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Is E-Learning a Blessing in Disguise?

Sponsored Jingkids 2022-06-28

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We’re all aware by now that online learning isn’t the ideal way to learn. It means extra work for parents and teachers, and it deprives kids of social interaction with their friends at school, not to mention that the added screen time doesn’t do anyone’s eyes any good.


However, until Covid is nothing more than a distant memory, online learning is a reality that families in China need to deal with. With that in mind, the teachers and parents of AISB-Hope International have come together to provide the school’s students with the best online learning experience they can and also to turn the experience into powerful life lessons for the kids.

No one can attest to the hard work of online learning at home more than the parents who are now juggling the roles of parent and educator.


“As many of us know, educating children is a team approach. Parents are a child’s first teacher, and it is an honor that we, as teachers, can join the parents in educating their children. Our families know and experience the difference our school makes in their child’s life – we provide a nurturing learning environment and a holistic education that is character-focused. No one wants to be doing school online, including parents. However, I would say that without parent involvement, it would not be as successful as it is,” says Nicole Kennedy, AISB-Hope parent to four children and also the school’s newly appointed Head of Elementary. “Our parents are amazing and supportive, especially for our little ones. For example, I have reading groups four times a week that require a video response. Quite often, the parents are behind the camera asking questions. It is so fun to have our parents involved in what their child is learning. They can see first-hand that their child is engaged in learning and making progress. During another stretch of online learning, a parent told me that their English was also improving as they listened in on their child’s online classes.”

Nicole Kennedy, newly appointed Head of Elementary for next school year


One of the best attributes of AISB-Hope is its strong sense of community. As one of the smallest international schools in Beijing, the families and faculty feel like family. “I have been greatly impressed by the dedication the teachers have to creating a joyful classroom and ensuring the students are still learning. I know that many teachers have children of their own, but when I hear them over the Zoom call they are still fostering a joyful attitude which is then passed down to the students,” says Holly H., a mom with three kids at AISB-Hope in Grades 7, 3, and 1. “During assembly and concerts that have to be online, they are fostering community by having active participation via games and singing and encouraging other attendance. They are still having the same fun activity days like sports day but having them online.”

Juggling multiple kids in various grade levels all doing online learning in one apartment is intense, to say the least. Conflicts inevitably arise, but families like Holly’s have chosen to make the best of the situation. “Online learning is not ideal for anyone. The children much prefer going to physical school, however, they are managing and getting into a new routine. When conflicts arise among our children, we encourage them to communicate with each other and be honest about how they are feeling and work to resolve the issues amongst themselves. They work and play together well for the most part,” she tells Jingkids. Most importantly, online learning has helped her kids learn the valuable life lesson of seeing the world as glass-half-full.



The Kennedy family


Others like the Kennedy family have chosen to see this time as a sort of blessing. “We’ve enjoyed more family time. Our compound was locked down for over two weeks, so we only had each other, other than joining online classes. In our free time in the evenings, we spent more time playing games, watching movies, and eating more than usual. I am not sure if eating more is a positive thing, but we enjoyed it. My older kids enjoy getting more sleep since they do not need to get up as early. They also like that they do not need to wear masks when they have classes online! Of course, they all enjoy having the cat, Jack, join their online classes.”





The Kennedys aren’t alone in their glass-half-full outlook on e-learning. Linda Lin has three girls at AISB-Hope. Twins Fiona and Rebecca are in Grade 3, and their little sister Angela is loving life in Grade 1. “Online learning at home has both advantages and disadvantages. Whether children are affected positively depends on the attitude of their parents. As parents, if we offer our children sunshine and positive ideas, they will easily develop in a good direction. If we offer them criticism and negative thinking, they will easily become pessimists. It is difficult for us to change the general environment, but we can try our best to find ways to live well at anytime and anywhere. In my family, although my three children miss their campus life, they also enjoy the e-learning life at home very much!” says Linda.


At a time when our kids can’t physically go to school and see their friends and teachers, the need for a sense of community is more important than ever. And it’s that sense of community that sets AISB-Hope apart from others. “My children have been at AISB-Hope for two years. I strongly recommend this school to my friends,” Linda tells Jingkids. “I think the best part [of the school] is that each teacher is very patient and caring with the students and will also teach them positive ideas and correct rules. At AISB-Hope, almost every teacher and staff member can remember the name of every child, and they always greet them kindly. The whole school is like a warm family, which is very helpful for children to build their confidence. That is what I value most. I think this is the advantage of a small school.”

Beyond brilliant students, AISB-Hope hopes to cultivate well-balanced members of society who are ready to make positive impacts in their communities.


Scan the QR code below to get in contact with AISB-Hope International and to schedule a school tour.


Images: Courtesy of Linda Lin, Nicole Kennedy

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