How to maintain virtual learning and mental health

Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As the number of COVID-19 spike in Mississippi, many schools are transitioning to online learning only.

In the last two weeks, two entire school districts and seven schools have decided to go virtual to stop the spread of the virus, which can pose a threat in cooler or warmer weather.

Licensed, professional counselor, Dr. Linda Blackwell says the pandemic and virtual learning is affecting the mental health of already stressed out parents and kids.

“Our life has changed. What we have always considered ‘normal’ is different," Blackwell said. "Everyone has a new work and school schedule, new work situation, virtual learning, wearing a mask, isolation and cancelling traditional gatherings with family and friends.”

Blackwell says many kids were initially excited about being out of school, but most of them want to go back.

“The situation we are in with our schools and COVID is less than ideal, but necessary. Many kids are not cut out for distance learning because of the social void, lack of resources, lack of technical skills needed and classroom structure," Blackwell said.

The family and marriage expert also says having the parent as the teacher doesn’t always work well, but there are ways everyone can try to cope with the changes.

"Helping a child with distance learning can be challenging. Kids are accustomed to the rules and expectations they encounter in the classroom. At home they may feel those rules don’t apply, so parents can:

  • Set up a designated place for your child to work
  • Make sure all the supplies needed are available
  • Set up a schedule that works for your child
  • Reduce distractions
  • Stay in contact with the teacher
  • Access the school website for teacher notes and progress daily
  • Be positive

Here’s a list of schools and districts that have gone virtual so far:

  • Yazoo County School District
  • Natchez-Adams School District
  • Rankin County:

Brandon High School

Puckett High School

  • Madison County:

Germantown High School

  • Lawrence County:

Lawrence County High School

  • Attala County School District:

Greenlee Elementary School

Ethel High School

McAdams High School

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