Online learning vs. classroom learning - What's better?

RICHLAND, WA - As schools are reopening, parents are discussing whether they want to send their kids back to school.

If you are a parent feeling stressed out, uneasy or unsure between options, you are not alone. To ease parent's minds and help you make a decision that works for your family, Randy Way, the director of Sylvan Learning Center, said to weigh the pros and cons of each learning style.

He encourages parents to be careful about judging the decisions they have made. In-person learning has only been back in session for a few weeks or even a few days. So Randy's biggest piece of advice, just be patient.

"As teachers we did not go through training on how to handle COVID-19, on how to handle wearing face masks and teaching early literacy at the same time, those weren't taught. Teachers are learning, schools are learning through this process as well," Way said.

Randy said a perk to online learning may be providing more flexibility by allowing students to work at their own pace. He said a con is that online learning does not work for everyone. He said most people tend to do better face to face and online learning lacks that classmate interaction that kids need.

"For the students that are succeeding with online, they tend to not have has many skill gaps, not have as many distractions at home and are able to have those periods of focus to get through the work they need to get through and learn," Way said.

However, that is not the case for all students. Randy said some students still get those social interactions through other extracurricular activities. He said being inside a classroom also has perks, like having a teacher.

"A teacher is seeing what is being written down or not written down whether a student is raising their hand. It is not as simple on Zoom to recognized those other things that might be happening," Way said.

But Randy said a con to being inside a classroom is the increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.

"Spreading of the virus will be the first one. That is certainly a con the schools are doing their best to medicate that," Way said.

When parents ask for Randy's opinion on whether to in-roll in a private school, virtual learning or in-person learning, he said there is not a right answer.

"Every student is different, every students' needs are different," Way said.