Parents struggling to help kids with online schooling

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Since the implementation of homeschooling, many parents, especially single-parent households, have been struggling to find the time necessary to help their children with their school work.

Several parents have indicated they felt inadequate to help their kids with their school work while others simply are struggling to find the time.

“It is a huge struggle to keep myself on a schedule let alone the kiddos,” said one mom Casey Storm. “It seriously makes me feel like a failure! I’ve gotten creative and we spell things we see, add up all the blue things, we cook, we do puzzles, but iPad time is not always an online learning tool. I am more trying to keep everyone from melting down and just keep peace. I admire teachers and all the hard work they do, lots of time and energy out into lesson planning, finding new ways to execute the learning that keep the kids engaged and having the patience of a Saint!!”

Another Utah mom, Teresa Atherley reached out to the school district to voice her concerns.

“As parents it’s been super hard to navigate everything,” said Atherley. “With high schoolers and grades counting it’s been a struggle. On top of schools kicking people off the track, fields and courts. We have no where to go and just school work to do. It’s been hard.”

Atherley reached out to the Jordan School Board to ask for guidance and help for Utah parents.

Darrell Robinson responded to her plea saying he felt she had a great idea and would pass it along, but the school board has a hard time mandating the practices of teachers and administration.

“Certainly in many of our schools, we have aides that we are looking for work for them,” said Robinson. “A good administrator might enlist the aid or these aides to do what you are suggesting! I would check with the schools and see what they say.”

Parents around the country are getting a little bit of reprieve with a week dedicated to spring break but Governor Gary Herbert announced on Monday that kids will not be returning to work until May 1, extending their stay at home courses by a month.

Another Utah mom, who wished to remain anonymous, said she takes care of both of her parents and her child and as a single parent who has to still go to work it’s really hard to juggle it all.

“Honestly I wish that the schools would be able to work more on a visual basis having the students see the teacher with video calls and be able to be more directly involved,” the mom said. “Me getting emails while at work of what my child needs to do does not work well with getting the information to my child. This is actually an extremely difficult situation so finding a way to make it accessible for as many as possible honestly would help so much.”

Some parents, like Gina Holcomb, said it has helped her to set a specific study time for her 13-year-old daughter and she gets to choose what subjects based on what the weekly offering is, stating she checks in with her frequently and engages as necessary.

So what can you do to ease the difficult task of adding your child’s at home schooling to your already busy schedule?

Theladders.com offered several tips for parents trying to navigate their children’s school work at home:

  • Limit distraction – A “digital quarantine” can help keep your child’s attention focused on their schoolwork and not their devices.
  • Make a space for learning: Kids will do better in a quiet dedicated space just for them
  • Breaks and meals: Just like at school, kids need breaks and meals and maintaining a similar routine to what they had at school will help.
  • Allow time for them to socialize via online resources: Kids still need the social interaction and stimulation from being able to interact with their friends. Set up ways though video chat or other online video resources to allow them face to face interaction.
  • Mix screen time with older learning methods: Too much screen time can have adverse impacts on young brains, so it’s important to mix it up old school mediums as well like reading books and packets made printable by teachers, if available.
  • Stay connected to other parents: Families who are not used to online learning really could use advice from other parents who either have done home schooling or parents who can help provide tips and suggestions. Check in with each other and ask others if they need help too.
  • Stick to a schedule: Setting a schedule for your kids to do their work, and parents to do theirs, is highly recommended. Setting times for each class will allow for less confusion in the long rung.

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