Distance learning tests parents, too

Education By Megan Jacobo, Reporter Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Distance learning tests parents, too
Juggling their professional and family responsibilities during the stress of the pandemic is tiring, but parents say they are doing the best they can.
So far it’s been six weeks. That’s 30 school days.
And another four or five weeks to go until the freedom of summer.
Not just for the kids, but for their parents or guardians who began supervising their youngsters’ educations after the coronavirus outbreak began and schools turned to distance learning on March 16.
Those adults likely have jobs outside the home, too.
An informal survey of area parents found most feel they’ve successfully assumed their teacher’s helpers roles.
“I think the hardest part has been how much they miss their teachers and friends, said Melissa Alagna, mother to a fifth grader and a first grader at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School in Miami Lakes.
“Academically though, I feel they have been able to stay on track, despite the obstacles,” Alagna said.
Having a responsive team at school makes a big difference, parents have found.
“The virtual learning experience has been new to all of us, but I am grateful to be part of the Our Lady of the Lakes school family, where the administration, teachers and support staff have really helped us every step of the way to transition the kids into home-based learning,” said Julie Sierra, whose children are enrolled in OLL’s second and fifth grades.
Parents also said home schooling helped protect their kids from the highly contagious virus.
Gloria Morales, whose child is a sixth grader at Miami Lakes K-8 Center, said she was “very happy about the decision to continue at home learning” when authorities announced on April 18 that schools would remain shuttered for the remainder of the school year.
“Why put kids in danger for one month?” Morales said. “[It was a] great decision.”
Though parents may not miss sitting in car lanes at school or chauffeuring their children around town to extracurricular activities, the kids miss seeing their friends.
Kiki Gonzalez is a junior at Barbara Goleman Senior High School, where she plays flag football.
When her season ended abruptly, she said she was sad about playing just a few games.
Her mom, Cathy Quintana, is a senior accountant at The Graham Companies.
Quintana admitted that taking on the responsibilities of distance learning was “exhausting.”
“It is challenging, trying to help my kids and stay on track with their assignments while keeping up with my work,” Quintana said.
Summer, and a possible easing of ‘safer at home’ orders, can’t come fast enough.

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