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Coping with virtual learning

“One of the things that we’re most concerned about is for children to be able to kind of cope with isolation from peers,” said Paige Marcantel.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We are all in this together.  

Day by day, we’re learning new ways to navigate through the pandemic even when it comes to students, parents, and virtual classes.  

Parents and students have probably felt some kind of frustration when it comes to virtual learning, but it will get better. Here are some things that might help. 

For the most part, the person to person interaction in schools is on hold. 

“One of the things that we’re most concerned about is for children to be able to kind of cope with isolation from peers,” said Paige Marcantel, Baptist Memorial Hospital Universal Parenting Place for Women Director. 

Marcantel understands the effects virtual learning can have on parent and students.

“One of the things that’s so wonderful about school is the social and emotional learning opportunities that the kids have; to learn how to make friends, to learn how to take turns and share, learn how to deal with conflict,” said Marcantel.

When that's been stripped away, you've got to get creative.  

“One of the things that I’ve seen be pretty cool and effective is having smaller groups of kids zoom or do their google meet together,” said Marcantel. 

There is nothing wrong with a little old fashion communication.  

“This is a great time to have a pen pal. This is a great time to send notes, cards, letters,” said Marcantel. “It’s also a great time to actually talk on the telephone,”

Writing in a journal can also help. 

“This is an historical even living through the pandemic. It’s a great time to write down what you’ve experienced, what your life was like, what were the hardships for you, what did you learn,” said Marcantel. 

It's a way for students to self reflect. Also, parent should consider the physical tolls such as vision and headaches. 

“I definitely encourage parents to make sure that there are physical breaks for your child. For about every thirty minutes of instruction, kids need to move at least ten feet for 90-seconds,” said Marcantel. 

It's also important to empathize with students. 

 “Let your child know that all the feelings they feel about having to do all this are totally normal and that it’s okay to feel them," said Marcantel. “Let our kids know that I get it. I have felt frustrated and angry about this too. I can empathize with how you feel... We know that when you can help a child make it through a difficult life situation and come out on the other side, it actually can be a pretty positive experience for them because it teaches them resilience.” 

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