COVID Impacts to Children's Learning
Over fifty years ago, in the 1960s, songwriter Bob Dylan sang 'The times they are a-changin.'
How do those words resonate today? The times are changing, the songwriter says:
"And you better start swimming'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin."
Many parents and students would never have dreamed that our times, in 2020, would have changed so radically. What are families facing as a result of the COVID pandemic? How can they come out of the changing times victorious? These are some of the questions parents and teachers are asking as the wonder how COVID affects the Education system and to children's learning.
What has changed in the lives of children as a result of the restrictions of COVID 19?
- School: School, as children know it, has changed dramatically. There is no school in the way that it was, with classrooms and friends and teachers and a system in place. Schools and education systems have changed.
- Home: Home has become the school with different restrictions and complex ways of ensuring education goes on in the best possible way. This dynamic is really challenging for some pupils. Home may not offer the perfect learning environment, and some families may not be able to afford the online systems of tutoring. Despite the fact that there are difficulties, families have to accept that home is the new school environment.
- Socialising: Getting together socially is no longer part of recreational life. Family and friends' social engagements are restricted to internet calls via Zoom or Skype.
- Health issues: Mental health issues, caused by stress and fear, have impacted some families. There are a real concern and evidence of necessary protection against the virus. Wearing masks and keeping social distances expose children to the fear of contracting an unknown virus. They may worry about family members being infected. Loss of income and uncertain futures add to the stress factors of COVID 19.
- Uncertainty: Uncertain thoughts about the future affect everyone. If so much has changed so soon, how will families overcome these obstacles and move forward positively?
In times of change, you want to be a swimmer! How do you prevent that sink like a stone feeling?
Look for positives to face changes. A pandemic is going to affect life and education, but by looking for the positives, the effects and outcomes could be seen differently.
What are some of the positive effects on education through the COVID pandemic?
- Children have become more resilient and have had to embrace changes in the way they learn. They have had to be adaptable and responsible for their progress.
- Parents have become more involved in their children's education and how their children learn daily. Parents have become facilitators for their children and communicators between their children's teachers and the work expected of their children.
- Homes have adapted to allowing learning to take place and schedules to be put in place so everyone can be encouraged to be organised and ready to study.
- Communication and encouragement through tutoring groups and study groups have been organised and helped children to support one another in difficult times.
- The needs of disadvantaged families have been noted and addressed by many organisations.
- A global camaraderie is felt as many nations realise they are not alone in this crisis. According to UNESCO, 1.6 billion children face the effects of the COVID virus.
- Organisations and facilitators offering online support have stepped up with programmes developed to help in the area of virtual teaching.
In the face of a pandemic of such huge proportions, parents and teachers have had to draw inspiration from educating the whole child. Remembering that learning is not just about absorbing facts. Children need to know they are in a safe environment and have the support they need. Parents who are open and honest with their children will create that healthy, safe place to learn.
Parents and teachers, who look for progress in difficult times and not for perfection, will offer the best support for the COVID 19 students of today. Progress can be ever so small, but moving forward and overcoming difficulties, is always progressive.
Aristotle wrote, 'Educating the mind without the heart is no education at all.'
The changes children and their parents are facing through the COVID 19 virus will undoubtedly be influencers of the future. Giving this generation of children a heart for education will help them face the times that are changing.
Yes, education has been affected by COVID 19, but the outcomes do not have to be negative. The children involved in this pandemic may look back on these school days as different, but worth the effort they made, through the times that were changing.
If your child requires some additional support may it be in-home or online, we're here to help! Visit https://tutor2you.com.au/ to book a free consultation with our trained & certified tutors today.