Last Saturday evening, we hosted a Live Panel on Distance Learning Strategies focused on young students between Kindergarten and 8th Grade. 7EDU lead instructor & founder Jun Liu shared insights from her 17+ years of distance learning education, her knowledge from working closely with students & parents for many years, and from her own personal research as a mother of two young children.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording below!
No time to listen right now? We've summarized some of the main points of consideration for parents. From 7EDU Surveys and general conversations, Jun tackled six of the most frequently questioned and considered options for Distance Learning in recent months. Every scenario will vary case-by-case, but there are generally universal options and bits of advice worth considering.
1. Attend the School's Online Classes
If you can afford the time & have the option, we highly recommend you shadow the class. Its is important to have a strong understanding of the class curriculum, to gain full access to required resources (course material, grades, LMS-specific features, calendar, etc.) and to learning tools (consistent internet/hotspot, webcam & camera to scan, computer/laptop, etc.), and lastly to communicate well with your child's teacher.
Many of America's school teachers have been forced to change their lives & entire yearly teaching plans more dramatically than most, and as a community, its important that those strong individuals taking care of our kids feel our utmost gratitude, empathy and genuine good will. Find a way to support and make that teacher's job a bit easier if you can spare the time; after all, in public, private, or charter school - your teacher will spend significant time with your child.
Set a good example by learning the material, applying yourself & sincerely enjoying time learning with your son or daughter. Distance education has been difficult for many, and its the parents responsibility to help young children take safe, smart steps towards remote learning models.
Furthermore, many educators are adjusting to distance learning as best they can, but with varying degrees of success. Jun herself mentions her concern seeing her child's public school teacher struggle to adapt despite her best intentions. As a parent or caregiver, the younger the child is, the more important it is to play an active role & support both your child and their teacher during this difficult transition. Being present will also help to manage expectations of both your child and your teacher, as you will be able to assess the instructional quality and the needs of your child in real-time and address issues on the spot! For your child, real-time responsive guidance promotes efficient and effective learning.
Moreover, as public school teacher-to-student ratios are notoriously large (20~30+), students receive very little one-on-one attention from their teacher, and consequently they won't receive help right when they need it. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend class with your child, acting as an unofficial Teacher's assistant can be a tremendous advantage for your child's education (as well as for your relationships with your child and their educator)!
2. File An Affadavit to Function as a Private School (Home School)
There are a number of different Private/Home School options, but the primary method in California for homeschooling parents is to file a Private School Affadavit with the California Department of Education.
Parents who file the private school affidavit to privately educate or "home school" their children must select and provide all curricular, instructional, and other materials.
This is the most time-consuming option, especially if planning to home school for just one. Most parents won't have the time to fully run their own home school operation & maintain all the records, documentation, and standard learning objectives. Regardless of the option one chooses, it is important to inform the local school district of your option via the Private School Affadavit (though not mandated) in order to avoid any unnecessary confusions.
3. Enroll in a Private School Satellite Home School Program
Also an alternative for parents & their children once a PSA has been filed with the department of education, local groups and communities can and have often formed their own home school programs with parents & community members serving as teachers. Now more than ever, parents are congregating to develop their own community Private School Satellite programs for local children to apply to & enroll in.
Requirements, quality, and quantity will vary, but in general, private schools are more expensive, have lower teacher-to-student ratios, and have a more rigorous curriculum than in public schools.
4. Hire a Certified Private Tutor
While this may seem like the best option, if the goal is to avoid infection risk, hiring a certified tutor to come by in-person still runs the a certain level risk of bringing the virus in from outside; unless, that is, the certified tutor lives with you. Or, perhaps, you are the certified tutor, an option that would pair perfectly with Option 1 - attending online school with your child. Everybody has their own judgment of risk; all we ask is to be thoughtful of others & learn safely.
Either way, having a tutor does not replace school; tutoring is meant to supplement a regular curriculum and learning route, ensuring that the student is reaching their highest potential in a particular focus or subject. Virtual tutors can be tremendously beneficial for handling personal weaknesses like comprehension or math - tutors are trained to dive in & work closely with students to identify their knowledge gaps and strategically teach them how to overcome those weak areas.
Whether it's for a test, for a class subject, a language, an instrument, whatever it may be - tutors are a great resource in almost every community to consider for your child's development. Unlike many professors and educators, certified tutors provide specialized one-on-one time that is crucial for solving knowledge deficiencies. We highly recommend seeking local or virtual tutors (many university students now offer their services, though accreditation does guarantee higher quality in general) individually by recommendation or through a company like 7EDU that promises only the highest quality of one-on-one time.
5. Use a Public School Independent Study Option
Independent study is an alternative to classroom instruction - so long as the voluntary studies are consistent with the school district's course of study & not an alternative curriculum. Students still take the same classes and share the same learning objectives, as this system was designed for schools to adapt to students with specific educational needs & abilities.
Ultimately, the choice is yours as the guardian, caregiver, or parent. Some students are enrolled in exemplary independent study programs intended to maximize their learning potential; nonetheless, by law, quality & quantity of independent study instruction is required to equal that in classrooms. Under public school independent study, the good thing is that your child can return to school at anytime. This may be one of the better options if attending school online turns out ineffective or detrimental for your child.
However, not all districts offer independent study programs; look up your local school district's policies to find out if independent study is a viable option for your child, as you may want to pull them out during the school year, depending on the quality of experience attending remote public school.
6. Enroll in a Public Charter School
However, an alternative to the public school districts & are Public Charter Schools, which operate independent of the local districts. Charter schools must follow the same orders as other school restrictions due to COVID-19, which will depend on the county of the school, but are absolutely still an option for Distance Learning.
Unlike private schools, Charter schools are tuition-free & unlike public schools, are exempt from significant local & state management standards. Children must meet grade and attendance requirements for admission, and are chosen based on a lottery system; those in the basket not selected will go to the local public school instead. Every child and family will have varying needs, and because charter school admissions are randomized, we highly recommend studying all of your personal options & setting up the home for optimal distance learning, regardless of which schooling option you choose.
Of course, quality is guaranteed by nothing but the specific school and context, as well as the particular system in place. Whether charter school, private school or public school is the right decision will depend entirely on your specific situation - look into the local schools & find out if they meet your child's needs & whether private tutoring can enrich their learning experience to the fullest!
Read more about optimizing your child's remote learning experience on our blog post, Distance Learning: 3 Critical Pieces of Advice for Young Students & Parents
7EDU Impact Academy has long believed that the future of education will rely upon the technological tools that have improved both the teaching & the learning experience for teachers & students alike.
From our fully online academic support & private counseling services to our weekly virtual live classes to our blog posts, 7EDU has always advocated for strategic distance learning models. This Fall, we will be offering small group classes (Regular & Honors) for young students on
1. Exploring the Classics in Literature for Grade 3-5 Students, Regular & Honors (August)
This class uses Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to teach foundational concepts in literature analysis. Students will learn to discuss thematic content and annotate readings, understand the significance of historical context, and ultimately finish the course with a revised analytical essay of the novel.
2. Exploring the Classics in Literature Grade 6-8 Students (August)
In this 6th-8th grade section, students will read complex novels and examine thematic content and messages such as free-will, justice, and individualization. The tentative book for this course is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles dickens.
In each section, students will further advance their critical thinking abilities using a variety of fiction & non-fiction literature, learning to interpret explicit & inferred messages, synthesize information, and deduce symbolic meaning in historical texts.
& more! 7EDU Impact Academy also offers a wide variety of other foundational courses, test prep bootcamps, 1-on-1 tutoring, full support programs, college counseling, and free live classes! Check out our late Summer + early Fall course catalog at https://7edu.online/summer
8/1/20 Saturday 6:00-6:45pm via Zoom: Common SAT Traps Review with Dr. Nieman
8/8/20 Saturday 6:00-6:45pm via Zoom: Optimized Distance Learning for HS Students (G9-12) with Jun Liu
You can sign up for our free live events in August here
If you'd like to learn more about 7EDU's K-12 Enrichment, Foundation, and Tutoring programs, please leave us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call today!
For English, Call/Text (650) 284 6408
For Chinese, Call/Text (408) 216 9109
"For success in academics and beyond, our foremost goal is to guide and support our students through all types of challenges, preparing them to exceed their current capabilities." - Founder of 7EDU, Jun Liu
7EDU’s primary mission is to deliver the most effective quality of education to every student we serve. We believe that all individuals learn differently, each with varying of needs, preferences, and degrees of readiness; thus, our educators understand that strategically personalizing every student’s learning experience is the key to unlocking their academic potential. Furthermore, 7EDU Impact Academy has embraced technological advances with adaptive teaching principles since its conception in 2014, with our programs routinely delivering tremendous results and academic breakthroughs for all 7EDU students. By consistently nurturing young minds to unearth their hidden capabilities while maintaining our position as a leader in educational technology, 7EDU Impact Academy promises to continue advancing our teaching methodology to accommodate for modern learning environments and to provide unique, personalized learning experiences designed for students to reach their highest goals in academics.