26 Mar Why have home schooling?
With exams cancelled and certificates to be issued based on performance in class, you might ask, why have home schooling? This is a time to take a break from our usual schedule and relax a bit or re-evaluate our lives. There is some merit in that attitude, especially having time to think in a more abstract, unstructured way.
Benefits of Home Schooling
Nevertheless, there are some good reasons to continue home schooling in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, it’s essential to keep up a routine, so that it’s not so difficult to return to normal study. It’s very tempting to sleep in every day, play on your phone and go to bed late. Study, what’s that? That’s not good: think how difficult it is to return to lessons after the summer recess. It’s a good idea to set aside specific hours for study. If you’re studying a course with a significant amount of coursework, like IB History, you’re probably used to organising yourself. If not, here are some suggestions to help you. You could mirror your school timetable at home to provide a structure. That includes breaks & exercise that are essential for your health, both body and mind. It’s a mistake to vary your programme too much because that makes it harder to return to a school programme.
Secondly, mental stimulation is good for you. Too much free time can be counter-productive and lead to boredom. If you don’t want to study exactly what you do in class, then find a similar alternative. For example, if you’d normally have an English class, read a book, comic or magazine you enjoy. Subconsciously you’re still learning grammar and vocabulary. If studying History, have a look at the online primary resources at The National Archives or watch ViaSat History. Thinking outside the box can feed back positively into work in class. Throughout our History, humankind has used both its intellectual and physical capacities. If we don’t use both, we feel lethargic and can even lose these abilities.
Thirdly, if you’re in your final year of a course, you hit lucky, unless you’ve done poorly at coursework! You’ll get a certificate without taking an exam, but what if you’re halfway through a two-year course? It’s vital to continue your study from home. Waiting two months or even to September is catastrophic. Hopefully, most schools will have set up an online learning platform, but what are your other options? Using the online resources that are available is a valuable tool, if you choose them right. How do you choose? Students use Wikipedia, but while it might give you an overview, you don’t know if the information is accurate. It’s better to use sources from a recognised authority, e.g. a university, corporation or online journal like History Today. Another option is self-study.
Using the time at home to teach yourself will help develop your independence. Nowadays, most teachers use student-centred approaches that promote individual thought, so why not develop this on your own? Finally, for subjects that are key for you, you might want to consider online tuition. Many experience teachers now work from home and with today’s technology online learning is as good as face-to-face lessons.
Above are some ideas for coping with the current lock-down in many countries of the world. Good luck with your studies. Feel free to email me with any queries.