Parent Survival Guide: Students and teachers learning from home

Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 3:21 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Wando High School Junior Jenna Thrift and her little brother, 4th grader Noah, usually don’t share the same classroom.

But in the midst of the school shutdown because of the novel coronavirus, they’re doing work together in a makeshift class on the back porch as they adjust to learning from home.

“Going from learning with others and going to learning alone has been harder than I thought it would be," Thrift says."At home, it’s easy to get distracted when you are trying to do your work."

That same sentiment is shared by Wando 9th grader Brady Setser who was gearing up to take his first AP test from home.

“It’s going to be a different experience and it’s going to be more challenging because you can’t really ask a teacher questions like if you can’t understand a question or something which might not be helpful,” Setser says.

His mom, E.C. Setser, teaches the gifted and talented program at Charles Pickney Elementary. She says she’s learning to put on both hats and help her son and her students.

She says she's also trying to reassure parents and make herself available to answer questions.

She says her virtual workday starts at 8 a.m. and runs until the early afternoon.

“These parents have been thrown into this and they did not go to college for this," she says. "And it’s hard to be a teacher if you don’t know how to be one. There are people out there to help them.”

She says the key she has found to learning at home is having a set routine.

“Make sure you’re starting on a routine and getting dressed," she says. “It’s still a school day. Don’t treat it like a snow day or a hurricane day and get out and do what you want to do.”

Every weekday starting at 10 a.m., Charles Pinckney Elementary librarian Jennifer Thrift along with other teachers are using the opportunity to read online to students.

“We have had 30 or 40 kids chiming in on the read-alouds and listening," Thrift says. “So they’re really excited to hear their teachers, and we give them an opportunity to chat and talk about what we are reading."

She says being at home also gives kids and parents an opportunity to do things beyond just school work.

”We don’t need parents to be stressed out about school," Thrift says."We want them to go outside and spend time with family and cook."

“The kids feel the stress of the parents," Setser says."You may just need to give them extra hugs because they’re missing their friends and the time with their teachers so make sure you take it into consideration and do something joyful."

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