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Ask @DadandBuried: How Do I Teach my Kids During Online Learning?

Ask @DadandBuried: How Do I Teach my Kids During Online Learning?

Mike Julianelle (and @DadandBuried) is back with some more advice and humorous commentary. This time, he tackles online learning.


"My kids are back in school some of the time, but remote schooling is still a large part of their week. Without as much access to teachers, I’m forced to help with lessons far more than I’m used to—or able to! Not only do I not remember any of my fifth-grade math, I can’t teach to save my life! Help!"

 —Catherine, Cobble Hill

First of all, Catherine, thank you. Both for reaching out and for reminding me that I'm not alone. None of us are.

The pandemic and its consequences—from less exercise and more bingeing (watching, eating, and drinking), to more family time and less alone time—have been rough on everyone, especially those of us forced to add "teaching" to that list of downsides.

This isn't to say that the teachers aren't doing a great job. They are, as always, and often at great risk to themselves—spending their days inside with the world's biggest germ magnets. That said, there's no denying how essential in-person school is to these kids. They require hands-on assistance, and with remote learning robbing them of the access to their teachers that they need, Mom and Dad are forced to step in.

RELATED: These are the Best Math Videos for Kids



This is not ideal.

Like you, I haven't thought about mixed fractions or exponents or long division for 30 years, but I have honed my ability to get frustrated and bark at my son. It's a fun combination!

I am also not a teacher, neither by temperament nor trade, and the extra assistance my fifth grader needs is simply not materializing at home. Not helping matters is the tried-and-true fact that kids are much less willing to take instruction from us than they are from their teachers or, say, some rando teaching Minecraft hacks on YouTube.

That tendency to resist our help, combined with an inability to offer much besides confusion (“Do fractions even divide?”) and capitulation (“Just Google it!”), does not a happy home make. But at least we’re all unhappy together.

Which is about the best I can do. Instead of assisting with advice, I can only console with solidarity. We’re all being forced into roles we’re not used to and often aren’t cut out for. Each and every one of us is in the same drowning boat, and all we can do is take solace in that fact—while simultaneously calculating how much time we have left before our boats are totally submerged. Who the heck knows how to measure water? Do I need the metric system? ALEXA!

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Mike Julianelle

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Mike Julianelle is the Brooklyn dad behind the popular blog, DadandBuried.com, and its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

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