Students say they’re learning less online than in school; some like drop in stress

Covid-19 has caused students around the globe to stop going to school for the rest of the school year in many school districts. Pelham has an online curriculum, but the question is whether or not kids are having problems learning.

“At school it takes me all day because the teacher is giving you assignments throughout the day,” said Kyser Haines from 4M. “It takes me on average two hours each day to complete the work” required with virtual school.

It takes Zoe Helmers and Sophie Fisher from 4G around the same amount of time.

But even though it takes many students around two hours to finish their work, they have two days to finish it. Since it takes less time to finish work at home than at school, students have much more free time throughout the day.

“I am not stressed, and I feel with two days to do my work, I have a lot of free time,” said Zoe.

Kyser had the same thought. “I am not stressed. I do get time to relax and do my other activities like lacrosse.” Sophie Fisher and Sebastian Ferrara from 4G agreed.

There are positives and negatives to this. On one hand, the pandemic is stressful as it is. If the students also are stressed out about the school work, they might get overwhelmed. On the other hand, they might not be learning as well or as much as they do in school.

Sebastian Ferrara said he’s not learning as much as at Colonial “because I’m not in school for six hours, and on Fridays, we wouldn’t usually have Fun Friday as we do online.”

“I do not think I am (learning as much), but I am still learning some things,” said Zoe, “because of the range of academic levels.”

However, Sophie Fisher said, “I feel like we are learning the same at school, just we are learning it differently.”

Parents have their own views on virtual learning.

“I don’t think our kids are learning anything new, but they’re doing a good job of practicing what they learned in school before Covid-19,” said Ms. Ferrara.

Ms Haines said, “I feel that each child is different, and each developmental age varies in how a child responds to online learning. I have one child that is really demonstrating his independence and able to learn online on his own and take initiative to follow through on his work. I  have another child who is younger and needs more support, structure, and I am sure, would benefit more from teacher expertise in approaches to learning.”

“More guided learning versus self directed” would be an improvement, said Ms. Helmer.

“When kids have questions about their work, live Google meet sessions would be more helpful than only email because it would be easier to explain the topic with more detail,” said Kyser.