The Best Way (We Think) to Engage Children Learning Online
"We can't only do learning online"... Or can you?
During our discussion on Clubhouse, Daniel asked his daughters Lauren and Sophia Prince to explain the difference between educational ventures at their self-directed, online school and traditional school.
Both girls mentioned that they could lie in bed a little later, which brings me to my first point… these are the fun facts I long to bring into conversation with my public school teacher-friends but never have the courage to. So, since you are looking to learn more about Self-Directed education, here we go!
Did you know… That schools started sun-rising early to accommodate parents who needed to get to work?
The rule of school beginning at 7 am or 8 am is wonderful if you work from 9, but it makes life a little complicated if you work until 5 pm... Right? Well, that's where the after-school programs came in.
For some, it's some extra math class, especially if your child is struggling, much like I did. For others, it's an extra-curricular activity like running around an 800-meter track until the cows come home. Or something that requires some ball sense.
Whatever it was, schools came up with things to keep children busy while both parents were at work.
If you are currently living your best life as a work-from-home parent, then good for you!
To the families interested in getting there, keep on reading for more pros from the Prince family when it comes to kids learning online.
To the Prince Kids, Learning Online is Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy
Daniel's daughters discussed their schedules, the learning experiences they attended, and their feelings towards teachers (aka facilitators). As a person who's had similarly dismissive encounters with traditional school teachers in the past, this was truly fun to listen to because of the relatability.
The CEO of Galileo, Vlad Stan, asked Lauren and Sophia about meeting online friends in real life. They answered… that people looked slightly different.
They were amazed to see how tall or short someone was and even commented on how a person's features may seem different on a zoom call compared to in real life.
Lauren and Sophia also explained how much they valued their online friends. From having fun to supporting one another, they see their online friends in the same way you would value any friendship.
Even though Lauren feels like there should be a distinguishable difference between a friend and a best friend, IRL (in real life) or not... but that goes without saying, right?
At Galileo, we make the best of children learning online by presenting new students with a buddy system. Yes, you heard right! We pair up new students with existing friends to help them learn the ins and outs of the Galileo Google Calendar, Clubs, Bootcamps, and all the other live learning experiences.
We know any first day isn't the old walk in the park most people make it out to be. We understand the need to have someone to guide you through it. Brett, a Galileo student, knows what it's all about, from making friends to creating presentations.
From the personal perspective of Lauren, her favorite clubs are History Club by Oliver because it's funny. Never in a million years… (get it) has anyone made history funny.
There is a beginner 3D Modeling Club for students who need to learn the basics and an advanced 3D Modeling club to challenge experienced minds just a little more.
A fellow clubhouse listener and parent, Mallory, asked about having conversations with children about homeschooling and unschooling before introducing them to it.
Mallory was curious about breaking the news to her kids as she is currently preparing to tell them that their family will try the unschooling and self-directed method. Lauren had no recollection of being told that she would be unschooled, yet Sophia remembers. Her dad told her that they were going to travel, so Sophia and her siblings would be taken out of traditional school.
In Sophia's words,
“We jumped at the idea because we didn’t like the school.”
Daniel also commented that the battle, better yet, to unschool or not to unschool, is not really a battle with the children… It's more of a parent problem caused by fear of making a big mistake.
Of course, judgmental family and friends don't let you off easy either. But in life, generally, this is a given.
Just look at this list of 7 world-changing inventions people thought were dumb fads. If you try to pave your own way and no one is there to criticize it, is it even innovative?
What are the kids' online activities?
If you were worried about your kids' online activities, no worries, we have all the details about what students really get up to when their parents don't watch 'em. Here's what the experts, Lauren and Sophia, had to say about their learning experiences.
There is Math and Coding club, Book club, global citizen club, and language clubs. Languages clubs are divided as such; Japanese club, Spanish club, French club, and a new club coming in October is German club! Ich kann nicht mehr wacht!
If you were wondering whether Charles Darwin and Cro-magnon had any way of becoming more interesting… wait for it, we also have an Anthropology Bootcamp. Can you watch a film with just subtitles? Well, Anime lovers can, so we offered up a Bootcamp (previously called a nanocourse) to create their own Anime.
Students can create their own clubs, too, and according to Lauren and Sophia, these are their favorite student-led clubs: Drawing, Gaming, History Mystery club, Among Us Club, Gartic Phone Club, Chess Club. And don't forget, Soccer clubs where kids discuss soccer (for Americans) or football (for Europeans).
What do they get up to in your kids' online school?
You may be wondering what they create that's educational or will prepare your kids for the future.
Let me tell you about the check-in presentations students do on Fridays.
The student or group (yes, group work is encouraged if they choose to do it) picks their topic, subject, or interest and creates a presentation about it. Students can record videos, create a PowerPoint slide show or use google slides. Whatever students choose, we're here for it!
All the things students create with the help of Galileo or on their own are shown on check-in presentation day. Lauren once created a presentation based on McDonald's! Here's what she had to say; "The most work I've put into is the McDonald's and the horse one."
To all the equestrian fanatics, Galileo gets you too.
After the presentation, other students get to ask questions about the topic and provide feedback. The feedback is encouraging and in some cases really helpful. To avoid hurtful critique, students are encouraged to follow the example of the feedback sandwich method.
Students are encouraged to present anything from their learning experiences to their daily routines during the Friday Check-ins.
To answer anyone's questions about the online activities kids are introduced to, basically anything and everything they require or are interested in. With a Global spectrum of facilitators (aka teachers) comes to a global resource pit, and it is bottomless—coding, languages, design, and everything inspirational.
As far as any course students want that we don't have yet, it's like the Ariana Grande song. You want it, you got it? You simply need to express yourself.
How at-home, online learning leads to a full-on working adult
Hamsa, a fellow student, age 9, asked Lauren and Sophia about their aspirations for the future.
....The age-old question, "what do you want to be when you grow up"?
Lauren has this dream of having a coffee shop where she will bring people coffee or beer because she's had ample training at home through bringing her dad coffee and beer. Sophia loves cooking, so she is focused on her culinary skills.
Maybe Lauren should employ Sophia, and they'd be good to go?
Hamsa then used this question to segue into her tea business idea, another lovely product Lauren could sell in her coffee shop… hint… hint!
As any entrepreneur knows, the best time to pitch your business venture is to hit… while the kettle is hot.
So Hamsa shared her tea's ingredients and made it clear that her tea; "is not a caffeine one, it's made out of leaves and different things". Healthy and relaxing, what more could you want from your tea?
To make it even more delicious, it's made by a 9 and a half-year-old, so you would be supporting a young entrepreneur with a startup.
Galileo has an amazing space for the kids who are focused on business ventures… It's called the Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp!
Or catch another one of these insightful, entrepreneurial events in the coming weeks.
Get inspirEd about entrepreneurship with us!