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Advice for parents homeschooling, from a teacher

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Parents in Idaho learned on Monday that their students will be learning from home for the rest of the school year.

The adjustment to teaching kids at home can be difficult for many, according to Ridge Crest Elementary teacher, Kathy Behrend.

“If I could stand on top of a building, I just wish that I could tell the parents to relax and enjoy being home with their kids,” Behrend said.

Behrend teaches 2nd grade and has been teaching for nearly 20 years. The change to online and at home school has been difficult for her, too.

“It’s hard for us as well because it’s just all new for everybody,” Behrend said.

“We just have to be patient with ourselves, patient with the teachers, patient with our children. No kid needs to be sitting at their kitchen table for four hours a day doing homework. They just don’t,” Behrend said.

Behrend is encouraging the parents of her class to focus on what works for their family--and that can mean unconventional learning activities.

“Everybody complains that kids can’t count change. Then count change with your kids, right now, it’s perfect," she said.

She also encourages creativity.

“Everybody complains that kids are on their gadgets too much, then take away the gadget and have them invent a game instead,” she said.

Worrying about a student falling behind in their studies is not helpful, she said.

“Everybody’s in the same place. So I don’t think it’s really possible for anybody to get behind," Behrend said.

What's important, she said, is that parents create a secure place for their kids to learn. That means parents should relax, too.

“At the same time, they might be passing those feelings of anxiety onto their kids. And then these parents expect their kids to complete packets or online work. And it’s not successful,” Behrend said.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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