If you’re a parent in the Virginia school district where Julie Gunlock sends her kids, you need to remember these words: “Not welcome to complain.” That culture of top-down education without parental involvement came tumbling down as the coronavirus’ spread led to mass school closures and an on-the-fly adoption of various digital tools for ill-equipped parents to use to homeschool their children.
So Project Forever Free’s own Erika Sanzi invited Gunlock, who in her day job runs the Center For Progress & Innovation at the Independent Women’s Forum, onto the latest episode of “Liberty Through Learning” to discuss parental involvement in the COVID-19 era, balancing learning on screens vs. paper-and-pen instruction at home and more. Watch below:
If you found yourself overwhelmed with all the programs and systems and tools your kids’ new at-home learning required, Gunlock’s here for you.
Gunlock says that, as we head into a fall semester likely to be dominated by more at-home learning, schools need to develop better feedback systems so students can simply know how they’re doing in real time.
She’s on Team Paper-Textbook.
Erika notes that reading novels with her son the old fashioned way helps in his learning of the material.
Gunlock says, for parents of multiple children, or parents who have to also work from home, the ability to keep students on task is basically impossible with current digital technology.
If you also love the feel of a book in your hands, you’ll probably let out an “amen” to this quote.
Gunlock’s kids, usually eager to get to school when they physically went to the school building, have struggled with often-incomprehensible learning tool interfaces. Frustration and tears and feelings of wanting to give up have followed.
Gunlock preaches for the need to empower parents to be more nimble in how they respond to their children’s individual needs.
She’s not especially convinced that district reopening “plans” are all that thought through.
Given many districts’ recent all-in approach to digital learning, Gunlock says there will need to be a rethink as more at-home learning is required by the pandemic in the fall.