Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, they say, and, indeed, we have seen such measures being taken during this pandemic.
Shops and schools have remained closed for months, people have gone crazy hoarding toilet paper and pasta, while many people have needed to adjust to working from home during the long lockdown earlier this year.
And after all this, while societies have had to return to a -somewhat- normal function again, while there are still thousands of COVID-19 cases worldwide every day, people still need to adapt to a new normal.
This new normal involves wearing masks when outside the home, washing hands or using sanitizer all the time, avoiding getting too close to other people- known as “social distancing”-, and working from home if this option is offered by the employer.
But, besides all the above, school is also an issue. Given that the US is confirming around one-quarter of all global cases (the latter being 26 million in total), many schools in the country have decided to adopt distance learning, at least for the time being, in order to keep the teachers, the children, and their families safe.
However, and although teachers have their students’ best interests in mind, e-learning sometimes seems to be a struggle- especially for younger children.
Jana Coombs, a Georgia mom of a 5-year-old, recently snapped a picture of her son in distress and shared it online in order to show what it can really look like to have a child attending school online during these unprecedented times.
As Coombs explained, her kindergarten son has been trying hard to assimilate to the new distance learning lifestyle, and he has been struggling with that. So much so that, on the day the picture was taken, he was so upset and frustrated that he put his head down and started crying, using his T-shirt to wipe his tears.
Coombs was heartbroken at the sight of her son suffering emotionally. She went close to him and hugged him tight, and they both cried, letting out their frustration, anger, and disappointment.
“I just took that picture because I wanted people to see reality,” Coombs told WXIA. “And then he came over and we hugged and I was crying right along with him.”
While Coombs is grateful to teachers for all their hard work amid the coronavirus pandemic, she still believes that in-person learning, socialization, and hands-on experience are more effective than e-learning, especially for such young students.
For the time being, though, her family and many others will have to adjust to this new normal in education, until it is safe again to return to the actual classrooms.
In the meantime, professional teachers are sharing useful advice with parents, aiming at helping them and their children adjust more easily to learning from home this year.
Their arsenal of tips and tricks includes establishing routines, yet giving the children options and allowing them to take initiative, providing a separate- if possible- and clear space dedicated to schoolwork, making time for movement and outdoor time, while also implementing a reward system.
According to teachers, the above will help children adapt to the new distance learning environment more smoothly, while it will result in less frustration and confusion on the part of the parents.
Yes, it is hard to assimilate to the new circumstances, but if parents, students, and teachers work together as a team, things will work out great for everyone involved. And, hopefully, next year we will all remember this year’s struggles as if it were a distant memory and a nightmare that we have woken up from.
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