Having a Combined Schedule of In-person and Online Learning Makes Childcare Difficult
The logistics are tricky for families with multiple children on different schedules as well.
For single parents, parents who work hourly wage jobs that generally cannot be remote, or for essential workers in transportation and medical fields, childcare during the pandemic has already been a challenge. Women are disproportionately affected. With schools set to reopen with a combination of days in the classroom and days at home, the burden can make it impossible. For parents with multiple children the concern is that their in-classroom days or the parents' work schedules will not line up or childcare facilities may not be fully open on the days needed. At least with a fully remote learning schedule, there was flexibility from colleagues, staff, and school districts. Most districts did not require live-teaching at certain times of day so single-parent and caregiver teachers were able to work around their other duties while keeping up with the curriculum and grading students' work. . Being fully remote also meant teachers could gain better insight into students' individual home lives, how to work with parents and their schedules, students' learning preferences during the pandemic, and teach children important skills like time management and balance. Beyond these reasons, there does not seem to be high interest or ability to adhere to a blended learning schedule. In New York City, which is set to go on this type of in-person and virtual mix for the fall, 390,000 public school students opted out of the blended learning model so they could learn remote full-time. Logistics are messy, at best, when multiple children are in the same household and may be attending different schools. There is also the lack of transparency regarding health measures, air ventilation in older school buildings, and students having to deal with multiple teachers - one for in-person, one for virtual lessons. For younger students this can be jarring and difficult to get into a rhythm of learning.