When the school year abruptly changed from on-campus classes to online-only as the COVID-19 pandemic began to intensify in the Spring, it put a burden on thousands of families.
“For the parents that work it was really hard," working mother Jennifer Mays said. "You’re trying to do the best you can do with your workload and make sure your child is well taken care of."
Ensuring their children continued to get an education through online classes is one of the bigger challenges parents faced. And they will face it again this fall with at least the first three weeks of the new school year set to be taught over the Internet.
There are programs out there such as Mathnasium to help parents.
“Online learning presents a bunch of challenges for a child, (especially) for the younger children such as Kindergarten through fifth grade," Mathnasium of Corpus Christi owner Christian Schomaker said. "They may be distracted by all of the technology in front of them.”
Schomaker describes his franchise as a learning center for children from pre-Kindergarten to entering pre-calculus classes.
"We are a resource -- the best resource, I think -- for a school-aged child to come in to reinforce those lessons that were delivered to a student via online from the local school district," he said.
While younger children may have a hard time concentrating on an online class, Schomaker said older kids might not keep up with their lessons because of distractions such as their cell phones.
That's why he has some advice for parents before they send their kids to his learning center to reinforce those lessons.
“One of the ways a parent can combat (distractions) is by providing supervision," he said. "Have them take their lessons in the kitchen or the living room or the home office -- wherever the parent can also be to make sure the child is paying attention to the online instruction.”
Mays said she'll heed that advice -- and she offered a tip of her own for working parents faced with helping their children learn online.
“A lot of prayers," she said, laughing. "You just have to do it for your kid. You just have to keep on pushing forward.”