What parents need to know about virtual learning to keep children from falling behind
Aug 09, 2020
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The start of the school year is presenting a whole new set of challenges for students, especially considering many have been away from the classroom for nearly five months.
“Pretty much the amount of time they’re out for summer they’re back tracking in their learning,” Sylvan Learning of Murfreesboro director Dr. Teresa Flores said. “So when you consider that you’re adding an additional three to four months and they could’ve lost up to a year of learning.”
Many students are returning to school in a whole new way, with virtual learning.
“I’m not 100% safe with my child going back to school right now,” parent Nicomie Mathis said.
It’s an option roughly half of schools are offering across the state. But going virtual is something tutors say all parents should be ready for.
“Even though some of them are planning on going into the school, parents definitely need to be prepared,” Dr. Flores said. “Should have the WiFi. Should have the technology.”
Dr. Flores said parents should also be prepared to turn their homes into a distraction-free setting.
“If you have an office or a room where you cannot be distracted,” Dr. Don’t go where you’re used to sitting and watching tv. Certainly don’t be in a room where the other kids are getting to play and you have to be learning.”
Some parents have already made the switch. Mathis and her son, King, just finished up their first week.
“I’m actually loving it,” Mathis said. “I get to spend more time with him. It was actually a good process. The first week they sent out everything and made sure we prepared and everything. So it worked out really good.”
One of the most important things you can do is reach out and get your child help if they start falling behind.
“Sometimes we get a 12th grader and the mom will sit and tell us well it all started in 3rd grade and he never really learned how to read well,” Dr. Flores said. “And of course, it just snowballs.”
The Tennessee Department of Education also launched a new online learning tool called Bridging the Distance. It has free tutorials to help parents across the state navigate virtual learning.