Hot Topics     Home and Family    

Jury still out on remote learning



For some teachers and students remote learning not effective.

remote learning, online, kids, parents, devices

So, living rooms and kitchens all over the Hudson Valley have turned into classrooms. Parents and caregivers have become something like school monitors making sure their “students” are online, engaged, and learning. How’s it going?

In a recent New York Times story, educators weighed in on the challenges they’re facing. 

“Educators experienced with remote learning warn that closures are a serious threat to children’s academic progress, safety and social lives,” the report concluded. They say that running a classroom digitally is much harder than bringing an adult workplace online, and that it can disproportionately affect low-income students and those with special needs.

Here are some of the issues that teachers are facing:   

Not every home has computers or high-speed internet.

The vast majority of households with children have broadband internet, but there are still big disparities by income, race and the education level of parents.

Low-income families are more likely to rely on smartphones for internet access, and children in those households may not be able to use more sophisticated learning software that requires a tablet or computer. It is not unusual, educators say, for siblings to try to complete their schoolwork on a single cellphone.

Younger children require lots of adult supervision.

Younger students need help to learn online — lots of help. Parents may need to assist their child with turning on a device, logging into an app, reading instructions, clicking in the right place, typing answers and staying on task.

Even the tech-savviest adult will find this difficult while working from home at the same time — a more common scenario as the coronavirus spreads. Parents who continue to work outside the home when schools are closed will need to arrange child care, where technical help could be scarce.

Even great teachers lack expertise in creating online lessons.

While there are lots of exceptional teachers, not all of them are ready to move their instruction online. A fantastic teacher may have difficulties translating their curriculum online.

Students with special needs can be the hardest to teach virtually.

Students with behavioral issues may thrive online because there are fewer social distractions.  But others find it difficult to have less direct access to teachers and peers.  Those without self-discipline struggle.

Schools provide more than academic skills.

Even when the devices, Wi-Fi, software, lesson plans and adult supervision are all in place, a lot is lost when schools transition students to remote learning. Many children rely on schools for free or affordable meals, for counseling and for after-school activities while parents work.

When schools are closed, children lose a crucial social outlet. And families, especially those who work in the service sector and cannot easily adjust their schedules, and may struggle to find appropriate child care.

Read the New York Times complete article. 




More Homeschooling


  • Will children start bringing an apple to the computer?

    8 Websites that aid in homeschooling

    Homeschoolers now have access to many online tools to aid their learning experience. From the granddaddy of them all Khan Academy to a plethora of sites that support your children with remote learning. read more »
  • Homeschooling

    Articles for parents who want to learn about homeschooling for their children

    Educating children is changing. When the pandemic hit, fifty million students were thrust out of both public and private schools. At that point most parents were not actually homeschooling. They were schooling their children at home. Huge difference. Learn the differences. Figure out what works... read more »
  • Like one room schoolhouses again

    New movement finds parents ‘podding’ kids’ education

    Parents are seeking new ways to school safely apart from the dangers of public education. read more »
  • Parental tips for online learning

    It’s best to know the web’s terrain before your kids start in

    Online learning has become a complicated maze for parents. Studies show the dangers of letting kids loose on the web, but also list five tips to make things safer. read more »
  • Virtual babysitters…will it work for you?

    You can do it solo or grouped. The key is timing & supervision

    As we all adapt to quarantines, many are moving beyond TV as babysitter to actual virtual babysitting. You can hire a virtual babysitter or develop a group of your own. read more »
  • Meet a homeschooling mom. Rebekah Azzarelli of Beacon

    Mom shares an insider view of a local homeschooling co-op

    Meet a mom who started a successful homeschooling cooperative in Beacon. The group currently supports 40 kids from the age of 3-years-old to 15-years-old read more »
  • Video series by a mom: Homeschooling ideas

    Mother of 3 and director of architecture and environmental design for Guidecraft, Lauren Magee, provides advice for other parents suddenly homeschooling

    YouTube video series "Lauren's Learning Lab" addressing the challenges and opportunities for parents who are suddenly homeschooling amid Covid-19 restrictions. read more »
  • Are my kids being homeschooled because they are at home?

    Misnomers about the reality of homeschooling

    The world of education and learning is changing. Fifty million students were thrust out of the public schools a couple months ago. They are are not homeschooling. They are doing schooling at home. Huge difference. Learn the differences and see what works for your child. read more »
  • Should I homeschool my child? What one mom tells us.

    With schools trying to organize their fall programs, moms worry that their kids are not learning

    Schools are grappling with virtual classrooms and teaching kids remotely. Parents are grappling with this issue as well. Not all children are suited for learning by sitting in front of a computer. We asked one mom to share her homeschooling experience. read more »
  • Teaching moms

    Moms who are teachers talk about homeschooling their kids while supporting other people’s children

    Local moms figure out today’s new normal of being being home with their families while accommodating everyone’s work, school and emotional needs. read more »