Many parents are expressing concern about their kids' educations during the pandemic. They fear their kids are falling behind and not learning as much as they need to. They fear they'll never "catch up". Is this fear reasonable? Or is Is it possible that the pandemic is providing unique opportunities for kids to learn lessons that are more important than those they learn in the classroom?
On a recent episode of the 1A radio show, "The Pandemic is the Worst. What Can We Do to Keep Coping?", Shankar Vedantam, commented (at 25:45 min), "Many parents and many educators make the mistake of assuming that education is mostly about what you learn in school ... There has been a lot of research that shows that ... softer skills are in many ways a better predictor of how people will do over the long term than their cognitive learning, than the stuff that they actually learn in classrooms." Shankar goes on to explain how the pandemic is providing great opportunities for parents to help their kids develop some very valuable soft skills.
Rather than worrying about what our kids aren't learning right now, maybe we should focus on the unique educational opportunities that are all around us. Thanks to Shankar Vedantam for reminding us that the learning never ends when we recognize the lessons. He also provides examples of some of the unique lessons that exist because of the pandemic.