For most parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschooling (school-at-home or distance learning) has become the new normal. While most people are literally stressing out about the effort and know-how it takes to teach kids at home while working from home and supporting the family, homeschooling families are continuing on with business as usual. It seems that homeschool parents and teachers will gain new recognition and appreciation during this spasm in time, since more people are going to be opened up to what we do and how difficult and tedious it can be sometimes. Moreover, dare I say, how effective it can be sometimes. Some families may never go back to public school. It leads many people to a simple question: what makes homeschooling so effective?
The answer is simple: flexibility and student oriented, differentiated learning. I know, a simple answer that is also a mouth full, but hang in there.
When something is flexible, it doesn’t mean that there is no rigor or academic merit at all. It simply means that students have the ability to customize a schedule everyday to fit their everyday needs. For example, students who struggle with science should be able to customize their schedule to fit in more science and review practice and do other subjects later in the week, month, or less of it until science is understood better. A quick run to the store or a job shadowing opportunity doesn’t take away from the learning experience; instead, those activities and life lessons add to the learning experience.
This is what some newcomer homeschool parents may miss. Homeschooling is not an alternative to public school, it is a solution. This is why homeschool should not match public school schedules or teaching styles because they do not work for most students and can damper the enthusiasm for school among students. This is an example of the need for student oriented, differentiated learning.
Here at Canary Academy Online, differentiated learning is basically our catch-phrase. We believe every student should have a learning experience geared towards their unique learning styles which also addresses their learning struggles head-on (to better assist, of course). That’s basically the definition of student-oriented learning as well. Student oriented learning is simply a learning system that follows students’ learning patterns and struggles to adapt the learning experience in order to fit the way they learn. Using a student’s interests and abilities to craft a learning experience tailor-fit for them.
So, as we continue pushing on and making immense sacrifices for our country and communities, keep in mind the true meaning of homeschooling and you’ll never go wrong. Keep calm and homeschool!
Nasiyah I (Miss N.) is a homeschool graduate and current college freshman at LU Online. She is the CEO and founder of Canary Academy Online.
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