Distance Learning – Thinking Out of the Box

It’s time to think out of the box about school and get creative. No matter what you do, adjustments will be required for this school year. So, why not change it up and create something that works better for you and your kids? Did you know:

  • – Most kids in school today have anxiety.
  • – Over 3,000 high school students attempt suicide every single day in the United States (pre-COVID).
  • – Suicide is the second leading cause of death for kids ages 10-24.
  • – The GPA (5.3 and rising) has no official cap, which used to be 4.0.
  • – Most high school graduates feel unprepared for life.
  • – Many kids are burnt out by the time they graduate high school.
  • – Students (even kinders) express feeling a lack of caring by many teachers.
  • – Students often tell me school feels like prison.

Many people are upset that schools are closed, but the above issues are a reality. When I went to elementary school, there were no fences or locked gates. Years later, when my kids started school, there were fences and gates, but they were not locked during the day. Fast forward to today, kids are locked in and parents are locked out. Most parents drop off and pick up via drive-thru. There is no access to classrooms except for volunteering or special events. The in-person connection between home and school has been lost. With Common Core, most parents are even challenged with basic homework.

Our children should not feel burned out, unprepared and uncared for at school. Until parents say “no more” and step back into their role in education, this will continue to be “acceptable” and mental health issues will continue to rise. Until now, families have been too busy and life has moved too fast. That’s why this window of time is a unique opportunity.

The bottom line is, with school campuses closing for the fall, change is inevitable. So we are left with two choices: (1) wait for the status quo to start up again; or (2) create something better. I vote that parents create something better. Take back the power of education. Empower your kids to be creative, motivated, imaginative, prepared and joyful about life. Work together with other families to collaborate and partner. Some parents will be working outside of the home, some will be working at home and others will not be working and will be home with their kids. How do we work together to create healthy and positive partnerships that support our kids and families through this season? Two possible options are: (1) hire a tutor, teacher, family member or friend that is out of work. You can choose someone your child enjoys, who embodies your family’s beliefs and values and will incorporate life skills; (2) partner with other families in homeschool programs. If these options are not a good fit, you can come up with other alternatives that support your plans, dreams and expectations already in motion. Each family will need to identify what their priorities are, how their child learns best, and consider what their child’s social, emotional, mental and physical needs are.

You are your child’s #1 advocate. This is an opportunity to stand up for their future, and how they get there. That’s why it is important to also get their input as you evaluate options. Together, you can make the best of an uncertain situation. Any way you look at it, school is changing. Let’s get back to basic healthy elements, working together as families and communities for the wellbeing of all children. Each child’s entire life is built on the foundation created in childhood. Let’s help them create strong and solid foundations.

Traci Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She is known for her practical and intuitive parenting style. You can reach her at 951-240-1407 or

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