By Jennifer Fernandez, Staff Reporter
It has now been about six weeks of at home learning, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Elementary students have been impacted the most, just as their parents have.
Junior high, high school and college students are all more accustomed to working on a computer to do homework or study. Online classes have prepared some high school students who have begun earning credits for college courses.
Elementary school children who range from 5-10 years old, or kindergarten through fifth grade, have not had the experience of working on computers unsupervised that many older students have.
“Having three kids at home who all require me to make sure they are getting their work done has been a full time job on top of the work I am having to do from home during this time,” Whitney Fernandez, a parent of young children, said. “I prefer to be at work while they learn at school,” she said.
On a normal basis in their classrooms, elementary school students are not given a laptop and expected to know what is needed to be done or what is being asked of them. They need more guidance and attention. Many of the kids in this age range are used to being told what to do and have not quite figured out how to be independent.
This has required parents to step up and take the role as their child’s teacher. During this time parents and society both have become more aware of what it is like to be a teacher and the patience and time teachers spend working with their students.
Some parents say they had no idea what they were in for and now there are many that feel that teachers are underpaid and unappreciated.
Darline Vongsurith, who has begun working from home full time since businesses were required to close, said that she is thankful to still be employed and earning an income. What has become a challenge in her home is learning how to teach her kindergartner the material that otherwise she would be learning in school.
“It’s challenging. I’m not a teacher and at times I get frustrated. We are doing hands-on work. She prefers to learn that way and I am learning to teach her that way,” Vongsurith said.
Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, has announced that schools will remain closed the rest of the semester. This school year ends May 22, but it remains unclear whether schools will return to normal in the fall.