Distance Learning vs Hybrid Model – What to choose?

As the new school session starts in the U.S. this Fall, my kids’ school district has opted for Hybrid learning model. Hybrid or blended learning integrates two days of in person classes with online education for rest of the school days.

There is a second option also for parents to proactively opt for full time digital or distance learning. Now, this is a difficult choice to make.

Messages are circulating on WhatsApp groups regarding what to choose.

I am writing this post to point out the facts so that it becomes easier for parents to choose whatever works for them. Every household is different and everyone has many things to consider before coming to a decision.

Pros and cons of distance learning:

  • safety from the pandemic
  • flexibility in studies

  • more involvement from parents

  • less peer pressure

Cons:

  • too much screen time and less social interaction
  • no teacher present to supervise

  • self motivation to study which small kids lack

  • extra supervisory work for parents who would need to balance work, the household and child education

  • Pros and cons of hybrid learning:

    • social interaction and activities

    • quality education

    • best of both the worlds – in person and online

    • asynchronous learning and improved technology skills

    Cons:

    • fear for safety due to the pandemic during in person days
  • brand new learning model (may face logistical challenges in implementation)

  • confusing for parents, students and instructors (the district is dealing with a lot of questions as to how the model would be implemented)

  • big and steep learning curve for all

  • So, there you go parents! This to-the-point listing might help you in making your choice between the two models of learning for your child.

    Go for whatever works for you and your family. All the best and take care.

    (Image courtesy Google)

    Small Things#14 – Ideal routine by a kid

    While my seven year old is looking for physical changes that the New Year might have brought in him and others, with comments like – ‘Mamma, my nose looks bigger in 2019’, his kid brother has been talking about ideal routine for little kids.

    Have a look at the IDEAL routine, based on his inputs –

    1) Wake up, have chocolate milk

    2) Play until breakfast

    3) Bathing time then TV time or Ipad time

    4) Lunch

    5) Playing with brother time

    6) Milk Time

    7) Movie Time

    8) Dinner Time

    9) Sleep Time

    “When is the study time?,” I asked him. “Playtime is study time for kids, Mamma,” he explained. Well, ahem, okay, ahaa!

    (Image – Google)

    Small Things#10 – School Jokes

    A fortnight back, my older one returned from school with his head full of jokes from a fun riddle book. And the great thing was he had memorized most of them. Here are a few from his mirthful joke telling session:-

    Q. How do bees ride home from school?

    A. Simple…school buzz!

    Q. What did the sloppy student put on his homework?

    A. Eeks…Peanut butter and jelly.

    Q. Why did the student put a flashlight in his lunch?

    A. Because it was a light lunch!

    Q. Why was 6 afraid of 7?

    A. Because 7 ate(8) 9.

    Q. What is a light year?

    A. A year with really little homework!

    Q. What do you call a vampire with sunglasses?

    A. Vamglasses.

    Undaunted by his brother’s volley of jokes, my little one made up a few –

    Q. Why were the strawberry shoes flying?

    A. Because it had superpower!

    Q. Why was a cow wearing underpants?A.Because it was an Underpants cow!

    Well…ahem…quite a session it was! Lol.

    Images courtesy Google

    #ENOUGH!

    As students walkout nation wide to protest inaction of authorities on gun violence today, we stand in solidarity with them. For the sake of my kids, my neighbors’ kid and kids everywhere in the US, I hope that something gets done.

    Exactly a month ago, 17 hapless people were killed in a school shooting in Florida. It was heartbreaking! Really, Enough is Enough!

    I salute the spirit of these kids as they protest for a great cause👍. #NationalWalkoutDay

    Small Things # 7 – Positive Reinforcement

    I was pleasantly surprised to notice this paper in my son’s folder. See how the class teacher (Mrs Abrahamson, First Grade) has circled the best ‘S’ in the handwriting page instead of pointing out at not so good ones. What a small yet enormously effective way to reaffirm positive behavior! And what we do is the other way round – find faults and punish. Simply loved this and learnt from it!

    Small Thing#2 – Fidget Spinner, the sensational toy!

    When my son told me about mighty Fidget Spinners, I stared at him dumbly. Later, I googled but found nothing great about the toy except that it acts as stress reliever. But kids (nephew, niece, neighbourhood kids… everyone) are raving about it this year! 

    This latest toy fad has taken school going kids in US by the storm. And grown ups like me are clueless about these weird flashy things! They are just so ordinary.

    We also received a letter from the Principal banning the toy from school premises because kids were acting crazy over it. 

    I don’t know how Fidget Spinner people marketed this toy but they have certainly succeeded. After repeated request and good jobs, my son got his Fidget Spinner yesterday! And he was on top of the world. He promised to be the ‘nicest boy ever’ and carried it around like a precious treasure. Didn’t know Fidget Spinners were that effective! LOL!

    A Child’s Note to Parents

    Dear Parents,

    Soon you would be having conference regarding my performance in school. As you listen, please remember that what my teacher might be describing may not be the complete truth. So, do not get uptight if you hear any blemish. I hope you will accept me as I am as long as I am trying.

    Remember that all children do not walk or speak at the same age, nor do they learn math, reading or science at the same rate. Please do not compare me to my brothers, sisters, cousins or friends. I am unique to this world. Be realistic in setting my goals. Challenge me but do not push me beyond my abilities. Please let me be a child first before labelling me as a success or a failure.

    The conference would be a picture of me at school. I am very different at home. In school, I have to deal with around 25-50 kids my age, I sometimes respond in a different manner. My teacher knows me at school, You know me at home. The real ‘Me’ is somewhere in between.

    When these images blend with sufficient understanding, acceptance and love, I hope you’ll see a unique individual who can make you proud and bring happiness to our family.

    Love you,

    Your Kid

    (We received this touching leaflet from my Son’s school before a conference. I could not help sharing. Do share this post, it is worth the effort. Because sometimes we adults are incapable of seeing a child’s point of view.)


    Images courtesy Google

    Mission Tom the Turkey!


    Tom the turkey was desperate🙁. He wanted to escape from being eaten during the Thanksgiving feast on November 24th😖. He sought refuge in a kindergarten class😓. The teacher, Miss E was very kind and asked the class to disguise him🤓. Little Adi had a plan and he disguised him as a spiderman with the help of his mom🕷.

    Now, how would you disguise Tom the Turkey and save him from being eaten✍️️?  Tom may get recognised in the spiderman costume so we need many more ideas💡.

    Help Tom the turkey and be a hero😇!

    (Sketch courtesy Adiraj’s school project on disguising turkey)

    A letter to my classmate!

       
    Hello,

    Hope this letter finds you good. I felt an immediate need to write to you after visiting your facebook profile via our common friend’s profile. I was looking for a tall, gawky person but saw a different man there – aged with lined face and a pot belly. I was aghast! There was no sign of the boy who would enter the classroom bustling with energy, taking on the world in his languishing stride. 

    It seems as if time has flown since I last saw him after our board exams (Kabuliwallah syndrome… remember the story?). We were sixteen then… fresh and so full of excitement to take on the world. I had half expected to find the same boy and initiate a chat with him. But for the first time, I experienced how much the world has changed… how much I have changed! In a flash, I felt being transported from teenage years right into my thirties.

    He and I studied together from kindergarten till tenth. Although, we were never best of friends! Infact, I remember the boy was mean to me a number of times and I myself was not a model of good behaviour but we were comfortable around each other. I also visited other classmates via your profile but everyone has changed. Most of us have put on weight, have moved to different places, undergone varied experiences. Life truly has taken a toll on us.

    I tried hard to find some semblance, something of the past in your picture but …I gave up.  You looked comfortable around your family…a typical man of the world who goes to work in the morning, returns home tired and waits for dinner to be served at night. Your wife is beautiful and kids are cute. One of them resembles you. I am glad life has been good to you. But again, you are so unlike him. He was fidgety and non-conformist. You are a stereotype family man!

    He was ambitious, boisterous and haughty but you seem to avoid confrontations. He questioned everything and you seem to accept everything. I like that you are happy and settled but I liked him better – my happy go lucky classmate who would make the class laugh with his pranks. He was non predictable and creative, you are adjusting with what life has offered you. Good for you!

     I smile thinking that once upon a time,  my classmates were an intrinsic part of my world. I had enjoyed their encouragement and would take any discouragement to heart. Many a times, they were harsh and judgemental.

    My classmates held the power to make or break me. I didn’t know then that all this would change so drastically. And that I would no longer have to compete with or conform to anyone’s notions. It felt good when I moved on from teenage angst towards maturity but in the process, I took you all for granted. I had never thought I would never find you all ever again…not in the same way. 

    I get nostalgic remembering the last parting image of my classmates – excited bunch of boys and girls who loved to chat,  bitch, scream and dream. Where did they all go?

    Lately, some of you crept into my memory and reminded me of those sweet-sour school years. Perhaps, wanting to re-live the past encouraged me to visit your FB page.  I wanted to meet you all and have a chat online. But I guess…I have lost the connect.

    If my letter encourages you to find him – the gawky teenager, somewhere deep within you, then kindly let him know that I am thankful to him for being a part of my childhood. 

    May be, my letter would make you  curious and you would want to check back my profile. But I warn you – you will hardly recognise me – a married woman with kids. You would not know what to say to me.

    But perhaps if you let that tall boy visit my profile, he might find the quiet girl who loved doodling and reading. They will connect, have great conversation and laugh together like youngsters do. Please find and send him once for I am sure we all miss the innocent, musical laughter of our wonder years! Then, may be we will reconnect again with our past.

    Best wishes for everything,

    Your former friend

      
    Images courtesy Google