Mothers vs. Online Education

Rian Roach, Photographer

Idaho families are trying to find a new norm with the struggles of online school as the pandemic of Covid-19 continues. To deal with the threatening virus, the West Ada School District of Meridian, Idaho is doing something called hybrid mode. We have split our schools into two teams; half the kids, half the germs. One day team 1 are going to in-person school while the other team is at home getting taught remotely, then the next day the teams switch learning locations. This is a huge adaptation for the students and the way they have been learning for years now. Not only does this change the educational position but it changes the whole dynamic of the students’ household. 

  I interviewed an inspiring stay at home mom, Angie Wycherly who has five kids, the oldest being a freshman this year. We talked about how she is handling the home part of this COVID 19 schedule. She said, “What they have put in place I think is understandable for me, at least, but what I am frustrated with, is their timing like they could have made these decisions a long time ago and let us know so we can prepare emotionally and physically for this.” She is worried about the mental position this has on the kids in staying at home for so long and using a screen the entire time.  

This motherly concern was echoed by another working mom. Daishan Roach said, “I don’t feel excited about young elementary students being online looking at a computer screen all day, when in our home we are trying to decrease the amount of screen time they have.” These mothers have concerns about what systems we are using to accommodate for the virus, but both Roach and Wycherly have a spouse and the ability to help manage the school at home.  

Angel Rigby, a single working mom trying to balance the education of her five children, their health and her own, and work to support them financially. “I work, so my older kids have to watch my littles and help them. Which does not go well most of the time. On going to school days, I have to take my lunch break to pick up my little[s] from school because buses don’t run in the middle of the day.”(Rigby, Angel) Having to have her older kids multitask, creates quite a bit of chaos in the home especially when the computers provided are not usable. “The first week of school none of our devices were working so we missed…” (Wycherly, Angie) live meetings, first days, and instructions. “One of my middle schoolers laptop still can only access the Microsoft Teams through the West Ada internet page so he still has issues on his and we are in week three.”(Roach, Daishan)   

As things progress and we work out the kinks we will slowly become more comfortable in this system but what about the social skills of our teenagers and their mind sets? “Socially, you guys need to see your friends and that is not happening.”(Wycherly, Angie). “Kids need to be social. We have seen the effects in our country of no socializing. Suicide, depression, anxiety… are all double what they were a few months ago. I have seen some depression in my house. It makes me sad. From day one, I have let my kids hang out with their friends. But other parents don’t so it was still hard on them.” (Rigby, Angel).  

The trials of these few woman show the continuing effects of this pandemic on the household and will forever change the outlook of not only education but parenting as well. Parents have had to become teachers, support staff, and administrators in their homes which changes the dynamics and environment of students and families from what they are used to.