Parents explain the challenges of homeschooling amid school closures

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) —  The statewide school closures have left many parents taking on the dual role of both parents and instructors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While trying to adjust to the recent changes of having their children out of school every day, there are parents, such as Michelle May, who said they’re merely trying to make the best out of an ever-changing situation.

May works from home, taking care of her mother-in-law and her father, but recently she’s has taking to step into the position of a teacher for her two children.

“It’s different,” May said. “I mean it’s an adjustment though because honestly, it’s hard to help with some of the work that especially she [her daughter] has.”

May is also homeschooling her 12-year-old daughter Sierra, who said the change of pace has actually offered her more freedom to work.

“I like staying at home working on the laptops because I can do it on my own time but at the same time I miss going to school,” Sierra said.

May said some of her days now consist of making science projects, reading lessons for her six-year-old son and scheduling outdoor activities.

Mary Gordon, who is also the mother of a six-year-old, said she’s also helping make lesson plans for her daughter but at the same time, she said it’s a challenge juggling both motherhood and teaching.

“I’m not a teacher, I didn’t study to be a teacher and I’m just doing the best I can because I don’t know how long this is going to last,” Gordon said. “I want her to still have some education structure to her day.”

May said she’s also received help from the school, including providing lunch and offering online help for her kids, but she said keeping a daily routine for the unforeseeable future is still a challenge.

“For me, the most difficult part is keeping a routine and a schedule,” May said. “They have their own routines and schedules at school that they do with their world and I can’t compare to that.”

But overall, she said she’s glad to have good students in her house.

Originally, state officials said Illinois schools will remain closed until March 30, but that’s now been extended through April 8.

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