This Fall, 2020 back-to-school will look different for many families. With public schools being the most popular choice for most parents, COVID-19 has caused many parents to consider options outside of traditional schools for the first time. Our kids should be safe, having fun, and learning! Kids need support in their education this year as much as parents need help at home! So what options do busy parents have for their child’s schooling? Here are 3 options for your child’s early education this fall.
1. Virtual Schooling
This may be the most popular alternative that parents are turning to, and for good reason! Virtual programs are the next best options for parents that need flexibility during their day. There are many virtual programs on the market to choose from and a few benefits that are unique to the virtual medium.
While public schools have expected deadlines for their students to finish assignments, virtual schools offer relaxed deadlines. This way, parents can adjust their school hours to best suit their own schedules and set a routine for their child that adds structure to their day. In addition, traditional schools often have large class-sizes (and increasingly so), much larger than teachers can manage! It’s an unfair disadvantage to many teachers and students alike when remote learning allows little mitigation of distraction and disruption! With virtual school, classroom sizes are often limited to encourage participation and reduce the opportunity for disruptions.
Virtual schools like BumoBrain Virtual School offer parents 3 different main programs, as well as supplemental classes, to cater to a variety of needs. BVS understands that when it comes to your child’s education, one shoe does not fit all! With BVS’s newest program, Launch, parents can access the daily, age-specific curated curriculum at any time and anywhere! Parents may desire human interaction for their kids, which is provided through our weekly live classes in the Success Program or in real-time vocal feedback in the Jumpstart Program. In all BVS programs, students learn through hands-on, unplugged activities to encourage understanding and memory retention.
If parents are looking for supplemental classes to support their child’s independent learning or main programs, BVS offers Enrichment classes that cover a wide range of topics to choose from, like engineering, chemistry, marine life studies, and so much more. Whether students learn visually or verbally, virtual learning can help widen young learner’s interest in subjects. Have peace of mind, knowing that virtual schooling ensures your child will be safe, learn at their own pace, all while working around your schedule.
Homeschooling can be daunting for parents, especially if this option was never explored prior to the pandemic. The first thing to acknowledge is that homeschooling is NOT a public school at home. Public schools are run on standardized tests for a general audience, whereas homeschooling is tailored to the specific individual.
Start with the legal requirements for homeschooling. In the U.S., homeschooling is regulated by the state, rather than the federal government, so looking into your particular state’s legal requirements will give you a good starting point. You’ll get to know what your curriculum should include and better tailor it to your child’s unique method of learning.
Designate class periods that work for you. It’s recommended that new homeschoolers start off slow; to homeschool a child between the ages of 3-5, begin with a few days per week and keep each session around 30 minutes. During class times, pay attention to your child’s engagement. Ask yourself, are they asking questions? Do they seem frustrated? If your child seem’s disengaged, consider a new “style” of homeschooling because the effectiveness of homeschooling is not about the curriculum, but about the general approach that you take with your child’s specific learning method. It’s all trial and error, so be patient with yourself! Here is a pdf guide on homeschooling your preschooler.
3. Charter School
Charter schools are independently-operated public schools. The benefit of charter schools is in the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs without bureaucratic oversight. Many charter schools adapted quicker to the distanced learning model because many teachers and administrators in charter schools have experience completing time-sensitive tasks. Essentially, charter preschools are a great choice if you desire to have a general curriculum that gives the opportunity for parents to have an active role in their child’s lessons.
Charter schools are tuition-free like public schools, but most require applications! If you are considering charter schools, look into the specific charter school’s application requirements. Charter schools require different essays, applications, interviews, and possible prerequisites. Be honest with how much time you can allot to the application process. However, if accepted, Pre-K Charter schools are fairly new and may offer parents insight into their child’s learning method, laying the foundation for a more informed choice into other schooling options later on!
Remember, no matter what choice you make for your child’s schooling, you are a great parent. These circumstances are unlike any other. As a global community, we are facing a time when the safety of our children takes precedence over all other normal activities and daily routines. We are all making adjustments to best serve our families. Being a parent is already challenging, so whatever decision you make during this pandemic, the bümo community supports you! We trust you are making a decision that best supports YOUR children’s early education and safety.