How small class sizes and expert online teaching are a winning formula for one family living in Spain

Parent Luisa Agnew tells us why she is so pleased she chose Oxford Education Online

I didn’t expect to take my children out of local schools – I wasn’t looking for an alternative and they seemed to be doing OK. But now my three children are all taught by Oxford Education Online and the whole family is loving it!

British eduction online

Hi, I’m Luisa and I have three children (2 girls and a boy) aged from 9 to 13. We live on the South coast of Spain and until last year my children followed the British curriculum at international schools. Last year a friend was singing the praises of OEO, and I eventually decided to take a look.

Small class sizes of up to five children really grabbed my attention. However good the school, every parent knows that teachers can’t possibly focus on every child in a large class. It all looked too good to be true, but the more I explored OEO’s website and chatted to their wonderful team of education experts, the more I wanted my kids to experience this ‘new’ way of learning.

My children now love to learn

We took the plunge and joined OEO in September 2020, and I have to say it has been an excellent decision for all the family. Most importantly of all, our three children are all thriving, and have benefited in different ways.

No more feeling foolish

We’ve found that small classes remove distractions and allow each child the freedom to ask questions without feeling embarrassed. They get to know the teacher and other children quickly, and the online environment is friendly and supportive so they don’t feel foolish. Breaking down this barrier has proved brilliant at allowing my children to understand subjects more quickly and deeply, which has also increased their enjoyment.

The right level of challenge

Children who are good at most things are often left to coast, as the teacher concentrates on those requiring more attention. We’ve seen at first-hand how OEO’s teachers really get to know every child, and can stimulate them always to do their best. Now, our ‘coaster’ actively wants to learn, and pushes themself to explore and understand more every day.

Changing the pace

Small class sizes also allow children to learn at their own speed. There is time to explain in different ways if a child is struggling, and the chance to stretch and explore beyond the core learning too. Learning at their own pace has given my children confidence and they are much happier and more relaxed as a result.

Encouraging independent learning

I know people have struggled to keep their children interested in learning during lockdown, when schools tried to put their normal lessons online. But for us, lockdown has not interrupted their learning at all – our children have been happy to settle down every morning to their lessons, and have become used to planning their own days. No more dawdling along corridors with the crowd – they have learned to prepare what they need each day, and feel a sense of ownership and involvement in their education that they never felt at ‘normal’ school.

As for us, my husband and I have never felt pressured to become a ‘home teacher’ to support our children’s lessons. OEO provides all that they need, including easy communication systems that alert us if there is any problem, for example with the internet or timings. Instead, we find we actually want to know more too, and love to hear direct from our kids when they come fresh from a lesson excited to share their knowledge. We are all learning together!

More ‘quality’ family time           

With three children we used to waste hours a day ferrying them back and forth to school – now we have regained all that time and really appreciate the freedom that has given us to enjoy each other’s company. We’re even thinking about taking some long trips abroad, as the children can do their morning lessons anywhere, then explore new countries with us for the rest of the day. That’s very liberating!

Plenty of time with friends

The children haven’t missed their school friends at all – the OEO day is over by lunchtime and they are free to spend as much time as they like doing sports and meeting up with friends in the rest of the day or at weekends. The school also ensures that there is plenty of shared work, so there is lots of interaction in bigger groups, and they find clever ways to give the children chances to share practical projects like cooking and design.

We still see all our friends too, and meetings with OEO such as parents’ evenings are much less stressful and time-consuming than before.

A successful trial

My whole family is now keen to continue this education journey with OEO.  We signed up for a one-year trial, but are so pleased that we’ve already signed up for next year. The children are really enjoying their learning and are making fantastic progress. As for my husband and I, we are much more confident that our children will achieve their best, and we love being able to spend more time together anywhere we please!

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