The Summer My LMS Came to Town

At the end of last summer, I was hired as the full-time nanny for a set of spunky, rebellious twin girls. The understanding was that I would be with the girls until they began Kindergarten at the neighborhood church school the following year. I savored that deadline. I savored it the day one twin found a pair of scissors and tried to give her Elmo doll a haircut (which turned into a funeral for the poor guy after one snip), on the day when the other twin pulled out a chunk of my hair with the super strength I once believed was reserved for professional wrestlers, and again on the day when both girls discovered a mud puddle in the backyard and tracked sloppy, gooey mud onto their mother’s pristine white carpet. “Kindergarten starts soon,” I told myself.

If I had known then, that a person was going to eat a bat and cause a pandemic so terrible that no one could leave their homes and I would be in charge of homeschooling these little rugrats, I might have travelled the world hanging flyers in caves: “PLEASE DON’T EAT THE BATS.”

What I didn’t realize right away was that homeschooling online didn’t have to be difficult. There are resources such as learning management systems (LMS) that could equip me with everything I needed. With the pandemic hitting globally and remote learning becoming the new normal, online learning platforms are there to assist with making the transition as easy as possible. Many educators—from homeschooling parents to remote learning instructors—who are not using learning management systems are struggling to learn how to navigate remote learning. For these educators, Zoom links can feel like another language. Teachers have to cope with students missing half the lesson just from trying and failing to log in. The twins and I had trouble keeping track of basic lesson plans (I’m talking Kindergarten basic: finger-painting and memorizing ABC’s) because it was so difficult to stay organized. The stress was suffocating; I no longer cared if the twins’ yanked my hair out because I was on the edge of pulling it out myself. I wish I had known right away about learning management systems. If I had, I would have been ready for anything.

It makes sense that so many educators who are not utilizing LMS are feeling overwhelmed by remote learning. In the spring, at the start of schools switching to online, online learning “failed to reach and engage many children…leading to growing achievement gaps”. As teachers looked toward fall, it became essential for educators to make sure they were providing their learners with the best possible resources for online school. Now, many educators are finally turning toward online learning platforms. They know they’re the best tool for creating structure and efficiency. They’re the best tool for creating a prosperous learning environment online.

LMS is great for any type of education—from homeschooling youngsters to church schools teaching k-12, to online ministry schools. It’s the answer educators and parents everywhere have been waiting for since they first heard the word “remote” tacked onto the word “learning.” LMS for churches, online pastoral schools and other religious studies—such as Acts 2, which caters specifically to religious education—are especially useful, helping students stay organized and on track, so they may better serve their churches and community. It is impossible to prepare a student for his calling to the ministry if he is unable to figure out his Zoom login.

For educators learning how to hold classes online, it is clear that a dependable learning management system is the solution.

Online learning platforms are the best possible answer because “teachers can use [their] learning management systems…to build a digital home base for [their] learners.” A home base equals organization equals meeting deadlines equals a successful schoolyear. No home base equals the twins belting “ABCDFJY” at the top of their lungs while I search through pages and pages of lesson plans to find the section on learning how to read. A learning management system is designed to be user-friendly and to help learners and educators stay organized and on schedule.

In short, the girls will know the alphabet and my hair will be left intact.

According to one educator in Chicago, Illinois, “the learning is quick and effective” when using LMS technology. The educators who are choosing that path are equipping their schools to be ready for online instruction at any given moment—you know, in case 2021 somehow manages to top 2020’s lists of crises. Many were already depending on LMS software even before the pandemic hit. LMS solutions make creating lesson plans easy and efficient and they are approachable and easy-to-use for students. There’s no reason not to implement an LMS into your online schooling.

For online ministry schools (and online pastoral schools in particular), Acts 2 is there to help you through the online learning struggle. Acts 2 is specially designed for ministry, pastoral, homeschooling, and church schools. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no reason to make this already difficult year even harder—let an LMS take the weight of designing an online learning lesson plan off your shoulders.

Looking back on the days of temper tantrums and hair-pulling, I wish I had known about learning management systems for homeschooling. If I had, I know that by the time the school year started, instead of being blindsided by becoming a nanny-turned-teacher who barely knew how to open a video chat, I could have had an efficient lesson plan in place that would have been easy for me and the twins to follow and learn from. Our kids and students deserve a high value education. When deciding what you want the schoolyear to look like, don’t make the same mistake I did. Go with an online training platform and let the learning happen for you.

Laura Townsend is a comedy writer based in Los Angeles. Townsend graduated with a BA in Creative Writing and English from The University of Iowa. Following graduation, she earned a certificate in comedic television writing from UCLA. She placed as a Finalist at the 2019 Austin Film Festival for her original pilot, Driver’s Ed. You can also find her writing in Marie Claire.