The world is in unchartered territory. In the past, we’ve had several epidemics and pandemics: outbreaks of Cholera, Plague, Influenza, Typhus, Smallpox, Measles, Tuberculosis, Leprosy, Malaria, Yellow Fever, Ebola, Zika, etc. The difference with COVID-19 is that we don’t have a vaccine, it is highly infectious, and it’s putting enormous pressure on our healthcare systems.
Under such circumstances, it makes absolute sense for children to be kept at home and away from schools. However, parents are now understandably worried about their children’s education and their future. What should they do?
My hope is that, as a result of this global home learning phase, parents will realise the following:
1) School is a ritual.
2) There is a difference between schooling, learning, and education.
3) The purpose of education ought to be to create morally upstanding citizens.
(Read more on the above three points here).
Schools are closed. Now what?
Well, the unthinkable has happened. Schools around the world are closed and tens of millions of kids are staying at home. There’s no need to despair. Stop for a moment and reflect on what you truly remember from your high school days. How much of what you learnt do you apply in your daily life? How many of your friends and colleagues have a job that correlates with their academic degree? How much do your high school grades really make a difference in your life today?
Schools are closed, but you can still absolutely ensure your kids have an education.
Here are ten things you can do as a parent:
1) Access any number of thousands of online educational modules.
2) Develop these transferable 21st-century survival skills — as outlined by Tony Wagner (education expert & innovation fellow at Harvard)
4) Understand your child. Spend this time getting to know them better. Find out what excites them.
5) Help your kids find meaning and purpose in life. Discover their Ikigai.
6) Ask your kids what problem makes them angry about the world. Help them, as individuals, to find solutions to it. In other words, help your child to solve some of the Global Grand Challenges — in whatever small way.
7) Figure out life experiences that you can offer your child to ensure they grow up to be kind compassionate and morally upstanding citizens.
8) Encourage your kids to learn a musical instrument, eat well, and get physical exercise. Encourage them to be creative — write poetry, make art, compose songs, write stories, make podcasts, design websites… In other words, encourage them to be active creators of content instead of passive consumers of content
9) Watch educational content online and help your child socialise virtually in a responsible and productive way.
10) Relax. Everything will be ok in the long run.
Schools are closed, but here are 99 things we ought to teach in high school — but don’t