From retail worker to home educator

Current Events & News, Parent & Family Engagement | 05/12/2020

Sherry Holmes
IPS Parent

I’m currently not working because I lost my retail job due to the shut down caused by COVID-19. As a mother of two, a soon-to-be kindergartner and second-grader, my job is now home educator. I am concerned that my son will fall behind in his academics. I am worried my daughter who is headed into kindergarten will start her education less prepared than she would have if preschools and daycares were still open.

I can only teach them the best way I know how. I don’t know if I am challenging my kids enough at home, and the adjustment has been difficult. My son was new to his school and still getting used to the environment. This is a very long break from the classroom.

During the first few weeks at home, my son was playing too many video games. He didn’t want to do his schoolwork and he wasn’t focusing. He got up every few minutes to ask for a snack or to use the restroom. He would try to sneak off to watch TV. Because he attends a Montessori school, I wanted him to be independent and follow through on his work.

It took us a while to get there, and while we still have ups and downs, we have more of a routine going now. The best thing I did was create a schedule and then put limitations on my kids’ TV and video game time.

My son has online homework due every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We work on paper packets from the dollar store, things friends have helped me print online and the packet Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) sends in the mail every Monday and Friday. We are also reading together. I write down what he needs to complete on a piece of paper every day and let him check the boxes when he finishes an item because I want to promote his independence and make him responsible.

He’s great at math but struggles with language arts, so I try to also ask him how he arrived at his answers even when he gets the questions right.

For my 5-year-old-daughter, we’re just working on shapes, colors and the alphabet. I worry that she won’t be as prepared academically or socially for kindergarten. My kids miss their friends and staying inside has put a damper on their spirits.

I feel grateful that we have internet at home and a borrowed laptop for my son. I know a lot of families don’t have technology. I searched and searched for a computer in our price range, but the stores were constantly sold out.

No one anticipated that schools would close or that we would need to ensure our children stay on track. Fellow parents, if you’re struggling, just do your best and don’t be too hard on yourself. Encourage your children to work hard and don’t give up!

If you need more academic resources as you are supporting your child’s education at home, check out this page on the Stand Indiana website.

Share This Page

Add a comment