Remote Learning for Kindergartners

I always wondered what “remote learning” means for kindergartners, and now I know. In my nephew’s school, kids get three 30-minute Zoom calls spaced out throughout the day.

If you have or recently raised a 5-year-old, you know that this is ludicrous. Getting a kid to a screen at specific times 3 times a day is impossible even with a very disciplined, unreasonably mature child. It means organizing the whole day around these Zoom calls. Constantly interrupting play, which kids at this age don’t tolerate well. Dragging them home from the playground. It would be a nightmare. My kid would simply refuse. And I wouldn’t blame her.

What kid wouldn’t begin to associate strongly negative feelings with the concept of “school” after this? They are 5, they only know what they experience.

Another thing you need to make this work is an adult who does absolutely nothing else all day. Somebody who doesn’t have a job or any other kids to take care of. Somebody with the nerves of steel and the conviction of a fanatic. And a couple of maids.

There’s absolutely no pedagogical value in sitting in front of a screen for a 5-year-old. There’s no scholarship that justifies it and a lot of scholarship about the negative effects. The only reason this is done is to justify paying the teachers a salary. The calls are spaced out throughout the day to demonstrate that the teachers are working their assigned hours. For this worthy cause, children and parents are sacrificed.

The worst part is that this is done a week at a time. If people were told that this is it until the end of the school year, they could explore other options. Homeschool. Leave. Whatever. But this is always “just for a week or two.” And then there’s a new announcement about two more weeks. Or not.

I’m having a panic attack just writing about this. Think about what this is doing for women’s employment. Imagine if you spent years creating a career for yourself. And then that’s it, you are fucked. Your job is now to torture your kid with endless Zoom calls 3 times a day. Your whole sense of self, your understanding of who you are is destroyed. Your parenting strategy is screwed. (Mine, for instance, is all about no screens). For nothing, for a neurosis not of your making.

20 thoughts on “Remote Learning for Kindergartners

            1. What’s happening in India is full on colonial mimicry. We must do as the west does, do it worse, with a level of authoritarianism that they can only dream of, and in the end when it comes crashing down, thump your chest and claim that we actually did it better than them.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. This is literally retarded, I’ve subbed as an aide in preschool classes where the teacher had Zoom meetings with the kids. The kids were still in their pajamas and eating breakfast and had to stop to listen to the teacher read a story, then they had to draw a picture about the story. This is something that they could do at home with their parents and pointless for the teacher since it was so easy. I was disturbed by this because it didn’t seem educational, just a way for the teacher to report back to work and look busy.

    Zoom school is evil and pointless, kids hate sitting in front of a screen listening to the teacher and the teacher can’t teach anything new since it’s hard to explain over a screen. Sad to say, too many teachers are terrified of the virus and hate kids so they want to work at home or in an empty classroom. One is better off letting the kids read random books or even browse Wikipedia for hours, they might learn something and find new things

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    1. Nobody is even trying to make an argument how thrice-daily Zoom calls are good for a 5-year-old’s development. Not even for appearances’ sake. The idea that kids’ interests should be taken into account has been completely discarded.

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      1. One of the most depressing things about this whole depressing mess — and there’s pretty hot competition for that honor — has been the almost complete indifference on the part of adults to the suffering of children. I saw this at my local school board for months, as I wasted ridiculous amounts of time at board meetings, pleading with them to get rid of mask mandates. I talked till I was blue in the face, using facts and logic, but to no avail, because a majority of the members could not have cared less about the needless suffering being inflicted on defenseless children by their insane policy. It made me near homicidal. What are these schmucks doing on the school board if the well-being of children is of no interest to them?

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  2. “But this is always “just for a week or two.” And then there’s a new announcement about two more weeks. Or not.”

    It’s all orders from above.

    In Ontario we have a “Science Table” of worthies from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto behind these announcements. They’ve been lobbying for closing schools pretty much continuously since they were opened last fall after being shut for several months previously through the spring and early summer of 2021.

    Our media typically to medical officers of health as “top doctors” – as in the city’s top doctor, or the province’s top doctor or Canada’s top doctor.

    I find this jarringly pretentious as the medical profession is far from being a disciplined, hierarchical organization like the military or the Roman Catholic Church.

    Although these “top doctors” usually have medical qualifications, they typically don’t actually see patients on a regular basis as do 99% of their fellow physicians.

    They are only “top” in the sense that they employ the coercive power of the state to enforce health and safety regulations in areas like food preparation and childhood immunization programmes.

    They do not spend their lives trying, sometimes failing, to diagnose diseases and making patients’ lives better; a world where uncertainty, trial and error, and disappointment are accepted as normal.

    Theirs is a much narrower world. Within it they expect complete obedience and are not practiced in the art of persuasion as are most good physicians. Do what I say or I’ll order your establishment shut. Do what I say or your child will not be able to attend school.

    Theirs is a world where the principal recommended medical interventions are killing germs completely dead (as in Covid Zero) and vaccines (as in required vaccines or required vaccination certificates).

    So what would a world run by public health bureaucrats look like? Our world, since early 2020.

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  3. There’s also the idea that kids are too feckless and lazy and they’re going to spend their non-school time binge watching TV and playing video games. Maybe some kids will, but others might read or draw or just relax, anything is better than endless Zoom. Heck, even playing Call of Duty is better

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      1. The kids already hate it, the teacher in the classroom I’m working in this week is doing Zoom from home with the kids in the classroom. They’ve been rowdy all week and the lessons are just a rehash of what they did in September. Plus they have to eat in the classroom and can’t talk, we have to put on a movie for them. And since it’s been cold, the “recess” is them going to the media center to watch yet another movie and they can’t talk or touch anyone or even bring a notebook to draw

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  4. I am genuinely puzzled about why are the parents going along with this. They already have to be at home to supervise their child, and it is not like the Zoom calls are helping with anything. Why put your child in front of the screen then? Is the school or government going to punish the non-compliant parents? Why not simply ignore the Zoom school and do something else?

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    1. You are obligated by law to make sure your kid is in school. At best, he’ll have to repeat kindergarten. At worst, the parents will be investigated for child abuse.

      If this were optional, that would be great. But it’s not.

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      1. Point well taken.

        Perhaps this Zoom craziness is a blessing in disguise because you can clearly see what kind of system you are dealing with. If the people responsible for taking care of your child are willing to force him and you to do this, they are not qualified to be near any children, much less to take care of them. I understand that there are many families that rely on public schools and do not have any resources to do otherwise. But if there is any way that parents can avoid having their children in a public school, they need to pull them out.

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