This past week, a colleague and I hosted the first of three panel discussions with parents from the Midwest to the South who are living through the best and worst of times adapting to e-Learning with their teens.
As we listened intently to their concerns, expectations, and dreams for their children as they try to navigate these uncertain times, first through impending end-of-semester grades and the anticipation of college admissions, it occurred to me how many other parents would benefit from sharing in this timely conversation.
What follows is a snapshot of our discussion, which I share with you in hopes that you might glean value from the responses of these parents, and feel comfort from the shared togetherness of your own fears and frustrations (as well as glimmers of light) as you work towards more solid footing that you find yourself on now.
Question #1: What war stories have you experienced so far (if any) with your kids in the new e-Learning environment?
- Actually, overall learning from home is going well but my one teen has been having trouble with a big research paper and the lack of clear directions with how to proceed, online instruction is vague.
- Sometimes our family has trouble with internet connection but overall my kids love the extra sleep.
- I think some teachers are inconsistent with being prepared and delivering online instruction.
- My two younger kids are checked out of school b/c the schools are disorganized with inconsistent expectations and instruction. My fear is if they will be prepared for next year. Overall, these schools need to improve with e-learning and instruction.
Question #2: What quick wins have you and your family seen as result of the new e-Learning environment?
- My teens creativity is shining through right now! My son’s science project forces him to use his imagination to improvise and complete the work.
- Our kids are actually finding success because they have personal space and can balance their time.
- My daughter loves the online instruction for some classes: English discussions online are effective, she can take her time, and the platform has improved her writing skills.
- My freshman college student has transitioned well, manages assignments just fine and communicates effectively online with professors.
Question #3: What does the fall look like for your high schools or colleges?
- Our high school will possibly be virtual in the fall but we don’t know.
- We worry about not being able to visit college campuses and kids will not be able to decide which colleges they like the best. Virtual tours are just not the same.
- I feel like I do not know what I’m supposed to do now and I need guidelines, and feel a bit frustrated and sad.
- There is much uncertainty for the fall and we have to take virtual college tours.
- We will focus summer on college applications, and are just plugging forward.
- I could compare this to 911 and we must adapt to a new norm.
- My dream is to return to as much in person activity and school as possible. The kids need the social interaction and the structure. We are like, “Doggie-paddling our way through.
- My college student has not even signed up yet for housing at college next year because the college is waiting to confirm their dorm capacity; all the kids who are planning to go abroad perhaps are not so that could mean more students on campus.
- My high school junior’s recruiting is up in the air and pushed back to July-August. It seems like Everything is on hold
In order to best help yourself and your child navigate the end of this high school semester as well as the upcoming college admission process during these tricky times, my strongest tip centers on the grounding thought of our awareness. We can focus our attention on remaining attached to the attention we give to what we can control, like taking actions such as improving our student’s writing skills, or helping them to find ways to be of service in your community. We can find opportunities for growth during these challenging times.
Certainly, we can acknowledge the fears and frustrations our teens feel; yet, yet we can help them remain balanced so that we can enjoy each day to the best of our abilities even during such unprecedented times. And such uncertainty.
With great love and care, Amy ♥