Many kitchens and dining rooms becoming classrooms, as some families opt for all virtual learning this school year

The New Back to School: Roanoke County mom shares her plan to educate her three kids at home
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 6:44 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -With guidance from Roanoke County Public Schools’ all on-line curriculum, Tammy Dollman say she’s taking on virtual learning for her 12-year-old daughter and seven-year-old twin sons.

“I mean, Madison, she’s all for it. She’s like ‘oh, I get mommy and daddy as my teachers.’ But Robby and Ryan, they’re wanting to see their friends,” says Dollman.

It’s a tough call for every family, balancing the social aspects of school with the safety.

Dollman has asthma, which means she falls into the high-risk category.

“I had to sit and really think, is this a good decision? Am I depriving my kids of not sending them to school? But then I also had to think, okay, I have to think about their health, too.”

Dollman’s also a home health care worker.

She says she based her decision on the needs of her family, and the other families that rely on her.

“Somebody could not even show any signs at school and give it to my kids and they bring it home, potentially give it to me. I could potentially give it to my clients,” she says.

Now that her family is gearing up for virtual learning, Dollman’s still in the process of figuring it out.

“I’m trying to organize, trying to get everything set up to where they have their own space that they can do their learning at and get ready for the new normal,” says Dollman.

If your family is also going the virtual route, here are some suggestions we found:

--Make sure you have reliable internet access.

--Create a learning space for your child.

--Make a schedule and stick to it.

--Reduce distractions.

--Be sure your child can communicate effectively with their teachers.

For the Dollman family, it’s going to take a joint effort, but Tammy says they’re up for the challenge.

“It’s probably going to be hard and stressful with having a middle schooler and two first graders, but between me and him, I think we can handle it.”

For more tips on setting up a virtual classroom at home, click here.

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