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Remote learning: a great opportunity

Tips for Home Studying from Italy: 8. New Family-School Interactions

Daily pills to help students (and families) organize their study in Covid-19 times, when almost one billion children have seen their schools close. Signed by Marcello Bramati and Lorenzo Sanna, deans and teachers at Faes high schools in Milan. As reported by Time magazine, they are teaching online during the lockdown, in an ongoing experiment in remote learning. Every morning at 8.30 a.m., their advice, tips and good practices for students of all ages.

Today's focus is on the little ones, but the reflection has a universal starting point. In normal times, when parents come home from work and try to get in touch with their teenager kids (or also their younger children), they often feel disoriented, resigned, in any case put aside.

The laconic answer «Fine» to the hopeful question about their day is not only a commonplace, but a daily reality. Attempts to deepen the parents' knowledge fall often on deaf ears. «What have you done today at school?» The answer is always the same: «Nothing». And the conversation could continue like this, between silences and shrugs.

The period of confinement we are facing, however, offers some opportunities. In these difficult days it is possible to build together new ways of communication. In order to establish, when everything will end, a new interaction between school life and family life.

Right now questions about their day aren't necessary. The little ones and also the young students need their parents to connect to a video, to look for a book, to find a text for a research, to reach a pot in a kitchen closet, to follow a recipe.

You have the task of getting your kids to work, often also to do home exercises together with them. But you can also listen to them from afar, while they continue on their own.

This situation will open up a largely unknown world. You will hear them converse in English, answer the online call timidly, deal with a dictation with determination or with normal uncertainties. Without appearing on video, you will be left open-mouthed, while your kid, locked in his or her room, will open up to the world of knowledge and relationships, albeit at a distance.

The coronavirus is undoubtedly a limit to our work, our movements and our social life. But the response of schools and the technology opens us a new horizon, usually jealously guarded by our children. We should respect their privacy, but we also should not miss this chance.

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