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Tucson mom juggles seven kids remote learning

In our Back to School Safely series we take a look at the stress parents are feeling and ways to get through it.
Posted at 6:53 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 09:25:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — In our Back to School Safely series we take a look at the stress parents are feeling and ways to get through it.

From Kindergarten to 10th grade, Jamie Ochoa has seven kids at home trying to learn remotely. "It's very overwhelming. It's very hard. We didn't sign up for this. Nobody did," said Ochoa.

Seven kids equals to about 25 teachers for Jamie to keep track of.
Of course with technology, there always seems to be a few issues to work out. "Four laptops and three tablets. Those were all provided by the school. But the issues is one wifi isn't enough for all the children to do their remote learning at the same time," Ochoa said.

"It has been OK but then very difficult because when I want to do school like my second period doesn't work. Those are just some of the problems Jamie's daughter, Serena, is dealing with as she starts sixth grade. "It takes a lot out of you. Not just as a mom. Teachers who are experiencing this for the first time as well." Ochoa said.

A stressful time for parents like Jamie. She says she is taking it day by day. "Some days are a lot more stressful than other days. If it gets to the point where its really stressful. I just tell the kids turn it off. Lets take a break and we'll try again later," Ochoa said.

Author and mom, Susan Groner, is the founder of the Parenting Mentor. She says one way for parents to combat the stresses of remote learning to use what you have. "Walk into your kitchen. Your kitchen is an unbelievable classroom full of science experiments, math, learning," Groner said.

Then for the tough conversations, Groner says to listen closely to what your kids are going through. "We should validate our kids feelings. When they are feeling disappointed that they can't go back to school or they're missing their birthday party this year because of covid. I's ok."

Both kids and parents are feeling a range of emotions. Jamie sees the stress wearing down on her own family at times. " I have two special needs children. One with autism in seventh grade. One with fetal alcohol syndrome in, kindergarten. They can not do this on their own," Ochoa said.

"I don't get to go to public School and see my friends and talk," Serena said.
"The kids get very stressed out too. They get very frustrated if the laptop is freezing or they are talking to their teacher on the microphone and she's just going on and can't hear him," Ochoa said.

Despite the pains, Jamie is still hopeful. "My hope is that by Christmas everything is back to normal. I know its probably wishful thinking. It's been a long four months already."

There's nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking. For more advice from Susan Groner on how parents can make the most of remote learning, click here.