Distance Learning Taking Toll on Parents

Photo courtesy Leeron Tal Dvir
Teacher Claire Vencill reads to students Charlie Piedlow and Liam Dvir. Liam’s mother said she turned her garage into a classroom for the home-schoolers after her son’s struggles with distance learning.

Leeron Tal Dvir’s older son, Micah, is excelling in his 5th-grade classes at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. In fact, he’s performing even better than he had during in-person classes.
But when her younger son, Liam, had classes online at Thomas Edison Elementary School last semester, he cried every day. “I hate fake school,” the 1st-grader would tell her.
Dvir hired a tutor to assist him in his distance learning lessons, and this semester she pivoted him fully to home schooling after building a classroom in her garage. Having someone to work closely with her son, the single mother said, helped immensely.
“I think a lot of parents are really struggling mentally,” Dvir said. “I think it is the school’s responsibility to make sure the families are doing all right. We’re all of a sudden responsible for having school in our homes. We didn’t sign up for that.”

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Aiming for Better Way to Guide Distance Learning

After-school enrichment classes will allow kids to come together in safe, socially distanced pods.
Photos courtesy Kristie Mastrolia

Going back to school. It’s one of those memories so indelibly instilled in our brains that no matter how many years go by, we can still vividly recall shopping for supplies and clothes, seeing friends we hadn’t seen for more than two months, meeting new teachers and, in some cases, being introduced to a new school and classmates.
For students, from preschool to graduate school, this year will mark a blip in creating those memories. It is just one of the myriad things that have been taken from us by the spread of COVID-19, though Leeron Tal Dvir doesn’t see it that way.
“I have heard so many parents focusing on what their kids will not be getting and what they will be missing,” said Tal Dvir, who served as executive director of Burbank’s Temple Emanu El and for eight years directed its Early Childhood Center. “Yes, it will be different and there will be change, but I look at it as change that can be a positive experience.”
Tal Dvir’s optimistic outlook has much to do with her decision to stare down the pandemic and establish Distance Learning Together Community, a new concept in the world of distance learning that will offer support to parents and give children the opportunity to be physically engaged with kids and adults other than their parents.

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