Is anyone really surprised that so-called “virtual learning” is a whole lot of virtual with not that much learning? Experts have been saying for years that screen time is killing our kids. They weren’t just talking about cartoons when they said that. Children need to have interactions with real human beings. They need to run around, interact, and play. Especially for little boys who typically have trouble sitting still, expecting them to stare at a screen for six hours each day to do schooling is destined to fail. It is not a matter of whether we have enough technology or not. Virtual learning is simply incompatible with the way young children were designed. If you are a parent dealing with a child learning virtually, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this. You already know.
I want to do more than complain. Schools need to start talking about real solutions to this problem. Even with President Trump’s COVID vaccine, some are saying that we will be dealing with the virus for a year or more. Waiting it out is not an option for students in crisis. The most obvious solution to consider is just opening schools back up again. Research has consistently shown that healthy children have almost no chance of dying from COVID-19. Furthermore, young children who need in-person learning the most are also much less likely to spread the virus to others. Some schools need to get over their fear and open their doors immediately before even more learning opportunities are lost for America’s youth.
Even if a school does determine that reopening is not in students’ best interest, there are still much better options to consider than virtual learning. Schools should focus more of their resources on empowering parents to teach their children at home. Home education is daunting only because parents have not had the chance to learn how to teach. Rather than punishing children, schools should empower parents who want to help their children but don’t know where to start. Virtual learning should be the last option schools consider in response to COVID-19. No technology can replace an understanding of how little boys and girls were designed to learn best.