The COVID 19 pandemic has been a catalyst for change in all aspects of society. Ordinary schooling has been disrupted and children all over the world have been affected. Specifically, in terms of education and learning, the pandemic has changed the way students learn new information in a variety of ways.
The pandemic made home schooling the norm. With schools shutting down for months, teachers the world over had to design educational programmes able to be delivered remotely via digital devices or platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Either side of the Atlantic, across the last school year the number of young people taking up home schooling activities has skyrocketed.
Home schooling, however, is not an easy task for educators. Research has shown that there have to exist several conditions before the practice becomes successful. First, the education providers have to possess enough resources to support students of all abilities, including those with learning disabilities. It is only effective if the individual needs of students are met. Second, the success depends largely on parents’ ability to facilitate their child’s learning and access the tools needed to deliver learning materials effectively. For those who struggle with full-time jobs while staying at home, this can be difficult. Home schooling places heavy burdens on some families who struggle to balance their jobs with trying to teach their children and supervise their work.
Many will have opted to return to school attendance, of course. But given that almost everyone has now had experience of home schooling, it seems hard to believe that there will not be more people who have discovered they prefer it than there were pre-pandemic. This simply serves to double-down on my final point that, overall, given greater prevalence, and the challenges that come with this trend, more support must be given to both children and parents alike in order to make it work. High quality resources and accessible learning platforms must be used to help make home schooling more efficient and personalised.