Many educational institutions remained closed globally as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. In the U.S., around 50,000 K-12 schools across 22 states have closed since the start of the lockdown in March. As a result, over 26 million students are now on distance learning to ensure their safety.
As lockdown measures begin to ease, some schools in specific states like Arizona, Iowa, Texas, and Florida consider reopening for the next semester. However, education experts argue that most schools will continue to adopt remote learning in the future. Parents will remain reluctant to send their children back to school until a vaccine becomes available. Online modules will become a part of the curriculum, even after the pandemic subsides.
Some students may thrive in homeschooling, while others may struggle. Parents must create and maintain a positive home environment that is conducive to learning. They must also support their children in any way they can to make online classes more effective and efficient.
One of which is to invest in decent and affordable housing.
The Role of Good Housing in Your Child’s School Performance
Your home has a significant effect on your child’s learning and development. Studies have shown that a decent and affordable home can have a powerful effect on your child’s school performance, especially during online classes. Here are some of them:
1. Good housing can boost your children’s cognitive abilities to learn.
For decades, several researchers have found that children living in poor quality residences are more likely to inherit emotional and behavioral issues. Such problems lead them to manifest early signs of anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders over time. Some children exhibited aggressive and defiant behaviors, especially in school, while others showed lower reading and math scores on standardized tests than the other students.
Having decent and stable housing can help alleviate these psychological problems, boosting your children’s productivity, performance, and participation during online classes.
2. A decent and affordable home can help parents fulfill their duties as educators and support their children amid distance learning.
As homeschooling becomes the new norm, parents now play an even more critical part in their child’s learning and development. However, certain household concerns like expensive housing costs can trigger overwhelming stress among parents, hindering them from fulfilling their role as educators, especially in the midst of distance learning. In fact, nearly a third of low-income families in the U.S. allocate over 30% of their housing income, particularly for rental dues.
Availing of housing assistance such as the Section 8 program can help lessen this financial burden among parents. Such initiatives can help families afford a home without having to sacrifice their children’s education needs. This leads children to have more learning materials at home, which can supplement their online classes.
Additionally, parents can focus their energy more on supporting their children amid distance learning with the absence of such stressors. For instance, parents practicing math and reading skills with their kids can increase their school readiness, leading them to more success in the classroom.
3. Good housing can provide children enough space to learn and play, which can be vital in improving their overall health.
Over the last decade, crowded homes have become rampant among American households. Such a trend is most common among low-income families, where a house has an insufficient number of rooms available for the household members. This practice is commonly caused by unaffordable housing, where certain families would share a home with another family or their relatives to save on rent.
While this setup can help families reduce housing costs, a crowded home can affect children’s health, social, and developmental aspects, according to experts. Studies have shown that children who have lived in a crowded household are likely unable to finish high school and attain lower education by 25. This may be caused by unwanted distractions at home, affecting the child’s capacity to study and prepare for school the next day. Additionally, children may tend to carry these distractions mentally to school, affecting their performance in class.
Maintaining a spacious and decent environment for your children to study and play can improve their mental and physical health. This helps reduce absenteeism among young students while helping them focus and participate more in school activities.
The transition to online and distance learning can be quite challenging for both parents and children. It is a new kind of learning environment and has many factors to consider. However, investing in good and affordable housing can help students, especially the young ones, to adapt and prepare for this new normal environment.