four, it’s practically impossible. Many of these parents have told me they’ve ended the day in tears—or spent the entire day in tears.

The frustrations of these moms echo those of an Israeli mother of four who recently went viral in a screaming, pleading video to teachers, recorded in her car. She told the camera, “Listen. It’s not working … this distance-learning thing. It’s impossible!” She was “falling to pieces,” she said. “If we don’t die of corona, we’ll die of distance learning … Please. Turn it down. Foot off the gas. Leave them be.”

It’s a fine message for teachers and administrators who are working around the clock to create ad hoc curricula with absolutely no notice. But it’s not necessary for parents to plead with teachers to ease up on the gas. Parents can, and should, simply opt out.

Many school districts have attempted to shift schooling to home, but you cannot simply school at home. That’s why many homeschoolers call what they do “home education,” not homeschooling. Home education involves an understanding that children can learn while doing everyday tasks; baking can teach math, science, and home economics. Sitting on the couch reading Charlotte’s Web to kids in grades five and three and kindergarten counts as “school.”  So does taking a nature walk and creating a nature journal.
As a homeschool mother, I set my own curriculum and my own schedule. We have the CONTINUE READING: Just Give Up on Distance Learning - The Atlantic