As the father of four, one of the main impacts Covid has had in my house is around my children’s education. In the Spring of last school year, in the early days of Covid, schools struggled to adjust to online learning. This was understandable. After all, who could have seen that coming? As our kids went back to school this fall, the big question was, “will it be better”?
Our school district has a hybrid model this year, with the kids spending 2 days in the classroom and 3 days learning virtually from home. For us, it has certainly been better than the end of last year, but far from good. To be clear, I don’t blame the schools or teachers for this. It is very hard to keep a student’s attention from home, with so many things to distract them. My biggest disappointment is in my kids losing their enjoyment of school. My kids enjoy it less, aren’t performing as well, and this has impacted my relationship with them because I am constantly arguing with them about staying focused. I know I am not alone. In fact, in a recent survey by Jassby, a mobile payments provider for families, 16% of parents feel like their current educational setup has a negative impact on their relationships with their kids.
And what about the kids? Other than possible drops in production, what other longer-term impacts will this have on their lives? They are missing out on social time with other kids, school sports, clubs, and developmental opportunities. Respondents to the Jassby survey were very vocal on this with 70% saying they feel their children are missing pieces of their education, and 31% saying they are more afraid for their children’s future than they were just 60 days ago.
So, what can parents do? Here are some thoughts:
- Explore online peer groups. Many clubs are still meeting virtually, including school bands.
- Sign your kids up for new virtual learning classes. Reconnect them with enjoyment of education by finding courses that are of particular interest to them: advanced math, robotics, crafts, foreign languages, coding, or even a course on making better Instagram videos!
- Take this opportunity to educate your kids on things they aren’t learning in school. Financial literacy is a great place to start. In fact, the Jassby survey results showed that 40% of parents are taking this time to speak with their kids about money. A great way to do this is by joining 25% of parents who are offering their kids money to stay focused on remote work. Let them decide how they will use that money to teach them the value of what they have earned.
We’ll get through this, and our kids will as well. When we get to the end, let’s make sure we can look back and know we spent this time supporting our teachers, our kids, and doing allow could prepare them for life after Covid.