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Families work to teach children as schools close

Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 19:16:31-04

(WXYZ) — Effective Monday the governor mandated all schools shut down in our state to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus. It has forced parents in some cases to miss work and changed everyone’s routine.

Here at 7 Action News, we too are working to practice social distancing as we cover the impact of this. Kim Russell decided to cover how many students are or soon will be distance learning by distance reporting. She put out the call to families, asking for pictures and was not disappointed.

We received pictures of Kael, Kohl and Kai Wegener. The older two boys would be in Plymouth Canton Schools, but instead took a makeshift home economics class at home, making delicious pancakes. Then they had art class at their kitchen table. They will get started on on-line learning later this week, but their mom Kristen says she is working to send the message already it is time for learning.

7 Action News Reporter Kim Russell’s sister Amy Dawson is a school counselor and mom. We got pictures of her daughter Leah Dawson, who goes to Rose Pioneer Elementary in Holly. Leah was doing free on-line learning through Scholastic 20 days of learning and practicing math comfortably at home in her superhero pajamas.

Amy Dawson says while some schools are unable to provide distance learning, there are online resources, some of them free. She is recommending ABCYA, RazKids, Freckle Math and Scholastic.

For cousins from South Lyon, Livonia, and Howell, the trampoline is the new gym class. They are together so some of their parents can continue working on location.

“Normally I am a teacher myself, so I would be at school teaching other people’s children,” said Kim Lemke.

Lemke, a mom of three found herself still teaching other people’s children on-line, while teaching her own. She says routine will help ease the stress of this change on families.

“I think kind of getting a routine with a little bit of a schedule you are comfortable with,” she said.

She says she had her children study for an hour, take a break and play a game, then study again.

Google Classroom crashed as it got overwhelmed at one point, then worked from that point on.

She also explained to the children that this was all important for the good of others.

“The more cautious we can be at the beginning, we will hopefully make it so it is less of a burden on our health care system,” said Lemke.