Harris Co. mom shares challenges of teaching children from home while schools close for COVID-19

Harris Co. mom shares challenges of teaching children from home while schools close for COVID-19

HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. (WTVM) - For many families across the Chattahoochee Valley, this week has presented some challenges as parents try to keep children engaged, productive, and still learning while schools are canceled.

One certified educator, who’s also a mother, Ginelle Bathauer, said it’s important to stick to a schedule and also for parents to cut themselves some slack. She said it’s a difficult time and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

Her son, five-year-old William, said it’s different not going to school everyday.

“It feels kind of weird because there’s not two people teaching me, and we’re not doing stations," he said. “That’s the weirdest thing.”

His sister, three-year-old Claire, misses the classroom and the people in it.

“[I miss] my teacher and my friends,” she said.

Bathauer said this week is presenting some challenges, especially because it’s stressful to be a parent right now.

“Mostly just really uncertain, she said. “It’s hard to balance your emotions. Trying to keep calm for the kids but at the same time living in the reality that it’s unknown territory.”

Parents are now tackling teaching their children, which for many, is adding another layer of stress.

“[I’m] trying to keep the kids busy and having enough for them to do,” Bathauer said.

She said keeping a routine, finding creative ways to teach the children and help them learn, and getting out of the house is the best way to handle the challenge of teaching your kids at home.

“Have a plan, have a schedule, try to stick to that as much as you can,” she said. “Get the kids involved. Plant gardens, get them to make predictions while they’re doing that. Anything can be learning if you ask the right questions.”

According to Bathauer, it’s also important for parents to cut themselves some slack these next few weeks.

“As a parent, you want to do everything for them, but at the same, you need to realize you’re going to have great days and you’re going to have off days and we need to be gentle on ourselves,” she said.

William and Claire are just hoping school starts back soon.

“I miss a lot of my friends,” William said.

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