News

Education in the Time of Coronavirus

29 July 2020

Right now, many of us who are parents are trying to decipher, to reconcile, to discern, how our children are going to be educated this fall, whether they are in their public or private schools or in college, whether they have on-line learning set up or not.

My daughter, Meghan, will be a junior this autumn at Centre College, a small private college in Kentucky. She has been adjusting to online classes and is almost finished with a linear algebra class she has been taking online this summer.

But, having our children learning at home can give us insight into how our children perceive their education – are they engaging with what they are learning, or are they merely checking off the necessary boxes to obtain course credit? Because, if the latter, I think there might be a problem here – at least, a potential one.

Those accustomed to making the least effort necessary to achieve their goals may find themselves at a disadvantage later in life. Those who don’t embrace learning as a lifelong goal, in and of itself, can sometimes find it hard to change that mindset to embrace new challenges, adapt, learn new skills.

It can be difficult to adjust to our children being at home all the time – or it can be something we embrace with thankfulness. Maybe most of us find it difficult sometimes, and feel grateful at other times.

One thing we can view with thanks – and I know it’s hard, at this point in time, to be told to be thankful – is that we have had the opportunity to engage more deeply and more immediately with our children’s education, their learning processes, and their attitudes toward it all.

We’ve been able to remind them of the joys of learning – and to model this for them ourselves. Try setting yourself and your child(ren) a subject to pursue together, whether it is on the curriculum or not. We have been learning to play mahjong together, and are putting puzzles together as a family. Learn along with them, engage them on the subject, ask questions to spark their minds’ creativity. Most importantly, take the time to listen to what your children have to say.

Have your school- or college-age children been cooped up with you? What strategies have you developed to cope, and to engage with them?

Please click here to email me directly – I would love to hear any ways you’ve come up with to deal with the fallout of the novel coronavirus and the ways it’s changed all our lives.