Clarendon Hills mother of 3 navigates e-learning during school closures due to COVID-19

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Clarendon Hills family with 3 kids navigates e-learning
EMBED <>More Videos

One family in suburban Clarendon Hills shares how they're navigating e-learning programs with three children out of school.

CLARENDON HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Families will face an unprecedented challenge in the coming weeks as their children move schooling into their homes while parents juggle work and childcare responsibilities, and emotional and potential financial stresses.

Keeping children at home is an important part of containing the novel coronavirus so that the health care system does not get overwhelmed, but some families may have a particularly hard time.

Tuesday was the first day schools across Illinois were officially closed forcing hundreds of thousands of students to studying from home.

In the Szurgot household, learning from home is being taken very seriously.

"My kids get up everyday. They take a shower, they get dressed. They make their beds, they eat breakfast and they we hope to start our day by 9 a.m. at the latest," Clarendon Hills parent, Karyn Szurgot, said

RELATED: Kids in coronavirus quarantine: How to keep children comfortable, entertained

Szurgot has given each of her three kids a schedule to follow everyday as they navigate e-learning from home. Szurgot said structure is the key for 7th grader Austen, 4th grader Peyton and Hailey who is in kindergarten.

"It's good. It helps be organized if we don't have something to do, there is always something on there we need to or complete. It's helpful," Austen said.

Austen, 13, said school on-line is going well so far .

"There is Google Docs. It will show you every day and it will say directions. It will tell you how long you have to do it, gives you a link to excel or an article you have to read, and answer questions," he said.

Although, Austen admits some subjects like Spanish are hard to do without daily lessons.

Later this week his teachers plan to set up a virtual classroom so kids can ask questions, which will offer some relief for Austen's mom who said managing three different grades is a challenge.

"I think for those who are younger, maybe kindergarten, 1st and 2nd, they require a lot more time with a parent doing e-learning," Szurgot said.

She also said the younger kids need more breaks, which the family's daily school schedule does include - especially to get some much needed exercise.

While it's going well, Szurgot is hoping e-learning will only last a couple weeks. She fears two months of it will wear on the kids, especially the social distancing part of it.