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Title: Students Swim or Sink with Autonomous Learning
Due to COVID 19, autonomous learning online is much more prevalent nowadays than at any other time in history. This means that students in Elementary, High School and enrolled in University are studying autonomously online in greater numbers than ever before. Understandably, with the fear of catching COVID-19, families are opting to self-study online in the safety of home.
This blog attempts to shed light on a few of the challenges that I have noticed with K-12 students that decide to study at home online and as a result select autonomous learning as their preferred method, mode and medium of learning.
Learning Autonomously Online for K-12 Students
With the online learning that is being employed widely across Canada today, we can increasingly see our children and K-12 students fully engaged in autonomous learning. Parents with school aged children (5-17) in particular know first-hand the stress of following up with ONLINE school assignments whilst juggling a family, job and economic pressures of every adult life.
I may be wrong and often am but I believe we can easily make the observation that Online learning forces students into modalities of autonomous learning that the vast majority of school students are NOT prepared for. Allow me to acknowledge from the outset that perhaps 20-30% of students in K-12 online learning across Ontario actually are prepared and succeed autonomously in online school environments.
More shocking however is that this means 70-80% of K-12 student population face minor to significant challenges with autonomous online learning or virtual schooling. It seems incredible to me that we would expect any student in GRADES K-10 to have the ability to learn and study independently like an adult University student and not face overwhelming challenges with learning.
Yes some children can learn to swim by being thrown in the deep end of the swimming pool (20%), however the vast majority drown (80%) because they have not been taught how to swim and do not have the ability to autonomously teach themselves. Personally, I would never allow my kids to watch Youtube and then expect them to swim in the middle of Lake Simcoe in Barrie, no matter how many hours of video they had watched.
To be clear, the critical issue I am pointing out here IS NOT about online learning. Rather the entire focus of this blog is designed to question how prepared / equipped K-12 students are to learn autonomously ---- by ---- oneself ---- without guidance of an expert teacher.
In my view for students to be successful in studying by oneself (forget online learning), they need to have well developed and established the following demonstrable skills:
- Solid literacy and numeracy skills
- Ability to schedule and set time aside for self study
- Well established ability to self-motivate to study and enjoy learning. Learning is not a job but a delight.
- Perseverance, resilience and enjoyment in the process of finding the correct answer.
Thinking of my 6 year old twins, they have only One or Two of these attributes while my 9 year old has more because he has received one-one tutoring since 2019.
Furthermore, parents can also take a proactive role to measure / evaluate your child’s academic skills at home. Have your child try to do any math (without a calculator) or write an essay in English at home. You’ll soon see the idea above I am talking about not as an abstract idea or concept in a blog, but as a lived reality.
Tutoring In person and online
Remember, Online Learning is NOT the problem highlighted by this blog. Rather the problem that K-12 students face everyday with Online learning, the 1000 pound elephant in the room, is the ability to study autonomously and learn effectively. In this brave new world of Online learning, the essential skill is the ability to study by oneself.
As the owners of Aardvark Learning Academy, we see students, parents and families that want their child to succeed wildly. These families already understand that Expert Teaching is the royal road for their child to unlock their future potential, learn the study strategies they need to be successful at school and in life.
The motto at Aardvark Learning Academy is simple: Expert Teachers Teach: Aardvark Students Learn. It does not matter if the medium is online or in person. The magic of tutoring really happens when we get students that work hard, apply themselves and become determined to succeed under the guidance of an expert teacher. This is where both teacher and student shine.
Experience in life matters as you are more prepared to meet the next challenge. Give your child the A+ advantage by learning how to study and enjoy the learning process at Aardvark Learning Academy.
 Definitions may differ
 Its not about computer skills its about study skills = autonomous learning.