Virtual Learning Hard on Everyone

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Dear Editor:

This is in response to Stefanie Jackson’s article “Students Wanting to Change From Online Learning to Hybrid Find Waiting Lists for Transition,” published in the Oct. 9 Post.

We’re virtual learning.

My THREE kids and I.

My two children, who are in school in kindergarten and 2nd grade, have Zoom calls four times a day on Mondays and Wednesdays, along with other assignments and discussions that need to be completed on the computer. Might I add, their Zoom calls are at different times, so even planning lunch is difficult because I only have a 30-minute window in which they are both not on a Zoom call to eat lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Both of my children sit with me from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. every day, usually with very few breaks, and navigate the computer programs in which we had ZERO training, or opportunity to be trained (thank goodness I’m not terrible with technology). Not only are we doing Zoom calls, we are playing on educational apps (my 2nd grader has three separate learning apps to play on an hour and a half per day on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Aside from Zoom calls and educational apps we have paperwork that needs to be completed and taken back to school for grading weekly. My kindergartner had at least 80 papers maybe more (math and letters/writing) for TWO weeks that were supposed to be completed along with all assignments on the computer.

Oh, and we have “specials.” Let’s not forget that we’re are making videos of my kids singing, making music, drawing a picture to show that we actually sang the song or drew the picture. And at the end of the day, if time permits, were supposed to read a book together.

I’m sorry Accomack County, but I think the parents are trying their absolute BEST to do what they think is safe for their children. Parents are trying really hard, especially if they have multiple children, like myself, to navigate this new way of life, without an instruction manual. I have to go back and forth between my two children all day to help them, then I also have to try to keep my 2-year-old occupied and quiet during Zoom calls. My kids are having meltdowns daily because this is HARD and there is a crazy amount of work they are expected to complete.

My kids are smart and catch on to things very quickly, again, thank goodness. But it’s still hard for them. I cannot imagine how other parents are doing this if they have to work while their child somehow navigates this alone at a sitter’s or grandparent’s house.

I have put my career on the back burner to ensure that my children are being taken care of and are learning while staying safe. Sitting in front of school work for 7 hours a day (with a 5- and 7-year-old) in your own home is absurd. No wonder parents and students are throwing in the towel. This is not a walk in the park we’re talking about here. This is our children’s future. We are doing it with NO help for the most part.

So NO, this virtual “learning” thing is NOT what I thought it would be.

Ellie Bagwell, Parksley