Mommy Hacks: 8 Reasons Why Home Schooling and Online Learning is Not for Us

Trumpets Playshop texted me today about the possibility of enrolling into an online workshop. The workshop fee would be lowered and there will be no additional fees for recital, costumes and script. The price will be around 2/3 of the regular price. Classes will be available live via an online app.

I texted them that I would like to refund the deposit I made before COVID-19. While I was interested in putting my child in theatre classes, I was not interested in doing it online.  Logistically, how hard is it to teach a child to sing, dance and act online? No way, it’s just a waste of money. I’d rather wait until COVID-19 is over, and enroll her into a proper class.

My daughter’s kindergarten has also announced that they will be conducting online classes for the School Year 2020 to 2021. The first semester will begin late July till the end of October. The second semester will start November till the end of March 2021.

online learning for kids

I told him that we are okay with online classes. However, we will fully support the school if they decided to allow physical classes back inside the physical classroom. For me, it was important to communicate that I still preferred doing classes inside the four corners of a classroom instead of online. I don’t think it would be as effective, than if a live teacher conducts her class in front of the computer.

Obviously, I fully trust that the school will look into the overall health situation of the Philippines, and will open the doors when it’s safe for all to do so. The school’s not stupid and would knowingly endanger the health of the kids. However, I still prefer that our daughter go back to school, so she can play with her classmates face to face, and be taught by the teacher. I honestly do not think that online schooling will be as effective as a face-to-face interaction:

classroom

Like what can beat that?

There’s many reasons why online learning is not for us.

Here are Eight (8) Reasons Why I’m not that gungho about Online Learning:

1. Statistically, I don’t think children are at risk if they go to school. Statistically, it’s the senior citizens and not the kids that are most vulnerable to dying of COVID-19.

I have been very vocal about keeping the seniors at home because they are at most risk of dying from COVID-19, given their weakened immune systems or long-term conditions. Even though they may be strong, once you get hit by COVID-19, it’s a draw of luck if your immune system can take the toll. Everyone would agree with me that they are the most valuable group of society in terms of knowledge, experience and contributions. That’s why, senior citizens cannot and should not die. Too many people are counting on them for them to leave this earth so early.

save

On the flip side, children are the least vulnerable group of dying form COVID-19. Globally, kids who do test positive of COVID-19, specifically children aged 0 to 10 years old, do NOT die of COVID-19. In Italy, zero deaths at this age:

See the age of Coronavirus deaths below. It might befuddle scientists, but COVID-19 is just not a disease kids die form.

Age of Coronavirus Deaths
Source: Worldometer

Then what about the two infants who reportedly died of COVID-19?

baby

A Philippine DOH representative has already debunked the claim by saying that these two infants from the Philippines who reportedly died and tested positive for COVID-19,  most likely died due to an immature immune system. They would have died anyway because their bodies was weak.

How about that 27 day old baby? Same story. That 27-day old baby from Batangas who was said to be the first child GLOBALLY who died of COVID-19 was a bit weak to begin with. He was diagnosed with pneumonia before dying of sepsis caused by a respiratory infection. 

There had been 240,391 people who died of COVID-19 as of today. One or three babies is still statistically too small for me to get worried to keep my daughter stuck at home. 

The truth is, even if the babies contract Coronavirus, the babies recover very well. In the UK, babies born from COVID-19 positive mothers recover very fast. In a separate paper published in Jama Pediatrics, the three Wuhan babies who were studied were found to have recovered well despite likely contracting Coronavirus from their mother. As for their mothers, there are zero pregnant women who have died from Coronavirus at the moment. While many can test positive, they do not die of the disease.

So why should I be too worried about my daughter? She’s not the target of COVID-19. She will live. Guardian angels are protecting the little children from COVID-19. Most importantly, if the school says the coast is clear for the kids to physically attend classes, then most likely it would be safe for them to do so.

2. You can’t beat the learning environment created by studying in a physical school alongside classmates. 

My daughter’s a bit spoiled, being the only child and the first apo. She usually gets her way with my husband and her lola, and is allowed to run amok in the house. When she needs to study, it’s hard for us to get her to sit down and do her homework. Usually, such exercise ends in tears. It’s not easy to teach a child when she’s in a relaxed environment at home. For her, School is “Work,” while home is “Play and sleep.”

It’s the same as us — When we go to work, we act differently. When we are at home, we are relaxed as well. In the same way, my daughter categorizes work and home differently. And I strongly believe that it’s because her studying beside her classmates create a healthy herd mentality that pushes the kids to study and excel together.

work from home

How does the herd mentality work? 

When they are at school, each child push each other to excel and behave.

My daughter sits because her classmates are eating. She falls in line because her classmates are falling in line. She studies because she loves the feeling of being outstanding.

herd mentality

You can only get this when she’s with her classmates and teacher at school. She looks at her classmates and follows their cue. She looks at the teacher and sits up a bit straighter.

A teacher is like her boss. In a classroom of 17 kids, the teacher treats her the same way as everybody else. If you are lax with children, they get a bit spoiled. But if you monitor them carefully and stomps out any feeling of entitlement, this keeps them in line.

When they are in school, everyone follow the same class schedule. They line up. They eat together. Everyone listens to the teacher. When they misbehave, they are punished accordingly. My daughter had her star removed for a day for misbehaving. This simple act did wonders in improving her class conduct.

Consequently, my daughter is more behaved in school than she is here at home. It’s hard to create such conducive learning environment when all you can see is a screen and moving photos, especially when it’s at 8:00am in the morning. How easy do you think it is to get them to learn? They’ll be very sabog. And the mornings will look like this:

Little girl crying

3. You need training, skill and a lot of patience to be a good teacher. All of which they have a lot of, and I have none. 

Homeschooling is tough. Kids are kids. Given a choice, none of them would like to go to school. None of the kids would want to study and do their homework. The great thing about teachers and schools is that they understand that children don’t naturally like to study, so they make it fun for them.

Even if the kids aren’t focusing, the teachers keep up their upbeat tone and don’t let the kids know that they’re bored as well. Teachers don’t really have a lot of bad days. If they have a bad day, you won’t have a lot of energy left to teach. And you need energy to teach.

sleepy

I sincerely believe that educators believe that teaching is their calling, which is why they do the things they do. They are wonderful and patient with children even if our kids are little brats. They still talk and persuade the children to behave even if the kids don’t feel like behaving.  Bar none, many teachers are just very wonderful, patient and understanding to their students. What my daughter is today is a result of a combined effort of her school, her teachers and her classmates. I sincerely believe that teachers have the magic touch. Honestly, teachers deserve every penny they get and more.

That’s why I outsource this job to them. They do this very well. I don’t think that I can teach my child better than Mother Goose teachers can teach her. It takes trust for me to leave my child in the hands of educators the entire morning. And I trust the school a 100%. Why would I want to remove that job from them if they do it so well?

4. I can’t work full time if I home school or my daughter does online learning.

You can’t put your kids in front of the PC and tell them to study on their own. Parents who make the decision to homeschool or prescribe to online learning must be prepared in monitoring the child the entire morning to ensure they follow the curriculum. If possible, you have to do it beside them so that they can get maximum results.

teach

Homeworks need to be printed out and answered. You need to buy and provide materials for projects. You need to watch them so that they don’t fall asleep in class. You need to wake them up if they fall asleep.

Online learning is more work for the parents than it is for the student. Those who believe that it’s as simple as opening a laptop is dreaming. Online learning is more work for the parents, not less. Homeschool, even more so. Kudos to all mommies who try to homeschool their kids on their own and do it wonderfully. But if anyone is truly being honest with themselves after trying their hand in homeschooling, it’s okay to admit to ourselves that teaching kids is hard.

homeschool memes

The reality is, it’s hard to work full time if you’re home schooling your child or if your child is enrolled in an online class.

Even at the ECQ, I’m working on a project right now, and I can only do this when my daughter’s asleep. When she’s awake, it’s hard to finish anything. Do you have a 4-year old? She’s the Energizer bunny the entire day she’s awake and calls me, “Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” all the time. You can’t work as efficiently if she’s calling you all the time. It’s just fair. Kids are clingy. They want to play with you, have you pay attention to her, and want you to answer all her “Why? ” questions. They are kids. They are naturally curious.

So I view school as the iPad that’s healthy for her. All you need to do is to drop her and go, and you have the entire morning free to do your stuff.

Do I feel guilty I see the school this way?

Sometimes, but it’s the truth. I can’t work if she’s bothering me. And school is the best time to keep her occupied where she learns at the same time.

5. Teaching takes a lot of effort and sap your energy. 

Teaching takes a lot of effort. You can’t teach and daydream. You need to be PRESENT all the time. People who are working know you can’t teach your kid and be focused on something else. You can’t tutor them and be on a conference call. If If you teach them, your focus should be on your child and the content at hand. You have to put your heart into it, otherwise, it won’t really work.

The problem is, you can’t tell your kids to pause and stop bothering you. When the baby’s crying, you can’t finish the conference call first before you attend to her. If you are taking care of more than one kid full time and do not have a helper, it’s almost impossible to work from home and be a proper mom and make sure that the kids don’t burn down the house:

work from home in suit

Kids are a time snapper. Once they’re up, they’re full of energy until they sleep. And if you’re waking them up early, get them fed, brush their teeth, ready them for online schooling, cook lunch, work a little bit, make sure they don’t kill themselves…. before you know it, you have to cook dinner because it’s dinner time already.

work from home memes

You can’t do it all.

You just can’t.

I don’t know how other mommies but this is me if I work from home and have to take care of the kids. What’s more if you need to manage your business?

You can’t 50/50 your people, nor can you 50/50 your kid. And there’s so many things you can do in a 16-hour day. A good solution?

Have somebody else teach her. Pick a great school and let them do their magic.

Problem solved.

6. I want to keep learning fun for my child(ren). 

Look, I admit it. My daughter don’t want me to teach her. When I tutor her, I sit beside her and I don’t let her rest until she finishes her lessons.

I’m like Hitler Mom. I would teach her a concept and demand that she gets it already. When she doesn’t, I repeat what I just said, but only with a loud voice. It’s really not conducive for mother-daughter bonding when I shout at her because she didn’t get something.

When I teach her, our sessions inevitably end up like this —- Her crying:

crying child

I don’t know how the other mothers do it.

I don’t know how they can get their kids to sit down, pay attention and study intently.

Some do it so well. They’re picture perfect moms.

Good for them.

But I can’t do it. My daughter is too much of a firecracker to just follow just because her mommy said so. This is why I don’t do home schooling or online learning — I don’t want them to hate learning. 

Learning is supposed to be fun. She’s 4. She loves school. It’s like an expensive babysitter that teaches her a few things. When in school, she really loves studying with her classmates. Me teaching her? Well, she cries, and crying does not help her in fanning the fire for her to love learning.

Kids learn from each other. In the classroom, when they see students listening, they listen too. Discipline is easier in a group than on one on one. It’s a healthy herd effect.

I don’t want to waste her time and my time in teaching her, and result with her HATING school.

IHateSchool-March09-istock

I would rather wait for school to resume than to waste time in teaching them when they don’t want to be taught. Anyway, it’s “summer” so there’s around 2-3 months of no schooling. This for me is her summer period.

Learning is supposed to be fun.

Crying is not fun.

Forcing a kid to learn is not fun.

Sitting until you’re done is not fun.

I don’t want to make learning not fun for them that they won’t like to go to school anymore.

7. There are many ways to teach without homeschooling and online learning.

Kids learn more when you’re not consciously teaching them. Sometimes, the best learning happens when it’s more natural. During the ECQ, we have baked brownies. Sure, we used the Maya Decadent Brownie Mix, but we used the oven so that’s baking. Daughter was hanging around the oven waiting for it to go “Ding!” It was cute.

Another example is drawing and coloring, plus a lesson on patience. 

This is actually my daughter’s drawing. I would give her instructions like, “Draw a big circle. Then draw a smaller circle here, and here. Put a line from Point A to Point B.”  

Following my step-by-step instructions, she was able to pencil the outline, of which I traced with a pentel pen. Afterwards, I erased the pencil lines and my daughter colored everything herself. She’s very proud of her work. We did it only when she was ready, and we finished it so she has something to show her grandmother. Here’s her drawing of a girl:

Drawing 1

And a lion — all this is her drawing with my very specific instructions:

Drawing 2

End result:

Drawing 3

The outcome was a sweet surprise, and well done by my daughter. I don’t think we would have created such a lovely moment if it was pilit (Forced).

8. There is a time to study, and a time to rest. Now is the time to rest.

My daughter has been studying since she was 11 months old. That’s how crazy I am. She started at a great Infant Development Program in a nursery inside North Greenhills. To their defense, they have a good IDP program. She enjoyed it.

Afterwards, we started her at Mother Goose. She started when she was 22 months old. Now, she’s almost 4.5 years old and she’s still at it. She’s not even in Nursery yet and she’s had almost four years of studying. During summer, we enroll her to classes. Last summer, she took reading, math and swimming lessons. That’s like her finishing college. And she’s only 4.

I have no regrets in starting her early. She’s grown up to be an intelligent girl. She communicates well, speaks in full sentences, have an amazing vocabulary, and can read and write. All that is credited to her excellent school’s effort. 

This season of COVID-19 is a great time for her to stop, relax and enjoy a bit of her youth. She’s worked hard and is growing up very well. Now’s a great time for her to smell the roses.

stop and smell the roses

Anyway, there’s a time for school, and a time for play. Her missing out 3 months of school will not kill her. That’s how long a summer period is anyway.  For all her hard work, she deserves a break.

ECQ is quality time with parents and for play. She’s been studying almost all her life. Let her make happy memories with us first.

The kids are smart. A handful of months of stopping school is nothing to them. Let them rest. They will catch up. And when that happens, then that’s the right time for them to do so.

Update as of May 3, 5:38 pm.

Another mommy indicated that while she agreed with all the points, she said that there’s a likelihood that our children are CARRIERS of COVID-19 and will bring the disease into the household, infecting both adults and senior citizens.

This is a VALID point.

Care must be done to ensure that the children wear masks, wash their hands often, and follow social distancing measures. Everyone is responsible for their own selves. Proper assessment should be made on calculating the risk versus the reward. My assumption in making this post is that the child stays at home until the time when the coast is clear. When this happens, I will be one of the first to put my child back in the physical classroom. Hope this helps.

About Tina in Manila

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6 Responses to Mommy Hacks: 8 Reasons Why Home Schooling and Online Learning is Not for Us

  1. Karen says:

    This article made me sad.

    Like

  2. OBI says:

    Did you make extensive research before arriving at this sanctimonious diatribe? Sorry but your article is not for me, it felt too cringy to finish your article. This is more of a reckless ignorant opinion based on your limited experience. Maybe tackle your parenting problem first?

    Like

    • Tina in Manila says:

      Given that my title is “8 Reasons Why Homeschooling and Online Learning is Not for Us,” with Us talking about my experience as a mother to my own daughter, I don’t think that I need to research on how to raise my own daughter and talk about my own experience on why homeschooling is not a good fit for us.

      Please reread the article with a shift in perspective—-I’m not talking about other families. I’m not talking about the homeschooling community. I’m talking about my own experience in parenting my own child. Saying I have a parenting problem just because I do not homeschool is an unfair statement. In terms of experience, there are way more parents with limited experience as me. For example, a first-time mother to a newborn. But never would I have called them or their opinion as “reckless” and “ignorant.”

      The article also states a big reason why I do not homeschool is because of my own limitation as a professional educator to my own child, which is why, I’d rather let the teachers do it for me. Not once did I mention any insulting word to the homeschooling mothers. I just can’t do that given my own limitations.

      Like

  3. Mommy K says:

    I didn’t agree with your point of view until I realized that your “us” meant you and your daughter. I first thought you were discouraging those who wanted their children to continue learning during the pandemic. Though your article did make me sad, I am not in a position to judge your parenting skills and approach. Thank you. You made me realize how different we are – me and you, my daughter and yours, and our parenting styles. In our case, distance learning and even homeschooling will work. God bless and keep safe. 🙂

    Like

    • Tina in Manila says:

      I’m glad you explained so we can clear misunderstandings up. To the contrary, everyone has the right to raise their kids their own way.

      Homeschooling just don’t work for myself and my daughter primarily because I am aware of my own limitations and I know I can’t be a good educator for her. Her teachers do a more spectacular job in teaching her, so I leave the job to them. She’s also a bit feisty so she needs herd mentality to teach to behave.

      You are right though —- my opinion based on my own limitation should NOT change how others raise their kids. I hope you don’t see the article as an insult to homeschooling moms. Rather, it is why I won’t homeschool or do distance learning for my child. To be honest, I felt it was a compliment/praise to home schooling mothers who actually take the extra time and effort to teach their own kids. They are the superwomen, not me.

      A popular homeschooling mother is Joy Tan-Chi. How she can capably raise 6 kids, homeschool them, write a book, keep a blog, and be Edric’s wife is beyond me! I can’t even juggle my own business with my kid, how else can I do it like her?So I don’t even compare. I’ve accepted my fate and limitations and not homeschool. It’s not for us.

      So I’m glad you dropped the note. You’re right. It does not mean people should not — they should. But rather, it’s our personal choice not to homeschool bec traditional schooling works better for us, and here are the reasons. This allows undecided people look at both sides and then decice for themselves.

      If other mommies take on the challenge of teaching their kids, great! Hindi lang kasi ako ganon kagaling, so I’d rather wait for more competent people to do it for me. 🙂

      Like

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