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Several schools close just after reopening; what can parents do to help their kids?

Posted at 12:21 AM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 00:21:28-04

NEW YORK CITY — Less than a week after reopening, hundreds of schools around New York City are closed once again after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

As parents struggle to figure out a new game plan, one homeschooling expert is sharing advice for at home learning.

Anne Crossman is the CEO of Homeschool Expert and has literally written the book on homeschooling. Her latest work, "Homeschool Like An Expert," is due out next week.

"I would encourage parents that they are not alone, and they can do this," Crossman said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally came together this week in an effort to contain clusters of the coronavirus by shutting down city schools.

Schools where infection rates have spiked closed, while several other areas have been added to a watch list.

"It is necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus in these communities and beyond," de Blasio said.

Teachers around the city have rallied to urge the Department of Education to go fully remote.

Nearly half of the 1.1 million students under the Department of Education have already opted for all remote learning.

Now the parents of more than half a million students need to figure out where to go from here.

Schools that have been shut down will need to close for at least two weeks before they can reopen, but there's no guarantee they won't be closed longer.

Crossman offers resources to help at homeschoolexpert.com, where she holds Q&A's for parents trying to navigate the turbulent situation.
For parents stressing out about trying to relearn algebra and earth science, Crossman said there's no need to cram.

"The most important element that the parent is going to bring to the table is managing the school day, providing goals and accountability and encouragement along the way — which frankly all parents are having to do right now, no matter what model of learning they've chosen," Crossman said.

Right now, 40 million students across the country are learning from home.

In a recent survey, 42% of households said they've given up some professional work to educate their kids.

If you decide to homeschool, Crossman said you should plan to spend between one and five hours on academic instruction, depending on your child's age and chosen curriculum.

"Not because you're teaching them less, but because when you have a 1 to 1 ratio you can accomplish so much more in so little time," Crossman said.

When it comes to socialization, which so many parents say is the reason for sending their children back to school, Crossman says don't put that on your child's teacher.

Rangling 20 to 30 kids on a zoom call is hard enough. She suggests finding another activity like an improv class, even if it's virtual, to separate the academics from the socialization. Plus, it let's them be a bit goofy.