- Léo’s Insights 2019-2020
- Léo’s Insights 2020-2021
- Léo’s Insights 2018-2019 Academic Year
Canada’s national broadcaster, the one paid for by all Canadians but followed by approximately 3%, took it upon themselves to conduct a survey of thousands of “educational professionals to find out how they and their students are doing in this extraordinary school year…”
There is no doubt that this year’s major COVID-19 inspired school closures have been very disruptive. The CBC survey generally found students to be having difficulty with new pandemic rules such as mask-wearing, social distancing and other rules being unilaterally laid down by public health officials who are obviously not in communication with public education officials. Both students and teachers are emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted.
Making big changes usually brings about big concerns and lots of stress. Having to make “school” work at home has been very frustrating for teachers who find it difficult, if not impossible, to complete their curricular responsibilities, and for students who simply find doing school at home cumbersome or difficult. The psychological impact of these changes on both teachers and students has been bad enough to see both suffering major burnout.
COVID closures have initiated a number of changes to the way education is delivered, including having high school students take an entire course from a single teacher over a very short period of time. Needless to say, students find this to be a difficult process and it should be no surprise that most students quickly forget what they worked so hard to learn. The professionals are saying pandemic schooling has definitely taken a toll as far as an accumulation of educational deficits.
The survey not only indicated that children are failing to meet standard expectations, but most are struggling with at-home learning. This is especially the case for special needs students, which I am sure is true, but what are the parameters by which all these concerns were ascertained or measured?
The first thing that needs to be highlighted is that school is normalized in every way. In fact, alternatives to doing school at school or at home were not even mentioned. One would not expect anything else from the CBC. As I read the results of the survey, I could not help thinking that the majority of the issues presented are actually not student issues, but school issues. That is, most of the concerns presented would simply vanish if students were unschooling at home rather than trying to fit the school system into their homes.
Another issue is that COVID-19 protocols are just not natural to most students who find it difficult just to unquestioningly comply. Children are being made to do things they are not comfortable with or able to do properly. I can also imagine there is great pressure to conform to expectations they cannot understand or to requirements they see as personal violations.
The question of special needs comes up so often it is starting to appear as though there is something wrong with a child if we cannot find something wrong with the child. Understanding that the more learning, physical or mental issues a child has, the more funding is available will quickly explain this apparent infatuation with special needs. This is not to insinuate that special needs do not exist, but to indicate that many of these learning challenges are actually school challenges that can be rectified simply by leaving school behind.
Home educating students escape all these COVID-19 related issues. They are loved as they are, are usually not made to do things that make them feel uncomfortable, are not behind or experiencing learning deficits, and are best served at home when challenged with special needs.
As students were sent home due to all the COVID issues, more parents started to question why they were sending their children to school in the first place, while those who saw the system being exposed celebrated their wise decision to teach their children themselves. When considering all the issues “educational professionals” have identified as COVID-related school casualties, freedom-loving, family-focused, faith-based learning has been demonstrated as superior. Long live unschooling!