Posted on: January 13, 2021 Posted by: Children Health Mag Comments: 0

First grader Persephone Purdy works on her virtual schoolwork.

Local families’ experiences with virtual school during the pandemic are mixed.

Some parents are surprisingly pleased with their children’s academic progress. Others have written off the school year as far as learning goes. Some have found silver linings. Others are worried that their children are struggling to cope.

All of them want school to go back to normal.

Over the past few months, I’ve talked with more than 20 Milwaukee-area parents about how schooling during a pandemic works in their families.

I’ve related to their fears and concerns. When Shay Knox of Milwaukee said a child she cares for is losing his connection with peers and is suffering cabin fever, I mourned my daughter’s months-long lack of in-person connection with her friends. When Wauwatosa mom Sarah Fowles mentioned the silver lining of better sleep schedules for her middle school daughter, I thought of the early-morning induced headaches and nausea that have disappeared from my own daughter’s life — and worried about how they’ll likely come back when she goes back to in-person school.

I’ve spoken to parents whose children have been in virtual school since March and parents whose children have been able to be in-person since the start of the school year.  Parents whose children have been learning in school half the week and at home half the week, as well as parents whose children have had to stop in-person