Schools have a lot of educational support structures built in — classrooms, desks, bells, easy access to teachers… food. Online schools are different, even if we treat them as if they are identical.
What’s the difference between Pandemic Pods, Micro Schools, and Educational Family Co-ops?
The reason you are probably considering starting your own educational family co-op right now is that either your school district is shut down OR you are not comfortable sending the kids to school due to fears of infection. Remember, ultimately flexibility is what will make this arrangement work.
Before we learn things formally, we have a lot of informal, experiential knowledge. This is particularly true in science. We live in a physical, chemical, biological world and we pick up how things work by virtue of our first-hand experiences. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to walk or eat or make even the most basic predictions about our environments — we “know” that if we throw something, it will eventually hit the ground. We rely on the fact that our feet won’t sink through the ground. We observe that water flows downhill. We have tons of intuitive ideas about our world. But not all of our intuitions are accurate. Sometimes, we have to learn things the “hard way.” Washing hands to clean off invisible pathogens is fairly new — how could we “know” that there was bad stuff that we couldn’t see hiding under our fingernails?
Where we come from — our background culture: our country of origin and language, our heritage and religion (or lack there of), our family, our education, our friends, and where we live — has an enormous impact on our ability to communicate. What’s more, when people from different cultural backgrounds try to interact with each other, these differences can cause catastrophic failures.
These are the complete guidelines for COVID response in schools for the fall of 2020.
Practical Suggestions for Starting Educational Family Co-ops in lieu of sending them to school this fall.
A Bit of Historical Background on How Schools Work The first thing we teach kids when they start school is how school works — there is a teacher that is the oracle of knowledge and the students who must obey all the rules and memorize all of the materials that teachers deem important they memorize. […]
This pandemic is forcing us to rethink how to teach our kids. We can ignore this chance and allow millions of students to fall behind. Or we can embrace a different way forward. School co-ops is but one idea. There will be many other solutions. Supermarket Science Materials is but a one set of possible materials that gives parents and students a chance to control their educational needs. There will be others. We can embrace many of them at the same time — when freed from the bounds of school districts’ indicts, we can do amazing things with our kids. There are as many paths to becoming an educated adult as there are people. This period of chaos might give us the opportunity to try something new.