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  • 'Have Backup Internet': Moms Share How They Are Preparing For Distance Learning

    Doing school at home is a serious adjustment with its new challenges.
    by Que Sullano-Gavan .
  • COVID-19 has forced parents to re-evaluate what back to school will look like this school year.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of author

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    Distance learning is one of the learning delivery modalities utilized by the Department of Education for the school year 2020-2021. It is a form of education where the students can complete the course without being physically present in a classroom with the teacher. It can be modular, online, or a combination of both. (See here one way that DepEd plans to conduct distance learning in kindergarten.) 

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    Modular distance learning involves the use of print or digital learning materials, while online distance learning uses virtual classrooms with teachers conducting the classes, which do not happen daily. 

    Doing school at home is a serious adjustment, especially for families whose kids were in traditional schools. There are pros (no more traffic) and cons (parents become teacher assistants).

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    Shifting from traditional school to learning from home

    We ask moms who have done it to share how they prepared the transition from a traditional school routine to learning from home.

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    Ma. Perrey Belen, an NGO employee, prepared her daughter with online tutorial classes. It helped her to acquaint herself with the new setup for the incoming school year. She also allocated a budget of Php30,000–50,000, including learning materials. 

    “We had to set aside a budget to purchase a laptop, a printer, a study table, and a comfortable chair,” says Ma. Perrey, which were unexpected school expenses this year. 

    Bave dela Cruz, a stay-at-home mom to three boys, didn’t have to spend on getting new devices. However, she subscribed to a fiber internet provider to make sure they have a reliable internet connection.

    Aubrey, a software test architect and whose daughter you see above, recommends making arrangements for “backup” internet for undisrupted online sessions. Distance learning had already implemented in her daughter’s school during the latter part of the school year. It made the transition less difficult since she already knew what her child needed to have useful virtual classes.

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    Learn-at-home challenges  

    Aubrey did share that living in a condo unit with limited space had some challenges. “We needed to move things around so my daughter could have a comfortable space for learning without the distractions.”

    Bave says she found it challenging to explain to one of her younger kids how school classes will be done. She says, “His being camera shy added to the struggle. It almost made us decide to let him skip this year. However, with everyday practice using video conferencing tools and apps, we are seeing good improvements.”

    The moms reported minimal changes to the tuition fees this school year. Some removed miscellaneous costs like laboratory and air-conditioning fees since the kids are not expected in the classrooms. In Audrey’s case, the school offered her a 10% discount on the tuition fees.

    Bave shares the learning space at home. She adds parents should prepare school and art supplies to avoid frequent trips to the stores.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Bave dela Cruz
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    Distance learning means kids learn on their own

    In distance education, teachers are not available every day, nor do they hold traditional classes. Kids are expected to learn on their own. That can make any parent nervous, but as one dad pointed out, kids learn self-discipline and are accountable.

    Still, distance learning will require more parental supervision. Audrey reminds her daughter that she is attending her classes, and she needs to participate, just like how she does in school.

    Ma. Perrey’s daughter is already an independent learner, but Ma. Perrey says that “I have to personally oversee her daily task and learning materials from time to time.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Ma. Perrey Belen
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    Children will get better with technology skills when they learn to use personal computers. Ma. Perrey states that her daughter is now learning to use the laptop for research information and references.

    Aubrey is glad for the distance learning program provided by her daughter’s school. Even without classroom face-to-face interactions, her daughter easily adjusted and enjoy learning with her classmates and teachers.

    Looking for learn-at-home options and wondering about tuition fee? Head to Smart Parenting Classroom now!

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