September 28, 2020

Students with children balance hybrid classes and Zoom elementary

Many primary and secondary schools starting the school year off with hybrid learning models. Non-traditional students like Lily Reed are now faced with the extra task of monitoring their children’s online learning while also working through their own classes. 

Senior Lily Reed has her hands full. If she is not in her Public Relations classes, she’s helping her five-year-old daughter with her homework. If she is not doing that, she’s working her full-time job.

“Juggling work, school and my four-year-old son while my daughter has homework every night adds stress to the routine,” Reed said. 

Global Social Problems professor Donna White witnesses it in the classroom.

“Non-traditional students, who are typically older, have children as well as full-time jobs,” White said. “Juggling reality and multiple hats is very difficult.”

White was also a non-traditional student. She understands that students like Reed have a lot on their plates. Reed’s five-year-old daughter attends school Thursday and Friday and meets on Zoom Monday through Wednesday. 

There is a belief that doing school remotely offers more free time but for most single parents, especially students, this adds more strain to daily life. 

“My daughter doesn’t understand why she has to sit and look at a computer screen, especially because I try and limit screen hours,” Reed said.  “She just started kindergarten and just wants to talk to her friends and can’t.”

Dealing with her child’s Zoom meetings takes away time from her own education. Lily says she can only dedicate about four hours a week to her personal education. 

“A lot of my professors are helpful and understanding,” Reed said. “Communicating my situation [to them] is extremely helpful.” 

“My daughter’s teachers don’t understand how difficult it is to make sure my kid gets all of her work completed on time,” Reed said.

Parents and children need a break from Zoom and out of classwork, especially children k-5th grade. 

“My daughter is only in kindergarten and gets assigned homework every night,” Reed said.

Organization plays a key role in the current world of online education.

“[We need] more organization [from schools], everything is so confusing and I’m struggling to stay on top of things,” Reed said.

There is no doubt that everyone is working hard to accommodate for online learning.

“We will work together to find a solution that is appropriate and beneficial,” White says.

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