A child’s learning environment has a direct and lasting impact on the way in which they absorb and retain information. Children learn better when they want to learn… when they have an active interest in the subject matter and when they are self-motivated.
Parents need to consider which learning environment best suits their child’s unique needs in order to harness their love for learning. This liberates them to pursue their own interests and teaches them how to manage themselves throughout their education journey.
We have created this short online quiz to help parents and guardians better understand the different learning environments and to try to shed some light on which environment is better suited to your unique needs.
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding on your child’s learning environment is, how does your child best absorb and retain information? And, if they struggle with a particular topic, what is the best way to guide them through these difficulties? Is the child more susceptible to learning in a large classroom environment or are they better able to comprehend difficult topics through one-on-one tutoring and interactive online resources?
Many parents opt to send their children to a traditional school as they fear homeschooling may lead them to miss out on key peer interaction. In this instance, parents should consider what kind of social interaction is most valuable to their child. Does your child thrive in a large group setting with children of the same age or are they better suited to a smaller class environment with students of all ages? Whilst traditional schooling does offer great benefits to socialisation, many homeschooling parents feel that the freedom and flexibility of a homeschooling schedule allows their children more time to pursue their passions and extramural activities where they can socialise with children with similar interests.
Another important factor to consider is what are your child’s key motivators? Do they thrive in a nurturing one-on-one environment or are they motivated through praise and recognition. The best approach to education is one that teaches a child to be self-motivated through goal setting and goal smashing. By achieving clearly defined objectives, children learn to love the feeling of accomplishment rather than wait for someone to give them a pat on the back.
Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic flung us into lounge-wear and at-home working environments, it also opened our eyes to the possibilities of interacting and learning through online resources. Online learning and homeschooling allow families the freedom to structure their schedules according to their unique needs. For families who want to travel or for children who excel in a particular sport or cultural activity, homeschooling provides the ability to structure your day around your unique needs with the opportunity to learn from anywhere in the world.
The different types of learning environments
The three main learning environments to consider are; traditional schooling, hybrid learning and homeschooling or online schooling.
The traditional schooling environment has been around for centuries and it is the most common schooling environment. Many parents opt to send their child to a traditional school for the mere fact that this is how everyone else does it. A traditional schooling environment involves sending your child to a brick and mortar school where they will be placed in a classroom environment with allocated teachers. In this environment students generally follow a structured lesson timetable and work through the course content according to the planned schedule and school calendar.
A traditional schooling environment is great for students who learn best in a large group setting. In this environment, children are motivated through the recognition of awards and badges. This learning environment is best suited for families who prefer a more disciplined and structured approach to their studies and schedule and who would prefer their child to socialise with peers of the same age group in a traditional classroom environment.
Homeschooling or Online Learning
Homeschooling or online learning involves educating a child at home, usually through the assistance of an online learning platform, like CambriLearn. In this environment, parents are usually responsible for ensuring the child completes the necessary coursework. Students have teachers, virtual live lessons and an on-demand lesson library. This approach to learning has become a popular alternative for parents who are looking for a more flexible and self-paced education solution.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic saw many families in a homeschooling/online learning environment. Whilst pandemic parenting and online learning isn’t necessarily a true reflection of what homeschooling entails, many parents have seen firsthand the benefits of allowing their children the freedom to navigate their coursework at their own pace through the use of online resources.
A homeschooling or online learning environment is great for students who learn best through online resources that they can work through at their own pace. This environment is best suited for families who want to follow a flexible schedule. Homeschooled students generally have more time to pursue their passions and are able to socialise through planned events and extra-curriculum activities like soccer and horse riding. Students who are homeschooled tend to be self-motivated through goal setting and achievement.
Note: This article first appeared on Parenting Hub in September 2022.