Imagine School

Schools have been shut for 3 weeks now. College students have gone home for the remainder of the academic year. Junior and Leaving Cert students have all been given top marks in the oral exams they couldn’t take in March. Deadlines for practical and course work have been extended to late May. Uncertainty hangs over the actual exams being held in June. Who could have imagined this ever happening?

My children have their books at home. One logs in to his school account every day and keeps up to date with what his teachers are posting. Another is still celebrating how well she did in her oral exams. My youngest is in primary school and is working through the weeks in his books. I also receive updates by text and email from the schools.

A massive amount of resources have been made available online for home schooling from lots of different sources. YouTube is bursting with PE classes, lessons in art, poetry, doodling, music and much more. Museums, libraries, book publishers and more have removed subscription charges so that people can use their materials free of charge. If I was inclined I could map out a whole day of school based on the resources available. Many people are putting in a lot of effort, advising others and sharing it all online – like virtual classrooms. I have lots of friends who have really embraced the home schooling aspect of Covid19.

We can use this time to teach our children some life skills they may not get to learn in school. Skills such as cooking, cleaning, mending, gardening, painting etc. Depending upon their age there is probably plenty they could learn at home. I’m trying to get mine into gardening …..

There are already many options for education in Ireland and I really think that this experience has just demonstrated how much is possible. Imagine what has worked best becoming part of the new norm.

Theresa O’Donohoe

2nd April 2020

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