One family, five children: the ups and downs of remote schooling

Island Ad-Vantages|4/16/2020

One family, five children: the ups and downs of remote schooling
DEER ISLE—Five kids, a home-based business and a lobsterman husband equals a busy life on any usual day. Throw in an abrupt change to home-based learning, after schools closed in March and a stay-at-home directive was issued over COVID-19, and life became a lot busier for Deer Isle mom Ashley Oliver.

Like all parents thrust into the role of teacher, she has had to find what works best for her own family, collectively, and for each child: fifth-grader Jaylin, second-grader Lucas, first-grader CJ, and Nya and Gianna, pre-K twins.

During the first week of remote learning, Oliver sat all five down at one table, matching each to a specific assignment.

“You do this, you do that,” is how she described it. “That didn’t work.”

Now, she has a dedicated place, her own desk, where she works with each child, one at a time, for an hour or more each day.

“I have to sit down with them,” she said.

This means Oliver’s school day ends a little later than a normal brick-and-mortar school day, around 3 p.m.

She also manages the eight to 10 weekly ZOOM meetings and at least 15 school-related emails per day. By the end of the school day, she said, she has mentally checked out.

“It’s a lot,” she said. “And it’s really hard to juggle. I can’t get my dishes done!”


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