With the recent CoVID-19 pandemic, schools are currently delving into Home-Based Learning, also known as HBL, as a means to facilitate learning during this pandemic. Ilham Childcare is no stranger to that and so far, our kids are making full use of it!
As a director at Ilham Childcare myself, I feel that although it might be a steep learning curve to many, it is still a great way to move forward given the current situation!
So, why do I think that HBL is a good initiative?
- Learning at the comfort of their own homes
At home, students are able to take breaks (be it to drink, snack or simply rest) as and when they want. Students may be more energised and focused while doing their work as their needs can constantly be met. In addition, I think it’s great that we get the luxury of being able to study or do work in the presence of our loved ones! That’s pretty rare.
As a working parent myself, I get it. I truly treasure spending quality time with my children, vice versa. But sometimes we get suuuper busy and caught up with work that we don’t know what our children are up to. With HBL, at least we can do that! It also relieves a huge load of stress knowing that your children are safe with you.
- Less commute
With HBL, students – in fact most people – can expect to save a huge deal of money, time and energy from commuting. They can invest more of their time and energy on doing the actual activities rather than having to worry about not having enough time. Parents also need not worry so much about their children’s whereabouts, reducing their stress levels. Phew!
It is also good for students to be exposed to digital platforms and get familiarised with the digital landscape in this day and age, as it will play a huge role in their lives in the future.
However, with that being said, there might be some gaps that online learning is unable to conquer, unlike face-to-face classes. Here’s what I think. As far as HBL is great, I think it is more of a short-run solution. It should not be more than a stopgap or ‘band aid’ and here’s why:
- Disciplinary issues
As ironic as it sounds, HBL can be counterproductive, especially for our younger ones. Procrastination and the lack of supervision can be a huge problem, as we know. Even us adults struggle with it from time to time! They might take it lightly and not fully understand the implications their actions have on themselves and the school. It can be inefficient if the students do not take HBL seriously and fully optimise it. The autonomy the children have in terms of their education, may not be put to good use for some.
Also, us parents have our own work and errands to settle. We may not be able to fully supervise what their children are doing online. It can be such a headache… Tell me about it!
- Less human touch – both students and teachers
With HBL in place, there is no doubt that human interaction has been cut down massively. Though there are other means to communicate, clearly it’s not the same. We still miss being physically close to our friends and loved ones. It’s different, right?
It also goes against one of the main objectives of going to school (although it is not the biggest issue for now); which is to gain exposure to as many people and different backgrounds as possible. In that way, we learn to accept the different cultures, not be ignorant and live harmoniously with one another. There are so many skills and personal developments that can be achieved while attending physical school. I think it is especially important for our younger students as what they learn now will stick with them for a long time.
As for teachers, when conducting physical classes, nurturing each and every student on a more personal level may not be easy. Yes, we are still able to track the progress of each student via online assignments and submissions, however, it is hard to fully understand every student’s situation and help them out accordingly. At Ilham childcare, we still do aim to nurture our students as much as possible during this HBL.
At the end of the day, there’s the good and bad in HBL but one thing is definitely for sure. As a parent, educator and a business owner, it is more important for us to have an open and flexible mind and to make the most of our situations. With that mindset, everything will be okay.