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Home schooling as a change management experiment for children: More cons than pros?

As young parents with young children, my wife and I – like millions of mums and dads, care givers worldwide – had to put our daughter through home schooling because of weird and, in some cases, stupid lockdown rules. This has a presented before us (i.e. as a society) a number of challenges and some learnings. I have observed this from the point of view of a change management professional. While there are some benefits that came along inadvertently, there are some grave dangers / issues that need to be considered seriously. Another point to add; my observations are based on Australia only, so it may not be reflective of what is happening in other corners of the world.


  • IT Skills: Children have learned some IT skills, e.g. using Google Workspace / G Suite classroom facilities, scanning and uploading assignments. Some features are very similar to Workplace app from Facebook. In addition, limited use by Zoom or Teams has also given an experience of exposure to some helpful technologies.

  • Environment friendly: This is based on an assumption that I have made. As the lists of weekly activities are made available online, many children hopefully download these to their desktop (instead of printing) and read on screen. This reduced printing a lot and definitely had a good environmental impact.

  • Flexibility: As such, there are no strict deadlines for completing and submitting homework / assignments. Some parents supervise the completion of learning on a daily basis whereas some have upload them on the weekends.

  • Corporate skills: The use of Zoom or Teams has also given children a feeling of what a virtual meeting looks like, how to cooperate, listen and support fellow team members. These are skills that will be helpful as they will in future transition into the workforce.


  • Social media addiction?: This one I am raising as a questions rather than making a statement. The way Google Workspace / G Suite classroom works is very similar to Facebook feed. By forcing children to be dependent on this tool are we indirectly causing them to be future social media addicts? I think this needs to be investigated seriously using a multi-disciplinary approach: this is an area that needs to be studied thoroughly by psychologists, sociologists, educationists, and other types of experts.

  • No teaching just uploading materials: From our experience, the teachers were just uploading assignments. The act of teaching, the interaction with learners is missing. The bitter truth is for most of the teaching activities, the teachers are probably missing in action. How can a six or a seven year old teach themselves, whereas in most cases they need to be supported even when they eat or drink?

  • Decline in reading and cognitive capacities?: In many cases, instead of giving learners any reading materials, teachers were just uploading videos. When there is no reading, no interaction with learners or facilitation of learning, what is the means to ensure that learners really understood what they saw or how they processed the information? How much damage has been done to their reading and cognitive capacities? Another matter that needs to be investigated using a cross disciplinary approach.

  • No feedback: When feedback is provided to learners, not only does it help them become better learners but it works as an extrinsic motivation too. From our experience, no feedback is visible from teachers. Uploading weekly assignments seems more like ticking the check box exercise by the teachers.

  • No social skills: Humans are primarily social beings. Going to school is meant not only for acquiring text book knowledge but also for learning social skills, how to show empathy, how to make friends, how to work in a group, how to play together, how to have fun together, how to learn from others, how to teach others, how to appreciate others. Home schooling has literally buried these social skills.

  • Learning outcome for busy parents and the disadvantaged parents: Some parents are probably luckier who had relatively sound level of education to facilitate learning for children and flexible working from home arrangements and, therefore, they have the capacity to supervise their children’s learning. But what about some parents who were working from home but with almost no flexibility (e.g. a Call Centre Operator) in terms of work arrangements; or some parents who unfortunately don’t have a level of education or who don’t have good knowledge of English to facilitate their children’s education. These socio-economically disadvantaged parents always look at physical schooling as a great support and enabler of success for their children. These people seem to have gone through some sort of betrayal. This matter needs to be added to the list of things that need to be investigated using a cross disciplinary approach.

  • Expensive: Imagine a situation where the mum and the dad, or a single parent, were not financially well enough but had three children. How would they afford to buy three laptops for their education? Isn’t home schooling a luxury that they couldn’t afford?

Considering the above it appears that home schooling has more cons than pros. However, it is better than – what many stupid governments have done in some countries – keeping the schools closed for an indefinite period.


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