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Learning in the age of social distancing

Written By: Alex Huggard - Academic Support Coordinator

The past week or so has changed our world in many ways. We are still in a state of flux, and it is hard to know what will remain certain and what will continue to shift. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to education over the next few months:

What we know:

  1. Need for new habits and consistency in old ones.
    • We can be reasonably confident that schools will be closed for at least a month. 
      • With these closures, students will have to restructure their lives. Where last week, your child had school followed by sports and recitals, and finally homework, now they seem to have nothing but free time. 
      • In the next week or so, it will be crucial to help your child establish a new schedule. School will still remain a large part of this, but now is a great time to ask them if there are any hobbies they would like to develop, any books they want to read, or what colleges they would like to start researching.
      • It is a good idea to start developing these projects now and then incorporate them into the student’s new online class schedule, whenever that may be finalized.
    • Additionally, are there any productive habits that have remained? If so, it is crucial to maintain these habits, such as waking up early or exercising, in such a time of uncertainty.


What we don’t know:

  1. Structure of classes going forwards.
    • For many, the exact structure of online classes remains unknown. The same goes for test dates, end of semester, etc. Many of these unknowns will be straightened out in the coming weeks when some forms of normalcy will resume. 
  2. Many things
    • All of this is still quite novel; everyday actions feel strange and alien. We crave structure, yet some structures have been removed or reduced. But humans are adaptive; your child is adaptive. New structures will emerge and it is our job to create the best possible ones with which your child can thrive.
    • In the coming months, education will change in many ways and education will stay the same in others. Our goals at this point should be to address the negatives of this situation as best as possible, prepare for contingencies, and hope for the best.

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