Going to School Once a Week

Due to COVID19 and the situation here in Seoul, Josh has been going to school once a week. I didn’t know exactly what he was going to do at school for the 2.8 hours he was at the school but I thought it would be a good thing for him so I encouraged him to have fun.

Then, later on, I found out that on the day the kids go to school, they are “tested” on the online materials they learn through EBS. Wow. What a wake-up call that was. I was surprised they were only going to school once a week but to hear that they go to school once a week to take a written test totally blew me away.

How is this different from the old education system of Korea? How is this any different than when kids went to school, sat in their chairs for 5 hours straight and just took notes all day? 주입식 교육이 아니라면서 이것보다도 더 주입식 교육이 아닌가 있을까 싶었다. I called Josh’s teacher the day I found out and told her how Josh was worried to “go to school”. She explained to me how it was just a standard procedure for the teachers to find out if the students fully understand the EBS materials or if they don’t. That the scores and grades on these tests didn’t really matter.

I’ve walked this road of “NO-MEDIA” A.K.A. “NO YOUTUBE” for the past few months so that my children wouldn’t be brain dead, video zombies and here we are giving them the iPad or the TV so that they “STUDY” through it.

Josh has trouble focusing on the screen. It’s as if his attention span is just 7-9 minutes. No longer. He’ll start moving around and start asking me questions or ask to do something else.

We as parents are trying so hard to detach our children from the screen and yet, here we are, giving them the screen to study. Because of COVID19. Because there is no other way.

Well here’s what I want to say.

There are other ways. There are books, there are materials, there are resources our children can use and learn from. What did people before the “internet” use to learn? How did the generation before the “internet” get their information and education? Before ZOOM and before Youtube, what and how did the children of this world learn and play? What elements or materials for each developing stages in early childhood and at every age level do we not have today that we didn’t have back then?

I tried so hard to cut screen time down with my children. I negotiated with them and I brought every single convincing item onto the table when I started with NO-YOUTUBE and GAMES in my house.

I read and read everything I could find on the influence of video content affecting kids. I borrowed books, I searched for research materials and experiments that were done by all the universities you could name. With all those statistics and research results backing me up, I was able to cut down screen time with my children within 2 weeks.

I had to really work hard for it and make sure my children were on the same page as I was.

Then this whole COVID19 Online Education thing started and now we are headed towards going back to page 1.

I feel as if someone took an essay I wrote for school and tore it into pieces. I felt like my hard work, with all the research, brainstorming, outlining and all the different drafts I wrote was just lit on fire or something.

Am I the only one who feels this ironic situation is getting out of control?

We as adults try to take away screens from our children, but then we refer to the screen for information and recreation. We as adults take out our phones to Google or search for something like a habit. We post things on social media and feel satisfied of the number of likes we get.

We tell our children to put their phones away, and yet we sit in front of our phones recording IGTV videos or doing a LIVE session. How ironic is that?

Since when did this whole online thing become OKAY to do? Since when did every soul, every human being become so OKAY with all of this media and all of these different platforms?

This generation is growing with social media and as humans evolve and get smarter, we rely on these things to live a better life. To live a more convenient life. But are we really living the BEST LIFE POSSIBLE? Are these options that we are creating for our children and the next generation really the best options for them?

I know for a fact that if Josh went to school for five days of the week, that he would be a different child. The way he approached his homework and study books would be different.

If every student and teacher was careful and if all parents took good care of their children, this wouldn’t have to be this BAD.