By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) — When remote learning started in the spring, Amy O’Brien, a mother of four in Dedham, felt like she had it handled.

“I can say I started off with a bang. We did the family movies and I cooked every night, and I did everything that a lot of my teacher friends told me to do,” O’Brien said. “Then you know, that went by the wayside.”

O’Brien now worries about the fall: “I guess my biggest fear is, am I going to fail at it? I felt like I failed last spring.”

She is not alone.

“We’re all very much struggling,” said Nermeen Dashoush, a professor at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education. The mother of two said, “We’re just parents really trying to get through this the best we can.”

Dashoush said parents need to reset their priorities for this year and not focus on the typical milestones.

“If you really think of this year is one small fraction of their overall education,” she said. “The only thing that is really going to carry over from one year to the other is the relationship we have with learning.”

Sal Khan, the founder, and CEO of Khan Academy, believes parents should keep it simple.

“Focus on the basics. Obviously everyone’s school is supporting them to different degrees. But especially if you can get their math, their reading, their writing. If you can get that under your belt and you can get your legs under you, then you can think about layering on more subjects.”

If you run into problems, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher.

“Do what you can, the best you can,” Dashoush said. “They’re not going to remember if you’re able to break down a math concept – they’re going to remember that you tried.”

Paula Ebben


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