Earning a high school diploma today seems to be more about getting the right grades rather than focusing on learning well. It’s more about the tests as opposed to how much does the child really know and understand. There was a time when children were taught how to engage in the process of learning rather than just study to earn the necessary grade. It’s no wonder more and more of our children are dropping out of school today than ever before. While there are several reasons for this happening across the nation, it’s time we put into action the solutions at hand to prevent it from snowballing into a much bigger issue, one we may face an extremely hard time fixing.
Why is there so much talk about focusing on the learning process? Because that is the core foundation of online learning platforms. Our lives aren’t what they used to be. Things are not simple anymore. Just going to school, getting good grades and looking for a safe, secure job isn’t going to cut it anymore. Why? That’s because we aren’t living in a world like that anymore. Maybe your parents did, which is why you may find them passing on that same advice to you. But that isn’t the reality anymore.
For starters, safe and secure jobs don’t exist anymore. There is always the risk of jobs being off-shored or being laid off. With economic uncertainty becoming an integral part of our daily lives, we need to cast off the illusion of security. Moreover, we need to stop passing on the same ideas to our children. They need to learn how to adapt to an ever-changing environment. For that, it is important that they first acknowledge and accept the fact that things are and will be very different for them in the years to come. Only then can they begin to look for new answers to the challenges they will face in the future.
One of the greatest advantages of online homeschooling is that it does focus on the learning process. To be able to adapt to constantly changing circumstances, our children first need to develop the skills they need in order to do so, and it all starts with the way they learn. Learning in an online environment helps them become independent. Traditionally, children have always been taught via the classroom environment. That may be a key reason why the older generation may have a hard time accepting the way online learning environments function.
When learning via conventional environments, the student invariably becomes dependent on the teacher for their learning process. However, when learning online, students are slowly taught how to learn independently. Of course, teachers are also present but students can seek help only when they need to. That way, those who are capable of learning with minimal supervision can carry on at their own pace. In the long run, this entire process fosters a greater sense of independence. By learning in a classroom environment, students capable of being independent are invariably “forced” to be dependent on the teacher, a key drawback that online homeschooling overcomes.
One of the key variables here is the authority with which knowledge is imparted to students. Previous generations were always taught that there was only one right answer. Teachers too, taught students a single method of getting a job done and that was usually the accepted method. Today however, with access to the internet, children are now more aware and understand that there can be more than one answer, more than one way of getting the job done. A simple example is solving a math problem. In most cases, students are taught a single method to solve the problem. This manner in which education is imparted can then innocently imbibe in them the notion that there is just one way of getting the job done.
While many may not see the issue here, what is concerning is the fact that any deviation from the method taught is frowned upon. Students are taught how to conform rather than embrace their individuality. Considering the above example of the math problem, while there may be only one right answer (the end result), there could be multiple ways to arrive at that answer. That is why encouraging our children to study only for the sake of getting good grades and earning their high school diploma can prove to be a dangerous practice. It is understandable that most parents may find this hard to overcome but they also need to consider the repercussions of advising their children in this manner.
Essentially, they could be unknowingly passing on their own fears to their children. Parents are usually expected to have all the answers since they are the ones children turn to when they have questions. But with today’s rapidly changing environment, it is hard for parents to keep up and plan for a future that is plagued with uncertainty in so many ways. Online learning is one way parents can actually help prepare their children for the future. By helping their children develop the right skill sets and the right attitude toward learning, parents can actually help foster a sense of independence in their children from a very young age.
Holistic learning is important today for a number of reasons. It is not just how we teach our children but how they learn as well. The corporate environment no longer seeks to spend time and money on training employees. They prefer candidates who are capable of learning on their own with minimal supervision. This could probably be one of the reasons why children brought up in an online homeschooling environment sometimes tend to perform better. It’s more about independence and individual thinking rather than collectively following traditional approaches. It’s about standing apart from the crowd rather than blending in. At the end of the day, it is more than just about a high school diploma; this is our children’s future we’re talking about!