'I Just Can't Do This': Harried Parents Are Giving Up

Home schooling is getting harder as the weeks go by
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2020 5:00 PM CDT
'I Just Can't Do This': Harried Parents Are Giving Up
This April 6, 2020, photo released by Alexandra Nicholson shows her son, Henry Martinsen, on his computer in Quincy, Mass. The frustration of parents is mounting as more families across the U.S. enter their second or even third week of total distance learning, and some say it will be their last.   (Alexandra Nicholson via AP)

Frustration is mounting as more families across the US enter their second or even third week of distance learning—and some overwhelmed parents say it will be their last, the AP reports. Amid the barrage of learning apps, video meet-ups, and e-mailed assignments that pass as pandemic home school, some frustrated and exhausted parents are choosing to disconnect entirely for the rest of the academic year. Others are cramming all their children's school work into the weekend or even a single day. "We tried to make it work the first week. We put together a schedule, and what we found is that forcing a child who is that young into a fake teaching situation is really, really hard," says Massachusetts mom Alexandra Nicholson, whose son is in kindergarten.

"I'd rather have him watch classic Godzilla movies and play in the yard and pretend to be a Jedi rather than figure out basic math," she adds. That stress is only compounded for families with multiple children in different grades, or when parents work long hours outside the home. In some cases, older siblings must watch younger ones during the day, leaving no time for school work. "I think the pressure is on and I think it's on even more for some of our low-income families," says Rachel Pearl, chief program officer for Friends of the Children-Portland. One Pennsylvania mom says she finally broke down last week when her fourth-grade son and second-grade daughter each had assignments due: "I was feeling like a failure," she says. "I thought, 'I just can't do this.'"

(More coronavirus stories.)

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