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Overcoming at-home online learning challenges

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 16:43:22-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The pandemic turned parents into teachers overnight as the job of caretaker now includes ensuring your child completes their semester coursework.

Lexington Mother Enid Wohlstein found several methods to keep her busy nine-year-old Jack on task.

"Routine. Definitely have a routine and build in breaks," Wohlstein explained. "Keep communication going, you know, check in with your child. We do that a lot throughout the day. I don't push, I don't expect him to be on task all the time. It's just not possible. He needs social time. He needs to connect with family. We FaceTime with grandparents and friends, so it's just not possible to take the place of a teacher."

Jack said he has enjoyed learning from home.

"It's good. I get to spend the whole time with mom and breaks whenever I want," Jack said.

Wohlstein said those breaks from the computer have been imperative for her 4th grader.

"I try to be sneaky. That's why we've been cooking for years where he's been learning measurements and how to do the fractions," Wohlstein said. "Because, well one, it, it's helpful to me to have him by my side cooking and baking, but you're absolutely right. Real life learning exploring nature and just taking little moments teaching moments. And it doesn't have to be planned out. You know, you don't have to have a curriculum at home to do those kinds of things. You can just take the opportunities as they come. If there's a question you say okay let's look it up, let's research that and you know you can get on your phone and have an answer within a matter of minutes."

While trying to keep her son occupied during the week, the Prichard Committe has been a source of rejuvenation for Wohlstein.

"I've found them invaluable. This Pritchard Committee live Facebook feeds--being able to jump on, and spend half an hour-40 minutes with experts, talking about the landscape and what the challenges are right now. And what they might be in the future," she said.

Those Facebook Live feeds occur every Monday and Thursday at 4 p.m. on their Facebook Page.

Their President and CEO Brigitte Blom Ramsey explained they are trying to provide Kentuckians with real-time answers from local and national experts.

"The Facebook Live events are threefold: One, get information out to the public, engage the public in the conversation so that they can ask questions, and that those two things the discussion and the engagement with the public and experts will lead us to greater innovation that serves us well moving forward," Blom Ramsey explained.

At a time when there is an influx of resources online, Wohlstein explained she appreciates knowing the content the Prichard Committe sends out in a newsletter is sourced by experts and ready to go.

"It's not an overwhelming list of activities either you know there's five or six things each week that you can do, though it's not overwhelming because you know I've seen huge documents of virtual museum tours which are awesome," said Wohlstein. "But, it's so nice to have something that is very doable that you can spread out through the week."

Blom Ramsey explained that is part of the committe's mission, "There's so much uncertainty right now. And we hope to be a source of discussion, a source of support that lessens that uncertainty for families and gives them a place to talk with one another and to talk with experts about the things they need answers to."