Alana Bremers, parent and ResearchILD Intern, shares her thoughts about school reentry and learning loss after homeschooling her children during the pandemic.
“Between not being able to access specific standards and curriculum from my local district and the uncertainty of this pandemic year, I have no way of knowing how my kid will fit into school next year.
If I can believe the recent assessments that my daughter took from a free, online program that claims to track specific state standards, she will be a full year ahead in math and two to three years ahead in literacy. She is even passing science tests.
With hesitation, I feel great about this year of homeschooling my children. We appear to be managing a large amount of quality learning in a fraction of the time. While I was initially scared about failing my kids, I’ve instead reinforced bonds between my children and myself. I’m even lamenting our return to in-person schooling next year.
As I consider our school plans for next year, there are a few things I am keeping in mind. No matter what happens, I will continue to leverage free public curricula. These programs can be used to guide homeschool programs, and they also allow parents to be a productive part of any student’s learning experience. If parents can easily access information about where their children stand academically, we can be stronger advocates for high-quality education and more immediately recognize when our children fall behind.
I also think that parents need as much access to data as possible. Is the school providing professional development training opportunities and attracting quality teachers? If I leave a district and enter a new one, is there something I can do to prepare my kids to seamlessly transfer?
So many news stories discuss kids struggling in hybrid or remote learning; however, parents and schools need to learn from what worked this year if students are going to successfully re-engage with learning. One recent news story even reported students with ADHD are thriving in less distracting online learning environments.
How can we continue to apply the positive lessons we’ve learned over the past two years with hybrid and homeschool learning models? Teachers and parents should continue to make expectations, goals, and realities all easily accessible, public information.”
- Alana Bremers, ResearchILD Intern
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org