Elementary school students adapt to distance learning

Grace and Daisy stand in front of their newly painted doors, hoping to inspire those who walk by.

   Elementary school students are learning how to adapt and find a routine during the state’s stay-at-home order.

   Students including sophomore Kinsey H’s second-grade sister Piper, are learning to use the new distance learning platform. However, Piper and her mother are both facing challenges.

   “My mom had to learn how to use that platform and teach it to my sister. Really it is crazy if you think of a second-grader doing all of this technology and learning about it all at once,” says Kinsey.

   A normal day for Piper includes watching up to five videos each day along with completing an assignment and attending the daily video chat with her class at 10 am. Piper has learned that the biggest change is transferring from an in-person sit down on the carpet with the class to an online meet through Google Hangouts. Along with that, Kinsey and Piper are facing new challenges with the family’s contrasting internet schedules.

   “My sister and I both have online school every morning. Our mom is a teacher at Mountain Vista and she has online school every day too. Sometimes we have trouble with our internet connection when we all need the computer at the same time,” says Kinsey.

   Mrs. Libbey, a Spanish teacher at HHS, and her daughters Grace and Daisy are learning the new difficulties that come with distance learning such as having more limitations put upon them.

   “I think that kids are seeing the limitations to doing all learning online. A positive impact down the road is that kids realize that they actually like school. We make it fun and engaging and if you strip away the personal contact and classroom activities, it’s just not as engaging! I think that students are learning how much we need personal connection and will place greater importance on that in the future,” says Mrs. Libbey.

   Grace and Daisy are finding new challenges associated with online learning as well. They are learning the new technology needed for live classes and accessing their classwork.

   “On the best days, my daughters are having fun getting to see their classmates and trying new online activities. On other days they get frustrated with the amount of work or troubleshooting technology,” says Mrs. Libbey.

   Despite the troubles with distance learning, Kinsey and Piper have learned the advantages of distance learning. They have enjoyed having the family home and being able to spend more time together.

   “It is good to be around my family at home when we can’t be around other friends and extended family,” says Kinsey.

   Similarly, Mrs. Libbey has found a positive outcome in the whole situation. She enjoys having everyone home and getting the chance to bond and connect more than usual. She has also found new activities for the family to do together to spend the time.

   “One fun activity we have done is we had some old closet doors and we have been painting inspirational quotes on them and putting them in front of our house. It’s fun to see people stop when they’re walking by and read our work,” says Mrs. Libbey.

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