School Options In Times of COVID: Distance Learning

This seems to be the route we are going to take this school year. I´m so glad that my daughter´s school provided a really good Distance Learning Program.

What is distance learning and why we are taking this route?

Distance Learning is technically learning outside the walls of your classroom. Usually done virtually (thank you technology!) but could also be done in so many other ways like television, radio, assignment-like worksheets, video lectures or a combination of them.

My daughter’s school would use Brightspace - an online platform for their virtual classes and worksheet management. They have already created an account for us this summer because I enrolled the #FabSkye to their summer academic camp.

Actually, I also had doubts with distance learning. I mean, I have a 6 year old. How can she adapt to virtual learning? I know the difficulties because I have to train new members of our team (at work) virtually and it is no joke.

I’m so glad that I made the right choice when I enrolled the #FabSkye at AIS. I remember inquiring at every single school within the vicinity. Researching. Asking friends.

During this difficult times, I really felt like I have a partner in my daughter’s education. Her teachers are so nice and kind and I could truly feel that they care for my child’s wellbeing. They listen to my endless rants and would answer my endless questions. They listen to my 1001 suggestions and would implement those that could really help the students and the parents.

When I was having a hard time deciding on what to do next school year, the #FabSkye’s teachers made it easier for me. When they presented their plans, I knew we would take that route.

The plan includes maximizing Brightspace. Having regular virtual classes. Providing video lessons and worksheets. Having regular checkpoints. And implementing distance learning until December. They are very certain that no face to face classes for the entire 2020 because they know how paranoid everyone is.

Most of all, they provided discounts for this year’s school fee. They even postponed the tuition increase this year. The discount is not that much but I love the fact that they did it even if we didn’t ask for it. 

I was also happy when her teacher mentioned that they would do proper hand-off of the students to their new teachers. That’s one of my issues actually. My daughter is moving up to Grade 1. That means she will leave the ELC Department (early learning) and is moving to GS. Different set of teachers, different set of lessons. I’m afraid that the new teachers won’t know how to handle my daughte properly unlike her old teachers who have been her teacher since pre-K. But I was assured that they would do proper hand off and that her other teacher is also moving to GS next school year so I could contact her.

I know that a lot of other mums (and dads) out there are still uncertain. I would still get inquiries from fellow parents asking about my daughter’s school. And my usual advice is ask the school. Be very clear and be very direct in asking. I mean, they should understand because you all want what’s good for your child.

Ask about their detailed plan. Ask about the specifics. How would they implement it? How about if you encounter this issue. What will happen if you were not able to do this or submit that? Also suggest some stuff that you think would help. Parents and schools should really work together in these times.

One thing I also did that helped me decide to do Distance Learning is I enrolled my daughter on her school’s summer camp. It’s a 1 month program of distance learning. It’s like our trial phase. So I would know what I need to succesfully do it next school year. Now I actually know what we need. I also know what works best for my daughter. I also know that it’s effective! I also know what to remove so she could focus.

I’d do a separate post about our preparations for Distance Learning. My suggestions. What I think you would need. And how to keep your child focused during virtual classes. 

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