We have seen so much craziness in the world since the first quarter of 2020 that might last us all a lifetime. A new coronavirus came and sent everyone hiding at home for at least a couple of months. Many people have embraced the work-from-home setup, which used to earn a lot of raised eyebrows in the past. And every person is eagerly waiting for a vaccine that could immunize all of us against COVID-19.
But more than the adults and their careers, do you know who has been suffering the most due to coronavirus? It’s the kids.
When the news spread like wildfire, the classes were still ongoing. The students had these exams and projects and presentations planned, and then the local government mandated everyone to stay at home and continue the classes online.
Online! It might not be a bother to homeschooled children, but it’s a different story for those who chose to do regular schooling. The coronavirus robbed them of that choice. Even though this rule was for their benefit, this fact didn’t make the adjustment easier for all. To be honest, moms and dads didn’t have time to prepare themselves for it, and I knew a few whose mental health began to suffer because of these significant yet sudden changes.
Now that we are nearing the fourth quarter of the year, and the classes have started again, things are only slightly better than before. I say ‘slightly’ because the children can do sports and do other outdoor activities in some states, but not everyone can go to school five days a week.
In case you have forgotten the perks of regular schoolings for the kids’ mental health, allow me to elaborate below.
Youngsters Need To Be Around Same-Aged Peers
New parents tend to think that their kids’ success depends on which school they enroll in. Well, that’s partly true. In reality, someone’s success hinges on their ability to socialize and build their network. And what’s a better way to do that than by letting children be around same-aged peers?
Similarly, youngsters like to copy each other. If a child sees their friend eating without the teacher’s help during lunch, they may try to do the same. If someone loves to share their toys and snacks to others, they may learn how to be generous, too.
Taking away the children’s opportunity to hang out with their peers may not be good for them.
Kids Learn Survival Skills At School
Although children seem to only learn about grammar and science and math and other subjects at school, they gain more than that through regular education.
You see, when a kid attends a class, the teacher’s rules become apparent to them. E.g., study hard, listen to your teacher, speak respectfully to everyone, etc. These are practical survival tips that they can use even when they turn into adults.
For instance, in the playground, kids figure out early that bullies and crybabies don’t make a lot of friends. Furthermore, compassion and sportsmanship win everyone’s hearts. Again, such ideas apply in the real world.
Though I can’t be 100% sure about it, it’s safe to say that children can’t learn any of that by taking online classes.
It Is Awful For Kids To Stay Cooped Up At Home
Before this so-called “new normal,” many parents successfully kept the little ones away from gadgets and video games. They had sports matches and martial arts training and recitals to occupy their days; their friends were always available to play with them, too. However, when the coronavirus arrived, all kids had been forbidden to leave their own houses, so there was only so much that moms and dads could do to keep them happy.
The online classes didn’t help with the situation since they forced the children to be in front of the computer the entire day. Sure, they still had lectures and quizzes and everything, but they were mostly sitting in the same spot for hours. That could not be good for their physical and mental health in the long run.
Children Require Stability And Consistency
Regular schooling is ideal for kids who need stability and consistency in their lives. They know that the teachers expect them to sit in class five days a week; they see the same faces of classmates and teachers daily. Even if there is a school break for two months, they will still be with each other after that.
Unfortunately, there is nothing stable or consistent with the new setup. Some get a combination of online and regular classes; others do online classes until a vaccine comes. It may have been okay if the government has simply stuck to a single educational system so that the kids won’t get confused.
Since most vaccines are not mass-produced until January 2021, parents and children alike have no choice but to embrace online schooling for a while. Despite that, once you get to decide later if your child will continue doing that or go back to regular education, do the latter – it’s fantastic for kids’ mental health.