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"Be patient" | Parents in virtual learning offer advice after KCS students transition online

The transition will last through Winter break, and in-person students will return to their buildings on January 5, 2021.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — What has it been like to have a kid learning from home? We asked a set of Knox County Parents with students from elementary to high school who were learning from home.

"Here's a couple tricks that might help you navigate this new adventure you are on," Lee Forgety said. 

His daughter is in the 2nd grade, she's been virtual from the very beginning. He recommended parents set up a safe space for children to learn.

However, Trista Cody said knowing how to help students learn from home is a hard question to answer. Her son goes to Austin-East.

"Well there is no right or wrong answer to this," she said. "You're going to have to do what works for you."

Victoria Norman's daughter is in elementary school and has been in virtual learning since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic too. 

"One thing really want parents to know is to just be patient," she said.

Parents also offered families with students learning from home for the first time advice on how to help them succeed. Lee recommended parents learn their students' school schedules, in order to help them. 

Emily Clabough, who has several students in the system, said you also have to know when to take a step back and also when to ask for help.

"Be flexible ... don't stick them in their room all day long," she said. "Find out the teachers preferred method of communication."

They also warned families about technical issues that may come as a result of getting used to the new systems. Knox County Schools offers several guides online to help families.

"Microsoft Teams is going to have a lot of technical issues...it's going to be okay," she said. "Sometimes the sound won't connect to the headphones so you have to go into the settings and switch it."

Parents with kids learning from home started somewhere, and there are some things that they said they wish they knew beforehand.

"In the beginning I wish I knew how time and effort goes into virtual learning," Cody said. 

Norman had some more technical ideas. 

"You have to check for a system update everyday," she said. "Make sure you fully shut down the computer every single night."

As for overall advice, they all said it is a work in progress and if parents new to the process need help, they can reply on them. 

"Be patient with yourself ... be patient with you child and be patient with the teacher," Clabough said. 

Norman agreed.

"I believe in you," she said.