As if being a parent doesn’t already come with a million choices to make every day, 2020 has really put our decisiveness to the test.
One huge decision has been looming over all of us: Do I take the risk of sending my child to in-person education?
When it comes to parenting during a pandemic, the struggle is real. It can feel like no answer is the right one, and with conflicting opinions flying around, it’s hard to determine who you can trust for advice.
At Mountain Kids, we care about you and your child’s wellbeing—mental and physically. To offer some support in this unprecedented journey, I decided to do a bit of research on the issue myself.
It turns out the benefits of in-person schooling might very well outweigh the risks. That’s right—there could be good reasons for sending your child to school—beyond needing to focus on work, or having a break from homeschooling!
Read on to learn 3 strong arguments that prove in-person learning might be the way to go this year.
In-Person Learning Helps Children Form Better Connections
Childhood is a crucial time. It seems that every day, your kids are learning something new.
A lot of those lessons revolve around how to form healthy connections with others. And healthy connections with others mean advanced development in other areas.
Studies show that socializing and developing friendships helps children learn more about themselves, helps them build empathy, and even cope better with stress.
What’s the difference between online connection and in-person connecting? It can be compared to the idea of networking vs. connecting.
While life in the online realm can help your kids meet more people on a surface level, face-to-face interactions and quality time can help children know more people.
It probably goes without saying that children are more likely to develop worthwhile connections in-person than online. The Center for Disease Control released a statement earlier this summer highlighting the importance of in-person connection for the development of children.
The statement said that connections formed through in-person interaction is crucial to the social and emotional development of children. This especially applies to children with behavioral or other developmental needs.
Anyone parent who’s had to chase their kid back to their laptop to get ready for their online class can see the truth in this. Seeing your child free with friends on the playground is much more fulfilling than watching them struggle to connect and bond with friends over a screen.
In-Person Learning Improves Mental Health
While authentic connection is a huge component of mental health for children, there are a few other aspects that come into play—specifically ones that children can find much easier with in-person learning and interactions.
Just like adults, kids need physical activity, human interaction, a lot of sunlight, and healthy food to maintain their mental health.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “…children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online.”
As a parent, you can make sure your kiddos have healthy snacks and stay active after school, but you can’t be everything for your child. They still need to spend time with their teachers, peers, coaches, best friends, and more.
Studies showed remote learning led to an increase in anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts for school age children. With few changes made in the online structure, it seems likely these rates will continue to rise, as long as children are learning solely from home.
In-Person Learning Suits Different Learning Styles
Every child has a different learning style. Oftentimes, these learning styles are separated into 4 different categories:
- Visual, where they retain information better if they can see it or watch the demonstration of an idea.
- Auditory learners, who are at their best when they can hear information.
- Reading/writing, where children learn best when using the written word by taking notes.
- Kinetic learners, or children who learn with hands-on experience.
Online learning presents a few challenges for each learning style. For example, kinetic learners find difficulty using physical techniques to retain information when most of the lessons are visual and auditory focused. And auditory learners may be distracted by seeing their peers’ faces on screen while the teacher is talking.
Being together in a classroom allows a teacher to guide each student according to their unique abilities, and have a good perspective on whether the children themselves are utilizing them to their best ability.
How We Keep In-Person Learning Safe for Your Kids
Helping your children get healthy interaction through in-person learning while staying safe from coronavirus isn’t an easy feat. But at Mountain Kids, we’re doing our best to provide parents with the resources they need to help their children succeed during this challenging time.
Take our in-person gymnastic, dance, and Ninjazone classes for example. At Mountain Kids, your children can make tons of friends, form bonds with their coaches and teachers, stay active, and release stress with some good old fashioned fun, all while staying safely socially-distanced.
We’ve limited the number of students to meet state guidelines and staggered class start times to limit contact during classroom transition. We accommodate and encourage curbside drop off.
Children and teachers experiencing any symptoms of illness are asked to stay home, and we enforce a health check at drop off including to take their temperature before they come in the gym.
Facilities are disinfected thoroughly and regularly, both by us and a cleaning crew. While students aren’t required to wear masks during distanced physical activity, all teachers will wear theirs at all time.
There’s no better time than now to help take care of your child’s mental health and social skills. And there are safe ways to make sure they’re active, happy and healthy!