TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Ashley Davidson, a mother of two who lives in Topeka, has two young boys, ages two and eight.
In a few weeks, her oldest will begin school.
“Life is crazy right now and whatever we can do to make it work, to make it easier on everybody… I’m okay with that,” Davidson said.
Davidson signed her son up for completely virtual learning next semester.
While her youngest son will be at daycare, their grandparents will help her oldest son, and other children in their family, with school.
“I’m grateful that he’s still able to socialize with kids his age, both of them, so we’re pretty fortunate,” Davidson said.
As for parents who may not have family to help with their child’s school, daycares are stepping in.
First Christian Church Child Care Center in Topeka has been working with local teachers and school districts to see what will work best upon the return of school.
This includes separating the kids who have Zoom lessons in a separate room from the other kids, to minimize distractions, something they said was a challenge this past spring, said the center’s Director of School-Age Program Diana McGuire.
The center also plans to hire paraeducators to assist with teaching the children.
“Let’s face it, I’m most of their grandmothers, and I did not learn how they learn math nowadays and it kind of frustrates me,” McGuire said, who has worked in after-school care for several years.
The center’s staff and paraeducators also plan to help the students with any project or other homework, and will coordinate with the schools in the area to drop off or pick up students taking in-person classes.
“They have to keep learning. They can’t just sit at home and play video games and the parents need to be able to get back to work, too. So they need this to be able to get back to a relatively normal life,” McGuire said.
As of right now, nothing is set in stone for the center, McGuire said, and they are planning to make as many changes as needed to help both the kids, and their parents.