UNITED STATES—Believe it or not America, many students have actually returned to the classroom. However, the notion of going back to school is NOT what it used to be. For starters, many schools (grade, middle, high and college) have decided to go virtual for the start of the school year, at least for the first half, it could spill-over to the second half if we as a nation do not get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have chatted with many parents who have made it clear they are NOT placing their kids into a classroom at the current moment. There are very concerned about their kid(s) wellbeing and I cannot blame them for thinking that way. We do not have a cure for the coronavirus and yes, I get the whole the flu kills more people than this virus, but has the flu ever shut the country down.

Did it put us into a recession? No, this virus is unlike anything we’ve witnessed before so for all the skeptics out there, continue to have your skepticism, but as a parent you have the RIGHT to do what is RIGHT for your child regardless what everyone else thinks and says. This brings us to a hotly debated issue: is virtual learning more effective than in-person learning? I’m going to be blunt in my answer: no. I have taught virtually and I have taught people. NOT everyone learns the same and that is something so many people fail to realize. You have people who are visual learners, people who are verbal learners and those who are hands on. You cannot force a specific form of learning onto a student and just expect them to adjust to it.

It does not work that way in the classroom, everyone’s brain takes in stimuli and information in different ways. Some can process much faster than others, while some have difficulty comprehending a concept that may have to be broken down to easily comprehend. So for parents who have to deal with virtual learning they will need an extreme level of patience with their children. Which brings us to the next issue, making the home into a classroom?! It is not an easy task to accomplish because kids don’t comprehend that the home is now becoming the classroom.

That means creating an atmosphere or a room where the child knows when you enter this establishment the focus is on completing school work. No playing with the cellphone, iPad or any other device, it’s time to focus on your studies. It is a more difficult challenge for youngsters that high school and collegiate students. However, you can make the argument that it’s just as challenging for the young adults, who might want to be on that phone and watch TV while trying to complete homework.

When it comes to homework it requires focus. You can tell me until you turn blue in the face that you can focus on doing this while trying to do your work, and I will disagree with you until the dawn of time America. Why? You can’t and you can make the argument as much as you want, but there is no validity behind it to say otherwise. Focus is needed to the 10th degree to be successful when you are doing homework. Not just to complete it, but to comprehend and understand what it is that you’re doing in the first place!

That notion of going back to school shopping has diminished greatly, parents may still be purchasing school supplies, but is there a need to spend money on clothes that the child will not get the opportunity to show off? No there is not. You really don’t have to worry about purchasing school supplies in excess if the kids or you’re learning from home. The same applies for those on the collegiate level, all that dorm room shopping will be greatly diminished because there is no need to do it if your child is being forced to stay at home to complete his or her studies.

In fact, the virtual learning helps save college students and parents quite a bit of money, in terms of room and board and miscellaneous expenses. However, when it comes to tuition seems many of the schools are not budging on knocking the tuition down. As an undergraduate, we didn’t have virtual courses; I think all my courses were in person. When I returned to obtain my Master’s Degree, it was like an explosion of online learning and while convenient it’s not the same. Do I think you should be forced to pay the same price for such a course? No, but that is an argument that many universities have gotten away with and they are not budging from, and they know precisely what it is that they’re doing.

I feel sorry for parents on the lunch front because with children staying at home more money will be spent on food. You will be feeding the child or children 24/7 and if the past few months have been any indication, the coming months might be tough for many parents who will have children learning from the home. School will indeed be in session for most students in the coming months, but it will be an experience unlike anything ever seen before. It’s time for us to prepare for the adjustment.

Written By Jason Jones