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Are parents really failing miserably at crisis schooling?


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Or is it just the PC thing to say?

My Google News search for homeschooling brings up non-stop celebrities complaining about it and support articles about how to do it.Is it really that bad out there? If so, is it the school making things difficult, the whole pandemic situation or trying to work and keep the kids on task? All of the above?

I'm getting the feeling it's not nearly as bad as all the headlines would lead you to believe. I saw two articles the other day that said kids are happier, healthier, sleep better, get along better with their siblings, are working more independently, volunteering for chores and responsibilities and overall enjoying the time off. 

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5 minutes ago, Plum said:

Or is it just the PC thing to say?

My Google News search for homeschooling brings up non-stop celebrities and support articles about how to do it.Is it really that bad out there? If so, is it the school making things difficult, the whole pandemic situation or trying to work and keep the kids on task? All of the above?

I'm getting the feeling it's not nearly as bad as all the headlines would lead you to believe. I saw two articles the other day that said kids are happier, healthier, sleep better, get along better with their siblings, are working more independently, volunteering for chores and responsibilities and overall enjoying the time off. 

 

Where would the articles get the information for that though? The kids are not out to interview, etc.

We have not been having a bad time homeschooling. But we do have every 4-5 days meltdowns about not seeing friends/worry about what friends will think when we next see them/etc. (and I am glad it is only every 4-5 days). And I know my kids are getting more screen time than is best for them. 

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Yes.  It's horrific.  I think the main issue is that parents are trying to work full time from home, so kids are more or less having to keep themselves on task.  Parents don't technically have authority to alter assignments, which are often designed to take up 6-7 full hours a day, and are scattered across 80 bazillion electronic platforms, each of which has its own complicated sign in and password.  

I mean, the quality and amount of work varies a LOT by district and teacher.  But it's not at all what homeschooling is like, and it's being done on top of parents working full time.  There are also issues of juggling devices and whether your internet connection can take multiple simultaneous zoom meetings. 

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3 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Where would the articles get the information for that though? The kids are not out to interview, etc.

We have not been having a bad time homeschooling. But we do have every 4-5 days meltdowns about not seeing friends/worry about what friends will think when we next see them/etc. (and I am glad it is only every 4-5 days). And I know my kids are getting more screen time than is best for them. 

From CNN 

Why some kids are happier right now, and other unexpected effects of quarantine

From Edutopia

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?

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6 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Yes.  It's horrific.  I think the main issue is that parents are trying to work full time from home, so kids are more or less having to keep themselves on task.  Parents don't technically have authority to alter assignments, which are often designed to take up 6-7 full hours a day, and are scattered across 80 bazillion electronic platforms, each of which has its own complicated sign in and password.  

I mean, the quality and amount of work varies a LOT by district and teacher.  But it's not at all what homeschooling is like, and it's being done on top of parents working full time.  There are also issues of juggling devices and whether your internet connection can take multiple simultaneous zoom meetings. 

So implementation is the problem. That sounds familiar. 

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I joined a Facebook group for crisis schoolers mainly because our homeschool group wanted people to give them advice/resources so they stopped flooding the normal homeschool page.

im seeing some people loving and others hating it.  The challenges appear to be where kids are expected to be online doing school for a normal school day while the parents are supposed to be online doing a normal work day at the same time. The parents can’t adequately supervise the kids and work at the same time.  The other thing seems to be teachers sending home unrealistic and non age appropriate work.  Some parents are actually considering registering to homeschool to get away from that issue.

the ones that are happiest seem to be the ones who aren’t getting too much school work and are just teaching the kids themselves.

im also seeing tonnes of posts from parents realising their kids are struggling badly, way behind, and not getting correct support for learning difficulties.  I feel like there’s going to be a flood of complaints in some classrooms when school goes back looking for better levels of extra support for struggling learners. 
 

im also seeing several people saying their kids are asking to keep homeschooling but knowing they can’t because eventually they have to go back to work.

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7 minutes ago, Plum said:

So implementation is the problem. That sounds familiar. 

Implementation is part of the problem.  But it's also just plain hard to judge full time employment with keeping kids occupied and cared for AND doing education.  I mean, it's hard enough to work full time when you just have, say, a four year old (the situation with one of my friends).  Try to work from home while entertaining a four year old, an 18 month old, and also juggle a first grader, a fifth grader, and an 8th grader taking high school credit courses, when each of the school aged kids have 6 hours of work a day, and the first grader can't do anything academic independently because they're six?  It's frankly impossible.  

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Mostly around here, unless the child is an AP high school student, the public schools are sending very little work and it will not be graded. The subjects are math and reading and the work takes about an hour to complete.    Parents are being told everything will be repeated again in the fall  anyway (!!) I think many parents are actually quite underwhelmed with the low quality and meager quantity of what they are getting. This is supposed to be  a highly rated school system but they are dinosaurs when it comes to distance or non traditional learning, The kids are mostly spinning their wheels unless the parents find outside options for them. In contrast, my private school friends' kids are getting pretty much a full school day typically on Zoom and with book type work also. They seem happier with what they are getting. The kids all seem fine with homeschooling except for missing friends.

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The problems I’ve heard about are when kids simply refuse to do it. A parent can’t really force them to, not in any productive, sustained way. The student has to buy in to some degree. The kids I’m talking about aren’t young fit-pitchers. They are mostly middle and high school age kids who quietly refuse. And parents are at a loss for how to encourage or enforce compliance. Remove privileges? Ground them? Punish them? Nothing is worse than what they've already lost in terms of real life interactions with their peers due to SAH orders.  

In our local public school systems, students’ 4th quarter grades don’t count if they are lower than 3rd quarter grades - the 3rd quarter grades will be used for the 4th quarter. They can raise their grades and have the higher grades recorded, IF they choose to do the work and do it properly and well. For many, there’s no incentive. 

And as others have said above, parents trying to manage working at home while overseeing schooling and maybe having a full household of everyone trying to zoom and have online calls all at the same time.... if something’s gotta give, it's not likely the parents’ jobs. 

That said, I can see how those with younger elementary students who have the means for a parent to be a full time overseer (ie not also working from home) would be finding that they enjoy it and their kids do, too... well, that’s no surprise to many of us long time home schoolers. 

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My daughter is able to jump through the hoops on schedule, so nobody has noticed that she's only half awake, not learning anything and is demonstrating that she hasn't mastered primary school maths yet, despite it being second term of year 7. Oh well.

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Having done actual homeschooling in past and now this public school from home during CV19, I would say that by and large actual home school was easier.  I had control and authority, and had had a hand in choosing materials and assignments.  

Otoh, it isn’t “on me” now in the same way. So in that regard it is easier. 

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5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

My experience is that nobody at school will ever notice she hasn't mastered primary maths, sigh.

There is not enough help for kids in school. 

 

She's in the top group for maths in her class, so no, I don't have very high expectations either.

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23 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

The problems I’ve heard about are when kids simply refuse to do it. A parent can’t really force them to, not in any productive, sustained way. The student has to buy in to some degree. The kids I’m talking about aren’t young fit-pitchers. They are mostly middle and high school age kids who quietly refuse. And parents are at a loss for how to encourage or enforce compliance. Remove privileges? Ground them? Punish them? Nothing is worse than what they've already lost in terms of real life interactions with their peers due to SAH orders.  

My friends who have supported my homeschooling throughout the years are suffering because their high school kids know it’s pass/fail and they are unlikely to fail so why work hard. Their kids are also missing playing basketball, soccer at the neighborhood parks with their friends, or even hanging out at the library with schoolmates when the school bus drop them off.  

My kids homeschooling is easy, they missing the human interactions during break time for their in person classes Is not. When my kids switched from public school to homeschooling, they were so lonely until we add in person classes to offset a little. It’s even more difficult for my kids age peers to go from brick and mortar schools to shelter in place/SAH. It’s like a long drawn out chickenpox quarantine with no known end date. At least with chickenpox, we could usually socialize after 21 days.

My friends’ homes are big enough for each person to do Zoom/videoconferencing from different rooms. So after breakfast, it’s like each child to their own study area, each adult to their “home office”. 

My brother’s child is in 3rd grade. He is furloughed and his wife is a SAHM. So both parents not working and paying full attention to their only child’s home based learning. He would forward me the scanned homework if he wants my opinion. For him crisis homeschooling is tedious but easy. It’s the finance aspect that is stressful though he does have emergency savings and no mortgage. 

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57 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:


im also seeing several people saying their kids are asking to keep homeschooling but knowing they can’t because eventually they have to go back to work.

During normal times, people have signed their children up for the online public charter and have their parents (the grandparents) babysit their children during the day. A grandma I met during standardized testing day brought her three grandchildren (two daughters’ children) to the test location. The parents would check their children’s work in the evenings or weekends to make sure kids are not behind schedule. 

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I home schooled my two older kids. I was happy and they both say they would like to home school their own kids for at least part of their school years. They are well educated and both have very fond memories of their experience. 

I will not even try to home school dd13. I leave it to her teachers, and lightly encourage her to do the assignments. She only does 2 hours of school work a day. If she doesn't do it, I don't have her make it up. She is special needs and is years behind in school. Honestly, I could probably make some major progress with her if I did work with her. I refuse to. She gets off balance emotionally when she is frustrated. I would rather her be more behind in school, than deal with her frustration, disregualation, and eventual downward spiral. 

Part of what makes home schooling work is the personalities of the parties involved. With her personality....I refused to be involved. LOL If she were more on track academically, I would feel more pressure to keep up on her studies. That would make both of our lives very unhappy. 

BTW: She goes to a therapeutic day school on a full IEP. All the students there are in the same boat. The teachers and other staff Zoom with each kid, for 2 hours each week. (less that 10 kids in her class). One hour with just the single student, and one hour in a group setting. The teachers know what each student is capable of both academically, and behaviorally. They set goals within the students capabilities. 

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The friends I see struggling were SAHMs before they were asked to homeschool. Teachers are trying to make public school happen at home. A friend sent this to a group chat I'm in and the two moms with younger kids (like preK-2nd) said that it was pretty much only a slight exaggeration. I mean, a preK teacher emailing assignments home that involve crafts that take an hour plus take a picture and send it in to the teacher. I would feel like I was failing too!!

I have been telling these moms to seriously just don't. Read to your kids. Do some math facts. Get them to do a little copywork. Do a 15 minute phonics or reading lesson. Don't try to do all the Zoom meetings or complicated crafts and assignments and writing paragraphs. Just blow it off! Do not stress yourself out!! But they feel like they have to for some reason I cannot figure out. I think they don't believe me that kindy should not take 4-6 hours per day. Otherwise, what are their kids doing at school all day??

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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

My tutoring kids are so burned out from remote schooling, way more than they were with school.

I wish they were all just having a nice time doing fun things. Or non-fun  but also not super stressy things.

I think teachers are under a lot of pressure  to provide a full school day from, ironically, parents.

Yes. I kind of feel like maybe this whole thing has pulled back the curtain a bit on the education system here in the US. I'm not sure. But my friends have marveled at how I am able to do all that they are trying to do now and still keep my sanity. I can't convince them that I am not doing what they are doing, and further, what they are doing is not necessary for the  most part. 

I gave my friend our K schedule -- one page from Ordinary Parents Guide for Reading, one math lesson from Horizons, two lines of learning to write letters, and a few nice picture books read aloud by mom. The rest is independent playing, coloring or making some project that is explained to me in elaborate detail, running around outside like a maniac, and helping me cook dinner. And a TV show or two when I need a nap. Today she had one of her brothers write her a "code" that consisted of random numbers and letters on a piece of paper that only I could look at. But it's funny because I think most of her day does not involve me directing much of anything. I don't know if my friend does not believe it could be that simple or what the block is.

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We have one child in a private school and one at home.  The one in school is a 9th grader and was at home until this year.  She has 17 hours a week of live on-line classes.  It is too much.  Way too much.  She often has homework and reading outside of class.  The other child also has school work to complete on the computer.  We have one computer to share for the entire family.  It is not like homeschooling in that I have no authority or really even a voice in much of anything.  Although I did actually talk with the principle and we agreed that she simply has an ‘excused absence’ for any and every live class that she misses.  I do not need or want an e-mail/call from the office about it. Between internet that cuts out, conflicts between computer usage, and my sanity something has to give.  I can not even imagine if I was working from home or my income was needed.  Thank goodness my husband has a fairly ‘safe’ job.

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

The friends I see struggling were SAHMs before they were asked to homeschool. Teachers are trying to make public school happen at home. A friend sent this to a group chat I'm in and the two moms with younger kids (like preK-2nd) said that it was pretty much only a slight exaggeration. I mean, a preK teacher emailing assignments home that involve crafts that take an hour plus take a picture and send it in to the teacher. I would feel like I was failing too!!

I have been telling these moms to seriously just don't. Read to your kids. Do some math facts. Get them to do a little copywork. Do a 15 minute phonics or reading lesson. Don't try to do all the Zoom meetings or complicated crafts and assignments and writing paragraphs. Just blow it off! Do not stress yourself out!! But they feel like they have to for some reason I cannot figure out. I think they don't believe me that kindy should not take 4-6 hours per day. Otherwise, what are their kids doing at school all day??

And it’s definitely not pc to say “being babysat” 😆

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What I'm seeing is:

Teachers being absolutely run off their feet

Kids being given wildly inappropriate work - either hardly anything/too easy, or so much they are unable to get through it/access it/type all the things in little boxes when you are 6 years old...

Very little supervision or ability to supervise. It's just not possible to work full time and supervise full time. Kids are getting a lot of screen time and parents are stressed out. 

Glimpses of loveliness. Parents spending more time with their kids, doing projects together.

I've had people say things to me like, wow, hats off to you, homeschooling is so hard. I appreciate the sentiment but what they're doing is harder than what I do! They've got the worst of both worlds.

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We've been enjoying it for the most part.  My ds (11) has found the work pretty easy and said it's a lot easier to concentrate at home (something that's hard for him at school).  I've been enjoying having more time for reading aloud, relaxing, cooking together, seeing him decompress- school is hard for him.  He does miss his friends and obviously the change of scenery.  Keep in mind, I'm not trying to work at home while making sure he gets his work done.  I also only have 1 child.  Those would be much more challenging situations.

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Y’all.  *MY* homeschooling is trash right now, and I’m in a house with kids who have never gone to traditional school. My teens are fine with their college credit stuff and a co-op class or two, but I haven’t been doing the random home-based stuff we had been doing. I’m working with my boys in tiny spurts, alternating between what I feel is most important and what they most enjoy. It’s so far off our norm.

We have other major family things going on, dh is working from home, and, you know, pandemic stuff.

I don’t think parents are failing. Of course education is important to me, or I wouldn’t homeschool by choice.  But I think most parents, whether crisis schooling is going well or awful, have other issues that need to take the top spots now, like working from home, working out of home as an essential employee, waiting on checks, helping others in need, being in need, deaths, illnesses, being cooped up in tiny apartments, managing food acquisition, managing other people’s  kids’ educations, and/or regular overall struggling with the uncertainty of the near future.

The majority of this board tends to be in favor of taking “life breaks” when life gets complicated. In many places, crisis schooling parents aren’t allowed to just take a break, so they’re muddling.  That’s not failing.  It’s getting through what I sure hope is the scariest time of our lives.

 

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My new foster daughter is crisis schooling.  At first I was shocked by how little, simple, and inane the work is.  Then I was shocked to realize she can’t actually do much of it.  This child is a straight-A student in second grade.  She didn’t know what value different coins have, or understand how to make the same value of coins in different ways, or really grasp place value at all.  She can read a passage aloud and sound good, but has no idea what she just read means.  There are also multiple optional daily “activities” on an app, things like watch this video of a song and respond with an emoji to tell us how you feel about it, but we have insufficient devices and bandwidth to devote to this during our school day instead of actual learning.  Also, they want parents to take pictures of the work and send it in daily.  I think I’m going to push for twice a week instead, and then I could just send in all her work when I submit my other kids’ work samples for their charter school.

At least it is very little work each day, so she has plenty of time for me to gradually add her to our homeschooling as she takes an interest.  First it was Xtramath(when one of my kids finishes a set of math facts, we all get ice cream, so she was very eager) and then Beast Academy Online.  She was fascinated with the piano and loves to watch my dd play, and so she started piano lessons this week (by Zoom, with my dd playing teacher’s assistant to help her get her hand position correct).  She is very impressed that my kids know cursive, and yesterday she asked if I could teach her that.  It will be nice when the school year ends and we can just focus our learning time on homeschooling.

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It doesn't seem to be going well here. Most children are supposedly getting no schooling. My colleague, for example, is working from home while her army husband goes out to work each day. I don't know how she, as an inexperienced home educator, could be expected to teach her young family.

I've told her to relax, do an hour of maths, reading and writing when she can, and make sure they get enough exercise.

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I know my sister’s experience is very different, though.  She’s got 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th, and she is constantly juggling who needs which device for what zoom meeting, but is generally satisfied with the level of work they’re doing and enjoying having lots of time together in the afternoons for hiking and bikeriding together.

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My circle is small, but the parents I know seem to be doing okay. One is a SAHM with a dyslexic son in a private school for kids with LDs. She's been very impressed with how the school has handled this, and how well her son is continuing to learn. The others are working moms of kids who attend public schools. One working mom has always worked from home, so nothing has changed regarding that, but she's had to add in supervising the schooling of three kids. The other mom worked part time but her job went away, so she's got time to devote to helping her kids. My nephew is a high school math teacher in a large public school. He's having a rough time, has had quite a few kids who aren't doing school at all, etc.

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Depends on the family and other aspects of the situation: who is also trying to work OR scarcity of money and resources putting pressure on the parent(s), whether or not your internet connection can manage (mine doesn’t!), how extroverted family members are, how ordinarily flexible or rigid individual family member are...

I have considered withdrawing my son so I can just legitimately hs him and not have to endure the chaotic instructions. Two of his classes are basically a lost cause because the online format does not work for us. (Electronic music, and Spanish 1) I try to be very, very patient because I know the schools and teachers are trying to make the best of the situation, but I am really dissatisfied with his learning. His Chemistry teacher is the only one I feel has really figured out a great rhythm for this weird situation; he put up a YouTube channel and holds Google classrooms at specific times. 

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I would! Trying to implement a curriculum you are not familiar with, technology overload and technical difficulties, completely revising your entire household schedule, dealing with cranky kids who just want their lives back on top of the stress of everything changing down to your family menu, all while trying to work from home because you're afraid you could die. Yes, I would suck at that.

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Most of what parents are trying to do at home is not designed for homeschooling.  Homeschool materials are designed for at home learning.  There is a huge difference.  Parents are also suddenly thrust into this....and often are trying to work from home as well.

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I have homeschooled my four kids until this year when my two oldest went to school (8th and 5th). My 5th grader has what I think is the perfect amount of work. It took awhile to figure out all the different platforms, but after the first week I am very pleased with his distance learning.

My 8th grader (who is a strong student) has been very stressed. His last day is May 14, so almost there. He has had about 8 hours of work Mon-Fri. Almost all of it online. It is way too much. He has less free time and is more stressed out now, then when he was in school. He is very creative, but by the time he exercises and does his school work he is zapped for the day.

My two still at home are doing well. They love having their brothers home. 

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I know one person who is a single mom in NYC working from home.  Her kids' schools are sending home work due at the end of the day, so she sometimes struggles to get it done - 2 kids plus her all on zoom, they need help when she can't give it, etc.  She'd be fine helping them get a week's worth of work done over a week, but the lack of flexibility is making it harder, and it's all required.  

Locally (TN), the work that was sent home can only be review and doesn't count.  Some people seem to be unable to help their kids, some can't get the kids to do it, and some aren't doing it because why force their kids to do 2 months of review when they already know it?  One mom messaged me about a few things she wanted her kids to work on and I suggested Critical Thinking Company workbooks - self-directed, easy to do and check, and targeted to the skills she wanted to fix.  She was thrilled.  One mom has got her older kids mostly doing what's assigned but her 2 K kids (they have 6, 3 with international adoptions) were struggling and she realized that they didn't know their letters/sounds, so she's going to quit doing the school assignments and just work on phonics.  

AP classes seem to still be meeting online in most places.  

Some folks are more worried about mental health than academics, which in some situations makes sense. I think that adjustment is harder for public school kids - my kids are accustomed to not seeing their co-op friends over the summer, for instance, since we live more than an hour from some of them.  They are bummed about the disruption of their activities - so far we've missed the end-of-season karate tournament, Science Olympiad state (and likely a shot at nationals) competition, and 2 months of baseball season - but schooling has continued like usual so everything isn't disrupted. 

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8 hours ago, CAtoVA said:

Mostly around here, unless the child is an AP high school student, the public schools are sending very little work and it will not be graded. The subjects are math and reading and the work takes about an hour to complete.    Parents are being told everything will be repeated again in the fall  anyway (!!) I think many parents are actually quite underwhelmed with the low quality and meager quantity of what they are getting. This is supposed to be  a highly rated school system but they are dinosaurs when it comes to distance or non traditional learning, The kids are mostly spinning their wheels unless the parents find outside options for them. In contrast, my private school friends' kids are getting pretty much a full school day typically on Zoom and with book type work also. They seem happier with what they are getting. The kids all seem fine with homeschooling except for missing friends.

This is very similar to the situation where I live.

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I don't think it is really fair to ask if parents are failing at crisis schooling.  I think the question should be framed as "How is crisis schooling working?"  I believe many parents are able to educate their children.  I do not think all parents are equipped to educate their children according to the dictates and whims of a teacher and a school district, especially at a moment's notice.  One of the many reasons we pulled DS out of school in 5th grade was that he had a teacher who thought parents should be highly involved in their children's education and that she should dictate when that would occur and what it would look like.  She would send homework home like "Play Math Game A with one person and then play it with a second person tonight" and write a report on how it was different playing with those two people.   DH and I were very involved with both of our children, but we could not always both be available in a particular evening to play a math game (especially when we had to spend a lot of time trying to figure out the math game instructions when DH and I have very strong math backgrounds).  

A good friend is a school teacher and has two late elementary aged boys.  Her husband is a manager with a multi-national corporation, working from home right now.  He is in the home office in meetings with people all over the world, engaged in major crisis management.  They were a family that greatly controlled screen time, pre-pandemic.  Husband has his work computer that the kids cannot use.  Then they had one family computer.  She and the two kids cannot be zooming on one computer at the same time.  They have had trouble getting kicked out of online class sessions, having to text a friend in the class, who then has to tell the teacher to readmit the student, among other technology issues.  Boys who are used to a lot of activity, are not coping well with sitting in front of a screen for hours on end.  The mother says she is spending a great amount of time printing pages off for the two children and then once they are completed, scanning things back to the teacher.    This is a family where both parents are highly educated and involved with their children, but they are about to go crazy.  It isn't that the parents are failing--the technology and the system is failing. 

 

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There are different situations, some are terrible for crisis schooling:

Single custodial parents with essential on site jobs.
Both parents with essential on site jobs.
Joint custody situations where one or both parents struggle differently with getting school into a steady routine.
Single parents working from home. 
Both parents working from home.
Households where computers have to be shared between workers and/or students.
Households that were already chaotic before all this started.
Households with unhealthy family dynamics before all this started.
Households with students who have learning challenges.
Households where schoolwork is in English and the parent(s) is/aren't fluent in English.
Households with a history of indulgent parenting.
Households with students with behavioral issues.
Households with floor plans that make quiet work and/or study challenging.
Households with parents who are not tech savvy and have children who aren't tech savvy.

Add to all of that economic stress in states like NC where you can't get unemployment benefits because the system isn't working, reduction in pay for people paid hourly,  furloughed workers, and shortages of consumer goods.  Most people in the US do not have savings.  Now those people are under increasing stress as this goes on, along with the stress of this illness hitting their loved ones.

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Locally, it seems half are hating it all and the other half are delighted that their kids are doing better than they ever have before. About half of each group are discovering learning difficulties that have not been addressed and are Really Not Pleased about it. It seems not to have occurred to any of them to google.

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Here are the problems I know about. My sister has one boy in public middle school and a girl in a private elementary. She is still working, mostly from home, but has to go in (banking). Her husband works for a sports organization that is in complete disarry at the moment, and all his subordinates have been let go. So he is working from home with probably 3x the amount of work he normally has. 

Her daughter has google classroom classes all morning. Class size around 8 kids. Her education has not truly skipped a beat. Parents are pleased and are happily paying tutition for this quarter. True she has more screen time than normal- but they are not concerned.

Middle school boy- this is "good" district- tons of money and lots of well-off parents. The work is marginal- a few zoom classes, here and there- 30 kids in a class.  Honestly it is hard enough to motivate 13 yos in person, much less over glitchy zoom and a strained broadband connection. He is doing the minimum, rejecting all help from parents. Playing video games whenever he can- because that is the only social interaction he is allowed.  They are worried and irriatated at the low quality of work offered and completed. 

Crisis schooling has laid bare the serious, deep inequalities in public education. And for many families and thousands of kids- it is the best, most functioning thing in their lives. Stripping it away and replacing it with this- has done real damage to some truly vulnerable families.

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Thank you all. As I’ve been reading this after waking up I realize I should have put “failing miserably” in quotes because that’s what was in the headlines. I believe it’s not the parents that are failing miserably, they are being set up to fail (not on purpose I hope!). Our juggernaut of a system can’t adjust to support parents in this role.

Another common headline I’m seeing is “lost generation”. Why are they a lost generation? That’s a tad extreme for a few months out of school. A few months is not going to make them so far “behind” they will never catch up. There are ways to catch them up but that won’t always happen. The amount of pressure put on these kids..and parents..and teachers is extreme. It’s too much! 

Based on what I’m reading, either kids are getting too much or not enough work. It’s too easy or too hard. Too much eclassroom or none at all. It’s not just the parents that were set up to fail. The teachers are faced with a no-win situation here.  
So let’s cut people and ourselves some slack. No one is “failing” in the middle of a pandemic. We are all doing the best we can. 

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I've not been talking to very many people during all of this to say accurately how people are faring. 

My son is in PS 9th grade this year and nothing here is mandatory and there is hardly any optional work either and what is put out there is not on a schedule at all. Oh, and they are using different platforms. I had him email his Geo teacher to ask her what should he work on to prepare for math next year and she gave him a link to some work he could do but it was on a different platform so he'd missed it. It is hard to figure out what the hell they are supposed to even be doing. The teachers have office hours but I don't understand the purpose when there are no assignments. His science teacher has had 1 Zoom meeting but it was at 5 pm, why I don't know. I've yet to hear anything from his English teacher. History teacher sent out a few videos. Seems like here the elementary teachers are working hard and the high school are using this as a break.

Since nothing is mandatory and it has been such a hodge podge I stopped caring. He is doing a bit now but I'm not going to worry about it until July when I start back to homeschooling the girls (we start in July so we can end in April). We have been working on a lot of projects as a family with the nice weather and I'm quite enjoying the family time. I feel lucky to have this time together with my 2 teenagers before the oldest gets his license and the 13 yr starts PS Jr. High. When we do start back to homeschool we'll focus on what he needs to help him prep for Science and Math next year. Last year he had a book to read over the summer but it isn't looking like we'll have that this year either.

I guess some would say we are failing but I've decided to look at this time as a blessing, the educational stuff will be ok. I do hope that they are better prepared in the fall if things go bad but I'm not going to stress it for the rest of this year.  A couple of months off won't break their education.

Edited by soror
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9 hours ago, CAtoVA said:

Mostly around here, unless the child is an AP high school student, the public schools are sending very little work and it will not be graded.

My son is only taking honors and AP courses at the high school and he has maybe an hour of work each day.  Supposedly they are grading it now, but the online gradebook has been shut down for 7 weeks, so I have no idea what's going on.

I will say that he has told me that the amount of work (meaning output) is about the same as had been required before the shut down.

This is at a well regarded public high school.

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One issue is that many schools no longer have textbooks for many subjects. Interactive notebooks are what students create in place of textbooks. The teacher tells them what to draw/write down, often using TPT drawing/writing prompts, and that is their textbook for a particular subject. As you can imagine, the breadth of information lacks. Also, in my local community, students went on spring break and never went back to school. The textbooks they do have are still at school because the students didn't take them home over spring break. And, the school didn't require parents to pick them up. So, there is no guide/text for parents to teach from. Our local newspaper publishes what students are supposed to do each week in the paper. It's not quality instructional work, for the most part. There are things like practice fractions by baking something. Count bugs outside.

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Just now, pitterpatter said:

One issue is that many schools no longer have textbooks for many subjects. Interactive notebooks are what students create in place of textbooks. The teacher tells them what to draw/write down, often using TPT drawing/writing prompts, and that is their textbook for a particular subject. As you can imagine, the breadth of information lacks. Also, in my local community, students went on spring break and never went back to school. The textbooks they do have are still at school because the students didn't take them home over spring break. And, the school didn't require parents to pick them up. So, there is no guide/text for parents to teach from. Our local newspaper publishes what students are supposed to do each week in the paper. It's not quality instructional work, for the most part. There are things like practice fractions by baking something. Count bugs outside.

True. My cousin, who is a math teacher at a charter, had to start from scratch because they didn't get notice the schools were closing and many kids left their books at school. 

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9 hours ago, Plum said:

Or is it just the PC thing to say?

My Google News search for homeschooling brings up non-stop celebrities complaining about it and support articles about how to do it.Is it really that bad out there? If so, is it the school making things difficult, the whole pandemic situation or trying to work and keep the kids on task? All of the above?

I'm getting the feeling it's not nearly as bad as all the headlines would lead you to believe. I saw two articles the other day that said kids are happier, healthier, sleep better, get along better with their siblings, are working more independently, volunteering for chores and responsibilities and overall enjoying the time off. 

Who knows.  The schools are not set up to school this way so there is a lot of waste going on.  For instance, a customer came in yesterday.  She is a public school teacher and she was telling me about it.  She said the first 3 weeks or so were so stressed with sooo many phone calls, texts and emails from parents not understanding different things...mostly logistics...not the subject matter.  She mentioned the packets they were sending out to students without internet access.  I asked her if there were a lot of those.  She said not as many as you might think, but added that some parents just wanted the packets instead of the on line version.  They felt like they could keep a better handle on what was being done or whatever.  This is the part that just gobsmacked me.....the teachers weren't allowed to send out their own packets.  The material had to be gathered, scanned, and then emailed to their principals who then sent it out to the parents/students.  Why?  She said she didn't really know but that it really slowed down the process.

 

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It seems very mixed around here with what the schools are expecting.  Anything from nothing to expectations to be online all day interacting with the teacher/class.   What I'm starting to see a lot of is people giving up on the school assigned work and telling the teachers they aren't going to do it.  Some are picking and choosing, some are throwing it all out the window.   Our schools here usually run to the third week of June, so we have quite a bit of the school year left. 

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The #1 reason I am on this board is because we will most likely be homeschooling next year. I spend hours reading through past posts on different boards just to get an idea of what to do and what it's like.   I will most likely spend a few hours this month on the education boards asking questions there. Just what to ask and where to begin when one has no clue is just overwhelming and I have a place ask. Most people don't.

We have a really nice public school, we are very pleased with it but we have supplemented a lot. My husband  has been involved in this, always but not to the extent I am. But transitioning was a bit difficult. We are very lucky, husband works FT from home, I don't and we just have one child in school. My kid does the work without complaint mostly, we have let go of screen time limits, we try our best to keep the day healthy, take breaks, walks. Between my husband and I, we can do this. We just have a little daughter as one more child not yet in school. But just the idea that his education is on us is overwhelming even for a little while. If I had to handle a full time job on top this with all the cooking, sanitizing, grocery worrying, I may just collapse. Too much transition, too soon with little information. We've always been involved, always supplemented heavily I would say, but It is easier to do so than the whole thing with no notice. But when you have always had your kid in school, taking over the whole thing is still overwhelming even for a little while though I have resources like this board, Even for just one child in school, the other just sits next to me while I sit with him. I can't even imagine what the parents with multiple kids and full time jobs do. 

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I agree with a lot of what's being said here... that it's a mix, that some kids are thriving (mostly grade 6-12 kids, I think), that some parents are overwhelmed, that school systems have radically different approaches, that it's okay if school isn't getting "done" because we're in a crisis...

I think one of the problems with judging from our experiences is that it's very anecdotal. Like, if I were to judge how the kids here are doing based on the people I know and hear from during this time, I'd say surprisingly well. Most schools haven't had big glitches after the initial hurdles, most families seem to be keeping up with work, expectations seem mostly okay, most kids are getting some done... But the truth is that I don't know that many families living in true poverty without serious supports. Everyone I know in my area has relatively reliable internet access and while some people I know are hurting financially right now, no one is facing true food insecurity. I don't know anyone whose kids are safer at school than at home or whose kids need school as a place of safety to escape from difficult home lives or abuse.

So... I feel like without that experience in front of us, I don't know how to evaluate it all as a whole. I'd say that from what I'm hearing from friends here and around the country, that it's mostly okay. There are some outliers, and parents with young kids are really struggling, but mostly schools have shifted to reasonable expectations, families have let go of things they need to let go of in a crisis, and that generally the conversation I've seen has been around trying to do things to make kids feel safe and loved and take advantage of family togetherness during this time. And that's really fine. It's just that I don't think that's the whole picture.

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Like everything else, it is individual.

My kids are doing fine after a short rough transition period.  I mean, they are not losing it nor am I.  Whether they are learning as much as in school, who knows?  They are submitting their work and getting credit for it.  I work at home anyway, and all three of us tend toward the mellow side, and dislike early mornings.  So far we've absorbed and moved on from the many many disappointments of highly anticipated things being cancelled.  They have electronic connections with their friends.  It could certainly be worse.j

My sister is losing it, at least based on her description.  She isn't used to working at home much, she claims her kids are super high maintenance, and she doesn't let them have electronic communication with their friends.  Though her kids are gifted and advanced, she worries that they might not stay at the head of their class or something, so she forces them to do a lot of educational work on top of their (rigorous private) schoolwork.  She about had a stroke when she found out the kids aren't going back to b&m this year.

A few factors that objectively make it difficult for some:

  • Mental health issues - in kids or parents.  From what I see, this is probably the biggest determinant of success or failure.  Some kids just wont do it at all.
  • Special needs which impact learning.  Theoretically a great mom could step in and help here, but not all kids are receptive and not all moms have the right skills / time.  My kid refuses to ask for or allow my help.  She'd rather struggle until 11:59pm on her own.  (I worked with her for many hours over the years, but at 13 she just doesn't want it.)
  • Parents' work situations.  Conference calls at home, high stress situations, etc.  It's a big adjustment in itself - add in sudden school-at-home and it's no joke.
  • Loss of support systems due to self-quarantine / isolation.
  • Lack of technology / tech skills / just low ability to learn from that medium.
  • Schools that are ridiculous.  So concerned about preserving their eliteness that they are not giving needed grace; or schools that have essentially given up.

 

Edited by SKL
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Here, it's a mix. Some kids are thriving. Although in at least one case, it's because they are taking their work over to the homeschool family next door while Mom works. (The Homeschool mom is altering the work with impunity, and is skipping the meetings, because the school is counting third quarter grades for fourth quarter as well). Others are ignoring the work, and the zoom meetings are more social than anything else.  High School students, especially those taking AP's, are getting hit with more of the "live on zoom time".

 

Most of my piano students were happy a month ago and are now starting to get frustrated, both with school and just plain the online life. For the most part, my homeschoolers have had an easier time adjusting to the activities and extras being online than my PS kids have managed having everything online.  It also makes a big difference between parents who were already at home (like the homeschoolers, who had arranged work schedules around homeschooling already, and the families who have stay at home parents or a grandparent) and those who's jobs are taking as many or more hours, but now also are juggling school. One of my piano students has a mom who is an ER nurse and is living in a camper at the hospital, and dad is trying to work from home and parent three kids. A lot is falling on the 11 yr old. Another mom is a paralegal and has told me that she is mostly working from about 8:00 pm, after her 7 yr old is in bed. She says the only reason it is working right now is that with courts closed, the work has slowed to a trickle, and once cases start going again, she doesn't know how she's going to manage it. 

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35 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

, Even for just one child in school, the other just sits next to me while I sit with him. I can't even imagine what the parents with multiple kids and full time jobs do. 

If there is no parent at home, kids can go to daycare which are open. YMCA is helping with essential workers’ kids who need daycare. My county is going to allow babysitters for parents working at home under the new shelter in place order, just that it should be the same babysitter coming every working day. 

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One of my FB friends said her 6th grade daughter has received over 450 emails from teachers about her schoolwork and they are overwhelmed. The mom is a teacher and is trying to keep up with her own students. Another friend, a twenty year homeschooler, said keeping up with online school for her three kids was so overwhelming that she removed them and went back to homeschooling. What I'm see is that those who are doing well at crisis schooling are either those who have self-motivated students or those who've dumped the school sent work and are just learning together. As a former public school parent and now a ten year homeschooler, online crisis schooling sounds like my worst nightmare, so I can definitely see people failing miserably or at least struggling.

ETA: My college senior is a chem major and he told me one of his classes involved watching online labs. Another involved an email that students had to respond to at a certain time and then, every 5 minutes for the next 50 minutes, the professor emailed slides related to the class. Many online classes aren't being done well.

Edited by mom2scouts
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