LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — It is not the way she thought her son's fifth-grade year would start, but it is now a reality she is taking in stride so her son can too.
Enid Wohlstein's son Jack began nontraditional instruction through Lansdown Elementary School in the spring when the pandemic hit. His mom did her best to keep him on task and having fun through the end of the school year.
Now, with Fayette County Public Schools starting online for the fall semester, she tried to make his at-home set-up feel more permanent.
"I luckily have the school-printed schedule so we've reviewed that with Jack as soon as we had it. It looks fantastic,” Wohlstein said. “We've just been trying to remind him that this is not the spring. This is really school – there's going to be live instruction all morning.
She stressed the importance of staying focused while in an at-home learning environment.
“There’s no jumping up to go get a snack, even though there are some movement breaks planned into the schedule,” Wohlstein said. “We'll start out with he and I are at our dining table, again, like we did in the spring. But then luckily we have a spare room that we can set up as his classroom."
In a way, Wohlstein said she was grateful Wednesday was not his first day of online school, but added that the bit of online learning at the end of last school year was good preparation.
“I think it was a good introduction to what successful online learning can look like with using Google Classroom and checking in assignments,” she said.
Wohlstein admitted her perspective may be different than other parents, but also said she hopes parents can jump on-board for the sake of their child.
"I spent a number of years working in a distance learning environment, so I know it is something that can be successful,” she said. “It takes a different approach than in-person instruction. But some students really thrive in a distance learning environment, especially I think older students when they might be a little shy to speak up in class, they might be a little more open to speaking online."
She said shyness also applies to parents as they are dealing with the task of keeping their child on task.
"I think you just can't be shy,” Wohlstein said. “If there's something that doesn't sound right or is unclear, you've just got to make the phone call because everybody at the school is there to help and to make this successful.”