With most Australian children now back at school, parents have had the opportunity to reflect on their experience of supporting their child’s ‘at-home’ learning at various times throughout the past 2 years.
We asked parents of the students we tutor to share their experience of ‘at home’ learning, and how they are feeling now that school has returned to ‘normal’.
Many parents have told us that one aspect they enjoyed during ‘at-home’ learning, was seeing first-hand their child’s ability, or inability, to focus on their schoolwork and complete their tasks independently. Some parents reported learning quite a lot about their child academically, as ‘at home’ learning revealed their child’s academic strengths and the curriculum areas that challenged them.
Some parents also told us that they have developed a ‘new respect’ for teachers after experiencing first-hand all of the tasks teachers need to manage. One parent said, “I actually had no idea how big a teacher’s job is and for the life of me, I don’t know how they do it! They deserve all of the holidays they get”.
Other parents explained that some days at-home learning felt like ‘too much of a battle’, so they gave up and played board games with their children instead.
Nearly every parent we spoke to could see that despite the challenges of ‘at-home’ learning, their child benefitted greatly from the personalised context of learning at home. These parents also told us that whilst they are very happy for their child to be returning to school as they need the opportunity to socialise with their school peers, they feel very concerned that their child will not receive the personalised teaching they experienced during ‘at-home’ learning.
“My child does not know how to manage his focus and direct his attention when he needs to. I worry that now he is back learning in a classroom with many other students, he won’t manage his focus or be attentive when he needs to be. He is likely to miss important teaching”, replied a mother of a Year 6 student when asked if she has any concerns about her child returning to school.
Another parent told us that she and her husband do not know how their daughter’s teacher will manage to give their daughter the individualised teaching and support she needs to achieve her best at school. She stated, “Teachers have so many kids to teach – how can they focus on giving every student the precise teaching they need? The fact is they can’t, and that is why while my daughter is at school, we are going to have her tutored. Teachers should not be expected to meet the exact learning needs of every student either. We think it is impossible, we feel sorry for teachers”.
We understand that students benefit in many ways from an individualised approach to their learning. It seems that after supporting their child’s learning at home during the school closures caused by COVID, many parents do too.
TRACEY HAND | CO-FOUNDER