I Went Back to School
Nope. I am not taking up a new degree. I am actually studying basic Algebra, CVC in English and states of matter in Science. Why? All because I am studying them with my kids.
The Philippine government has moved the opening of classes yet again, from August 24th to October 5th. It is due to the continuing surge of infection from COVID-19. The country has long surpassed the 100thousand mark. But despite the postponement, private schools were exempted from this and were allowed to get on with the classes provided that there would be no face-to-face learning.
After preparing everything and orienting the parents, the classes started August 24th. The primary mode was blended-learning or the so-called Self-Paced Learning as explained by the administration of my daughters’ school.
Modules are provided to each student where complete instructions were given including the activities they need to accomplish. Completion of the modular activity is weekly. They also have a group online lesson via zoom, messenger or Google Meet once a week. The teachers also created group chats for every subject in order to give further instructions. In case the student have a hard time on a specific subject, the teacher can do one-on-one with the child as long the it is requested within the week. All modules will either be collected by the teachers going house-to-house or via drop off points.
But these are only possible because private school students are quite limited in number.
Now, the biggest chunk of learning is done by the learners by themselves. Guidance is extremely needed since they have to really learn new things, something that nobody has explained to them yet. This is where I come in.
My kids have 7 or 8 subjects with a week worth of lessons on their module. I have to wake up much earlier than I usually do so I can teach them before my work time. They take turns taking my lecture that I barely had time to freshen up before my shift.
The first week was total chaos. Parents were struggling to use the applications needed, students were adjusting their time after 6 months of being idle, teachers were cramming to answer questions that are coming from all over the place. It was stressful for everyone. For parents, we felt like we were the ones enrolled, not our kids.
My kids are incredibly lucky because I can do the lecture with them. If not I, my sister, my nieces can or someone else can. The internet connection at home is also good. There are a lot of gadgets they can use. Other children are not as lucky.
Upon looking at the contents of the modules, I was embarrassed to see how much of those I didn’t know and have forgotten. How could I teach what I didn’t even know?
So to alleviate the problem, I asked for the copy of module in advance and I study it. And I mean, really study and learn so I can explain it to them the easiest and most effective way. I was surprised at how much I have learned again in just a few days. Reading short stories? Simple factoring? They are basic but it’s nostalgic.
I have never imagined this day when I have to learn my CVC’s and my fractions again at this age. It is always difficult at first, but it is good to learn early. Who knows, this will be the new normal for a really long time. Besides, it is better than a full year of academic freeze.
But then again, my kids are lucky to have such an easy access If only all children in the world have the same opportunity.