Many parents across the nation have found themselves having to make a difficult decision between sending their children back to school and continuing with remote education. Some districts have made a firm decision one way or the other without offering parents the option to choose, but others are allowing parents to decide what they feel is best for their family.
While we aren’t going to argue in favor of one decision or another, it’s uncontroversial that each approach has unique advantages. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss four important aspects of in-person learning that remote education has a difficult time replicating.
If this discussion resonates with you and your child, we encourage you to reach out to The Art Farm NYC to learn more about our in-person classes for kids in NYC. We plan to resume in-person learning in November and are offering virtual tours until then. We have options for children of all ages and would love to see you this fall!
Four Important Benefits of In-Person Learning
In-person learning provides both students and teachers with opportunities to facilitate learning at a deeper level than they can over the internet. As many parents who are working remotely can surely confirm, transitioning from a dedicated workspace to working from home is difficult and often much less productive. Noisy neighbors, other people in the household, and a feeling of isolation can all make it difficult to be as efficient and productive.
In-person learning provides students with a dedicated learning space instead of watching a screen at the kitchen table or in a spare bedroom, which can help them to be more present and engaged with the information being presented. Teachers are better able to read body language and see all of their children’s faces clearly, which can help them to see if a child wants to ask a question or isn’t understanding something.
There’s also something to be said about the value of hands-on learning. Some children are able to retain information in the lecture-style format many online classes have taken, but others learn more effectively by doing. Many of our classes for kids in NYC have a hands-on approach designed to help children stay engaged and excited about learning and, while we feel that we have done an excellent job of translating our classes into an online format, we simply can’t wait to get back into the classroom where we can provide children with hands-on learning opportunities.
Emotional and Social Development
In-person learning helps children learn non-academic skills, too. Social development and emotional learning are critical to success later in life, and many children are missing out on the social aspects of school by continuing to learn online. From forming friendships on the playground to understanding other perspectives and learning how to resolve disputes and disagreements constructively, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of the emotional and social developments children make as they progress through preschool, elementary school, and through the rest of their education.
Both children and adults have spent approximately six months staying indoors much more than usual, and there’s no doubt that this has led to a reduction in activity levels. Recess, gym class, and after-school programs are all vital sources of physical activity throughout the day that may not be able to be replicated at home. This is a particularly salient problem in NYC given that many apartments and homes do not have room for exercise equipment, the air quality is not always safe for outdoor activity, and many neighborhoods are unsafe for recreation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that childhood obesity could increase by as much as 2.4% if children remain remote through the end of the year and are not able to find an alternative way to exercise.
Many children depend on schools for healthy meals throughout the year. In fact, the CDC estimates that many children consume up to half of their daily calories while at school. Although many schools have done their best to continue school lunch programs while remaining remote, experts are concerned that children are still not getting the same amount of food. There has also been concern that providing meals in this way benefits children who are not dependent on schools for transportation.
Enroll Your Child at The Art Farm NYC for In-Person Learning
It’s difficult to overemphasize the importance of in-person education for children of all ages, but especially for preschoolers and elementary-aged children. The decision to learn remotely or in-person is one that each family will need to make based on their own unique circumstances, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will work equally well for everyone.
At The Art Farm NYC, we couldn’t be more excited about our plans to resume in-person classes for kids starting in November. We have worked tirelessly to create an environment that’s safe for children and their families while ensuring that the value of our in-person instruction can still be delivered.
If you aren’t sure if in-person classes are the right decision for your family at this time, we completely understand and invite you to learn more about our online options. We will be offering more in-person learning opportunities throughout 2021 and would love to see your child in the classroom whenever you and your family are ready to take that next step.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have!