"We're Not Homeschooling, we're doing Virtual School!"
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
During the first wave of this pandemic, I heard many frustrated moms say they had given up on trying to teach their child from home after a mere few weeks in. Between their lack of discipline, their child's lack of motivation, frequent miscommunication with instructors and technology hiccups, many parents were dazed and overwhelmed. As a homeschool advocate, I jumped right in with helpful hints and practices to facilitate the process of learning at home and while many families appreciated the advice, on occasion, I would get a snicker with the explanation that Virtual School is not the same as homechooling. In fact, one mom stated that her homeschooling friends were 'nice' enough to point out how easy she had it because her children's teacher was doing all the work!
Well, I disagree with that claim and request permission to gently push back. To reduce education to
1) the relation of the child to the educator (it's only homeschooling if an in-home caretaker is teaching) and
2) who chooses curriculum seems a bit short-sighted and leads to a lackluster and incomplete academic experience.
Furthermore, this belief implies that parents no longer play an active role in a child's education if they are not making front-line decisions - a phenomenon that frustrates classroom teachers on a daily basis and will be the cause of many students not adequately learning in the virtual environment.
If we look at the B.L.O.C.K.S model of Home-Schooling, we will find that Virtual Learning can easily fit under the category of homeschooling.
BRAINSTORM - Would the Virtual Learning process not benefit from identifying and accomodating each child's academic challenges/needs?
LOOK (Back) & LEARN - Would Virtual Learning not be facilitated by an honest assessment of your personal educational experiences/biases as well as an understanding of how your child learns best?
ORGANIZE - Would Virtual Learning not be complemented by the parent filling in any gaps left by the delivery of curriculum or providing additional content prompted by your child's natural sense of curiosity?
CIRCLE - Would Virtual Learning not be enhanced by creating an environment where discipline and motivation was appropriate and child-centered?
KEEP - Could Virtual Learning be maintained without evaluating the outcome and identifying more efficient ways to connect your child to the content?
SELF-CARE - Could Virtual Learning be supervised or even supported without your supervision? I'm sure you would agree that when you go down, so does the house.
Home-Schooling is an extension of home life. You were your child's primary teacher before the classroom and will continue to teach them long after their academic pursuits have been realized. Virtual schooling falls under the homeschooling umbrella. Take a minute to let that sink in and then embrace it!
Join other families wanting to embrace homeschooling by taking the Building B.L.O.C.K.S program! Learn more here.