Homeschooling is not as scary as this virus – get the answers to common questions

(Uhrichsville, Ohio) – We have this invisible enemy coming into our community by the name of, COVID-19 aka, the Coronavirus. It is running through our community making
the stress-levels even higher than normal.

Hello, my name is Wendy Mann, founder of the Twin Cities Kids’ Coalition, a non-profit organization that has brought “Hope’s Gathering Leadership Center” to Uhrichsville’s, Westside. Our mission is to provide a safe, judgment-free, stress-free environment.

Whether you are a teacher, administrator, first responder, nurse, doctor, parent, or a citizen, we have all been affected by this horrible disease.  Businesses, schools, sporting events, spring pictures, Prom, and possibly graduation. With all the added stress, parents who have just lost their jobs are being asked to remote/distance learning/ homeschool their children.

Unfortunately, many parents are not familiar with the curriculum that is being given to their children so we wanted to help. The Twin Cities Kids’ Coalition, is once again here to help relieve that stress on our children as well as the parents, teachers, and administrators.

We have created a Facebook Page called “TCKC Homework Helper” to allow parents and teachers to share ideas to help get through this new experience. “Each of us is worried about how we are going to pay our bills let alone teach our children.”, was a comment sent to the group’s page.

Privacy is our number one priority so we have created an email alongside our group page where students and parents can send assignments and have a tutor available to help both the student and the parent learn how to do the homework. Remote learning or distance learning is when you are learning outside of your normal brick and mortar school, it occurs when the student and teacher, are separated and cannot meet in a typical classroom setting.

An example of remote learning would be used would be in matters such as what we are in currently. We are experiencing an emergency where the students are unable to attend school during a “typical” school session, where they would have had a teacher or instructor standing in front of them giving them a lesson. Instead, the schools are providing each student with a Chromebook to receive their education via Google Classroom.

This takes place in the student’s home on and the parents and teachers work together as a team to teach the student. This is where we are finding the added stress that our families are facing. The parents do not have the educational experience that the teachers and they feel as if they do not have the ability to teach their child and it can cause the child to not learn properly.

We surveyed a group of our parents and asked them what their feelings were and or what questions they had going into this remote learning experience and started to do
a Facebook Live to answer their questions and take suggestions, here is what we got.

“I have no idea of what a curriculum even is?”

A curriculum is a set of subjects taught in an academic setting. This would include lesson plans, assignments, books, and other materials that would make a student understand the subject being taught. Curriculums are generally created around the students, age, grade as well as learning standards put out by the ODE (Ohio Department of Education).

“What is the difference between remote learning via Chromebook, and the students learning via Blizzard Bag?”

The only difference between the student learning from a Blizzard Bag versus a Chromebook is that the student submits their assignments via Google Classroom and the Blizzard Bags are more Pen & Paper assignments that generally submitted to the teacher via mail or school dropoff. Blizzard Bags are still available to students that have no access to the internet.

“How is my child suppose to communicate with their teachers via Google Classroom?”

Every time your child logs into Google Classroom their teacher is able to see they are logged in. Each teacher has an email that has been provided to the child. Most generally your child has used Google Classroom at some point in their education and has had a school email created for them. The child has more than likely already communicated with their teacher this way. We suggest that you continue to keep constant communication this way as it may be the fastest and easiest way to maintain constant
communication during this difficult time.

“I cannot get my child to do their school work or stay focused. What am I going
to do?”

First, breath, you have to understand that when our parents become overwhelmed, our children can pick up on it and that causes them to express what they are feeling in a not so good way.

The main thing to remember is that you do not know how to do “Common Core Math” and you were not trained to teach it either. GUESS WHAT THAT’S OKAY YOU
ARE NOT THE ONLY PARENT!!

This is very important that you remind yourself that. My suggestion is to first keep that open line of communication with your child’s teachers they have the knowledge. Reach out to them and ask questions, get advice, after all, they did just spend the last year teaching them and they know your students learning abilities the best. Again, reminding yourself that you and your child’s teachers are a team. Another suggestion I have to give is, make sure your child is doing their schoolwork in an environment that is quiet and distraction-free.

If a child is in a room with a television shut it off. Background noises and distractions will make your child unable to stay focused and they will not retain the information that is being taught to them. It is also important to remind your child to not spend to much time on one subject or assignment. Allotting a certain amount of time to each subject is so important. You do not want your child to become burned out on a subject because it will be a fight to get them to do it. I always encourage allowing for half an hour per subject and utilize the resources that are at your fingertips such as Google or YouTube.

YouTube has numerous teachers and instructors that have actually uploaded their lectures for their students to learn remotely. You can find numerous lectures on anything from English to Algebra. Again, this does not have to be as scary as this virus and we can
make this transition easier if we work together.

If we can remind ourselves that our current situation may be scary on the outside but what we do inside our homes and around our children will be the biggest outcome when we come through this.

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