5 Things We Learned After A Year of Online Distance Learning

The virtual graduation ceremonies may have already concluded, but the first year of online distance learning deserves another look back

This time last year, teachers and parents alike were still reeling from the unexpected turn into online distance learning brought about by the pandemic. In those first few months, many struggled and others might have even lost focus. But, at this point in the learning process, everyone deserves their graduation rites. 

But what were the lessons we learned from online distance learning, anyway? Here are five of the biggest realizations that no one will soon forget.

Lesson 1: Learning does not end when class does.

While your young kids used to have the opportunity to talk with their teachers after class to clarify a lesson or a project, the same experience is often impossible when the online classrooms close—and texts and emails and chats just don’t have the same effect as a face-to-face discussion. 

This is why, in online distance learning, it’s best practice to reiterate lessons whenever the opportunity comes up. Math lessons can be discussed over slicing pizza to give everyone in the house a slice, and writing messages to relatives online can be done to apply lessons learned in Reading or English.

Lesson 2: Creativity cannot be overlooked.

While your children’s creativity is often tested in projects that require drawings or comic sketches, online distance learning has challenged your own creativity as a parent. You’ve had to be more hands-on with your children’s lessons and have had to think outside the box to make sure they truly understand what their teachers have taught them.

It’s not just about creative visualization—it’s about crafting multiple ways of solving a problem, with the consideration of how your children might best internalize their lessons. With online distance learning, it has become more apparent that education is not one-size-fits-all. 

Lesson 3: Self-learning needs to be developed.

Self-learning is a term that is thrown around often—and for a good reason. With limited interaction with their fellow students and teachers, your children have had to master the art of learning on their own. But while this is true, you as parents have had to help them master their skills. 

Helping them sharpen their self-learning skills can be as simple as letting them study their lessons on their own, asking questions instead of giving the answers, and providing real-life situations that highlight their schoolbook lessons. Whatever method you have found to be effective, keep going.

Lesson 4: Creating structure is a priority.

Arguably, the biggest shock of online distance learning came when students, teachers, and parents lost the educational structure they had depended on for years. There were no more morning assemblies, and no midday breaks, and face-to-face discussions. And so a new structure had to be built. 

A dedicated study area is now a priority, distractions at home must be put away, and a schedule has to be strictly followed. Without this structure enforced at home, your children could easily fall into the misunderstanding they are currently on a long summer break.

Contact the Kumon Center nearest you for more details: https://ph.kumonglobal.com/find-us.

Kumon is the world's leading after-school enrichment program. We offer two subjects: Math and Reading in more than 300 Kumon Centers nationwide.

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