With no federal mandate, schools around the country are left to follow guidelines set for them by state and local governments, which means a school in one town could be following one guideline, while a school in neighboring town could be following a completely different set of recommendations.
Not only is it tough on parents and educators, but it’s tough on children, especially young ones.
Jana Coombs recently shared several images of her children participating in distance learning, but it’s the one of her son who is in kindergarten that’s caught the most attention.
“This is my kindergarten son crying! He’s crying because he’s frustrated. Frustrated bc a kindergartener does NOT learn well virtual learning!!” she wrote.
“After this picture was taken, I called him over to the couch to snuggle and gave him lots of hugs, praise, and love while we took a needed break!! I took this photo to show reality because i know he is not the only child overwhelmed.”
Coombs, whose children go to school in Coweta County, Georgia, explained that she took the photo of her son because she wanted to show people the reality of virtual learning.
Coombs and her husband, Luke, also have a 2nd grader, 4th grader, and a 7-month-old, and having them all at home has made it extremely difficult.
“Juggling a household, having an infant in the house, getting 5,000 emails a day from all their teachers, trying to keep up … different apps, different codes, different platforms, some links don’t work. You’re running from one laptop to another,” she said.
They feel their children are missing out by learning online and not having face-to-face interaction.
And they’re not the only ones. Research has shown that many students will fall behind in their learning.
It’s due to a combination of parents suddenly needing to become teachers and racial and socioeconomic disparities, which prevent some students from receiving the same education as their peers.
What can parents do?
While each child and each family’s needs are different, there are a few things you can do in order to make the school year as effective as possible.
Take frequent breaks
Set and maintain a schedule
Create a specific space for learning
Engage in positive reinforcement
If you’re also working from home, set boundaries
Reach out if you, the parent, need help
Although there are some children who do not like virtual learning, it’s important to note there are others who thrive in this type of setting.
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