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Online Learning Causes Trouble for Parents

-Editorial

The long school hours are taking a toll on parents who have to dedicate their time to help their children instead of working.

As innovative as they are, online classes are causing a headache to parents who have to guide their children during class and make sure they don’t miss their education. Parents have to take care of the house cleaning, make food, and in the case of children in elementary school, sit with them to explain to them and make sure they don’t miss an assignment.

For many mothers, this is a frustrating time as they have to multitask between their jobs and make sure the children are focused. At times they do the work of a teacher’s aid with no monetary compensation. The online school system has become a burden to many parents.

Imperial County health officials announced that effective Monday, October 5, 2020, public and private elementary schools, grades Transitional Kindergarten to 6th grade in Imperial County may submit waiver applications to allow in-person instruction with modifications at their campuses.

Local health officers must review local community epidemiological data, consider other public health interventions, and consult with the California Department of Public Health when considering a waiver request. The state’s waiver guidelines for resuming in-person instruction do not apply to junior high and high schools.

However, no school district has applied for this waiver as of this writing, meaning that online instruction will continue possibly until the end of the current school year.

Imperial Valley resident Beatriz Solis is a Child Developmental specialist and a former preschool teacher for the US. Navy.  Her experience being an online mom helping her children has been a challenge. Not only because she’s also a working parent doing teleservices online herself, but because she feels teachers have too many students in their online class.

“The computer provided for them is very restricted and the school has only access to certain programs. It makes it difficult because parents are not familiar with the “Google Classroom programs.” Nor with Zoom meeting. I was lucky to be somewhat familiar therefore it was not as difficult for myself. Yet, I could see the struggles other parents had which would hold the classroom back,” Solis said.

“My experience helping my child has been frustrated with a lack of empathy from the school only because they are also overwhelmed with the change. I do not fault the school but I’m disappointed with the lack of awareness or prepared methods they ignored to advise parents.”

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, her job and finances have been impacted.

“My time is limited as I am also freelancing to supply income into my home. I’m unable to participate in the 8-3 scheduled timing with my children but I’m also required to make breakfast, lunch, and snacks in between while school is in session. Not to mention clean up and all other inquiries needed to upkeep the home in a healthy and safe environment,” Solis said.

Solis added that the most difficult and frustrating part of the online schooling is listening to teachers lose their patience with the children.

“I will say that teachers are overwhelmed and it shows. Also, teachers showing the lack of training and understanding of the technical programs required to have the online school experience a fundamental and rewarding experience. It lacks the foundation, depth, and connection ability that traditional schools have¿.

Solis says she receives e-mails or phone calls telling her children are not focusing.

“I just cannot redirect them every time because I am at work. Yet, I also don’t want teachers yelling at my child. Our children are dealt with a huge expectation of being focused on a computer from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm. I sympathize with the children because they are expected to do this undisturbed and focused. It’s an impossible task unless the teacher makes the learning experience rewarding, fun, and interactive.”

Her recommendation for parents who work and help their small children is to educate themselves on the programs and schedule of the teachers. It becomes essential for a parent to learn how the computer works.

“If there is something you are not sure about, educate yourself to use a resource that might help you. I had no clue how to use google classroom but YouTube has tutorials on how it is being used. I have had already a meeting with the teacher to also explain my situation to her and how I will not be accessible and to make an appointment if needed to talk about anything important. Also, be patient and be involved with your child. Ask them questions, double-check their work, and if the teacher has a concern listen but double-check their work too. Sometimes, teachers are wrong and that is okay too,” she said.

Solis says they need more teacher’s aids and after school tutoring options.

“I would even ask if there are volunteers online who would be interested it should be an option with background checks and hiring possibilities. At this point in the education system, traditional schooling is no longer enough. We need to innovate and evolve to a new approach to overcome success with online distant learning,” Solis said.

Resources for parents and students:

https://teachingcommons.lakeheadu.ca/sites/default/files/inline-files/30%20Questions%20For%20Teacher%20Reflection.pdf

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