By Willard Katsande
Everybody keeps talking about the “new normal” we’re living in, and it certainly feels like it when I see how my children have handled online schooling during the Covid-19 lockdown.
If I think back to my days at school and what my children are experiencing now, then it’s a completely different world. The technology available to my children during lockdown to help them with their education was incredible. And it’s a case of them positively using technology.
It’s almost as if their access to technology had made them so much smarter than when I went to school. One of the platforms we used a lot for them was the Vodacom e-School educational portal.
We all found it very user-friendly. And the fact that it uses zero data is unbelievable.
All you need is your desire and hunger to learn. Everything else is set up right there for you.
We found that it was a really good tool to add value to what my kids were receiving from their schools and help fill the gaps if they had missed anything. But in some cases there was even a sense that you’re not just catching up, you are advancing your academics by using this platform.
Staying on top academically is one thing, but homeschooling during lockdown was a challenge in other areas, as I’m sure it has been for so many parents.
For a start, I had to get used to timing my workouts between commitments I had with my kids.
It was also really tough for my children, who were missing a lot of the other elements of school. They missed their friends and sport.
But again, the fact that they could keep learning online was such a big positive.
You know, when your kids go to school, you’re not around them all the time to see how they react in their school day.
Now, during the lockdown, it was amazing for me to see just how hungry they are to learn. And how determined they are not to miss anything.
They want to understand the technology and enjoy using it for their studies. And if they felt like they missed anything or had questions, they were very quick to ask their mother to phone the teachers.
It gives you some peace as a parent to know that even though they are missing out on so many other elements that make school important, they are not falling behind academically.
I think I was also very fortunate in that their mother and my two nieces all have university degrees, so they took care of the homeschooling. And they were brilliant at it.
I certainly don’t believe I’d be a good teacher. I think, for now, I’d rather stick to football and “teaching” our opponents a lesson on the pitch.