INDIANAPOLIS – Virtual learning could be here to stay, at least for a while. Some central Indiana schools are requiring it, while others are giving the families the option.
“It’s actually like being in school,” said Betsy Greener. Her daughter, Bethanie, has been a virtual learner even before we even knew about COVID-19. And she understands why some families are anxious.
“It definitely helps to set a schedule. Although we do have required classes, a lot of the work is done independently,” said Bethanie Greener.
Greener is enrolled in Indiana Digital Learning School (INDLS), a fully online and tuition-free public school. There’s standardized curriculums and state-certified teachers. This fall at INDLS, it’s business as usual.
“It’s not as easy as just putting kids in front of a computer,” said Daiana Wheeler, “It’s almost like a traditional school. They are supposed to be online for six hours a day, we have scheduled classes, breaks between classes, a lunch that is scheduled.”
Wheeler is a math teacher for the online platform. She says families will want to develop a structure that works for them.
“The most important thing is patience. Patience and keeping an open mind because learning all of these new systems and structures can be hard,” Wheeler added.
Learning from home also presents new mental health challenges.
“Watch out for irritability, anxiety and stress, sadness, isolation,” said Seth Kleiman is a Psychotherapist for Indiana Health Group. He encourages families to have conversations about what their student is experiencing.
“Whether you’re a child or an adult we’re all impacted right now by everything that’s going on,” Kleiman explained, “I live by the ‘Three P Philosophy’ which I say is all about being patient, being persistent and staying positive as possible. We’re all in this together.”
For the Greeners, distance doesn’t mean you’re alone. Their biggest advice is, to ask for help.
“You’re not going to know what you’re doing the first week. It’s just like regular school too, you don’t know what you’re doing the first week, so don’t get frustrated,” said Betsy Greener.
If you’re a parent or student struggling with virtual learning, Indiana Digital Learning School has a list of resources that can help.
The Indiana Department of Education has also provided resources on their website, click here.