NewsGetting Back to School


Parents finding ways to make another round of remote learning work

Families juggle remote learning and work responsibilities.png
Posted at 3:45 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-16 17:29:24-04

PHOENIX — As more districts return to virtual learning, parents across Arizona are overwhelmed and frustrated. Still, they are finding ways to make it work.

Marcella Hines and her husband work full time. Their 5-year-old triplets started kindergarten this year.

"We found that giving each child their own workspace really helped," said Hines.

Her kids are now back to attending classes in person, but the family is ready in case that changes.

"We set up different signals with the kids. We had a little red cone we found at the dollar store in front of our office for when my husband was on a phone call," said Hines. "Just took it day by day, honestly sometimes hour by hour."

Samantha Hamblin runs a small business from home. Her high school junior and seventh-grader returned to virtual learning earlier this month.

"The changes are what has been difficult, just kind of rolling with it," said Hamblin, who credits her community for stepping in to help.

"Parents in our community reaching out and saying, 'I have some extra monitors, I have an old laptop.' We have high schoolers jumping in to tutor, we've got high schoolers jumping in to try to watch kids."

Still, even with community support, another round of remote learning is daunting.

"This is the hardest year of my life professionally, and as a mom," wrote Lindsey Peterson.

"I have had to scale back a lot of expectations on myself," said Kelley Dougher-Stramiello. "The girls are the most important job my husband and I have."

Consistency, structure and routine were key points of advice from several parents, along with accepting this new reality.

"I know that the realistic thing is we just need to stay home and do our part to get these numbers to go down," said Hamblin.

Local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and Valley of the Sun YMCA are working with districts to provide more supervised space for students returning to remote learning.

ASU and GCU are also offering virtual homework help and resources for "at-home educators."