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Safely Back to School: Helping parents navigate e-learning roles

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 10:00:05-04

Safely Back to School is a new initiative from RTV6 to help empower parents, students and educators to make decisions based on facts to safely return to the classroom. Click here for more stories and resources.

INDIANAPOLIS — More school districts in central Indiana are relying on some form of remote learning to start of the semester this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers like Laurie Hargrove started using virtual options to teach their students when COVID-19 started spreading around the state earlier this year.

"Yeah, that quick transition to e-learning was interesting and it was hard," Hargrove said. "I've heard a lot of times just families saying 'I need help, I need help, I need help.'"

Hargrove, who is a teacher at MSD of Wayne Township and a Franklin College graduate, responded to the call for help and founded Learn with Laurie. It's an online service to help ease the burden on parents and address any struggles they may have with e-learning.

In Greenfield, Mt. Comfort Elementary School's Principal Alissa Lockwood says they have been getting for back to virtual and in-person learning since last May.

MORE | Radio One's 'Back to School Town Hall' connects you to local education, healthcare leaders |

"I think sometimes parents maybe feel the pressure to become the teacher," Lockwood said. "And really, what we want the parents to feel, we want them to feel supported by the teacher and not the need to take the place of the teacher."

Since there has been more time to plan virtual lessons for students, Lockwood says there will be an increased workload during this upcoming school year.

"And so this year, we're expecting the kids to be doing their work every day, 5 days a week and we expect them to have a similar workload to the in-person kids," Lockwood said.

Lockwood says parents should build a schedule and find time you can commit to helping your child and time to work on your tasks.

For more information on Learn with Laurie, click here.

Here are five tips for parents to make eLearning easier:

  • Create a separate learning space for your child: Somewhere different from where they play.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it: Never underestimate the power of a schedule.
  • Reduce distractions: Sometimes limiting screen time best thing to do.
  • Reach out to your child’s teacher and allow your child to interact with other students via video chats: This way you both can stay sane and sociable.
  • Don't forget breaks and snack time: Routines are important, especially when your child is learning in a new environment.

For best practices for eLearning from the Indiana Department of Education click HERE.

Editors Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Mt. Comfort was located in Greenwood when it is, in fact, located in Greenfield. The correction has been made above and we apologize for the error.