By Aaron Allen, The Seattle Medium
As schools across the state are scheduled to re-open in the coming weeks under the restrictions of COVID-19, Charles and Debra Smith, the parents of two elementary school-age children, are planning how best to divide their time between their jobs and their children’s schoolwork.
With two daughters, Jess, 9, and Jennifer, 7, the Smiths fall into a category of parents that are the least likely to favor an online learning model – elementary school parents with kids that require a significant amount of assistance and supervision.
According to the Smiths, they are planning to divide their work week into an alternating schedule of two-days-on, three-days off, where each parent is responsible for scheduling their day and workload in order to be available to help the children with their schoolwork.
“Charles and I alternate days,” says Debra, who works as a paralegal. “For example, one week I’m responsible for three days of availability to help with schoolwork and then two days off.”
“We alternate days each week,” continued Debra. “When it comes to the everyday chores, cleanliness and practicing social distancing, we do this daily as a family.”
The Smiths are not alone. Millions of parents across the country are having to make similar decisions as schools begin to open during the worst global health crisis of our lifetime.
The majority of the school districts in the Greater Seattle area have opted to offer remote learning, while some private schools are providing in-class and online options.