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Sylvan Learning Center helping parents navigate choosing school learning option this Fall

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 10:21 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Angela Tjelmeland is the mom of a 7th grader in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. She’s says deciding how her child would learn this year wasn’t easy.

“They said you should think about it as a family, and the kids want to go back to in school regardless so I thought that’s what my kid really wants to do so we’re going to lean towards that,” she said.

However, choosing the in-person route doesn’t come without concerns, specifically on if the safety precautions will be followed.

“The kids are probably not going to want to wear a mask,” she said. “They are going to provide one mask how many times do you think you can wash that a day, that’s a concern.”

Tjelmeland says they are prepared to switch to virtual if she feels it’s not working out. April Samp with Sylvan Learning Centers of Iowa advises for those parents still deciding on a plan, make the best decision with the information you have and after one semester you can adjust.

“I would suggest making your own assessment of if this is working. Don’t wait for the report card,” said Samp.

For those doing learning at home, Samp encourages parents educate themselves on the resources offered through homeschool assistance programs or join Facebook parent groups. If you're struggling to get access to devices, check with school districts for help, and for managing working from home and kids' school work, mark off time slots on your work day calendar to make sure things get done.

Samp adds the learning center support services are also an option.

“During those days, when you might be working from home and your children are home, we’re a place where children can come and have a focused motivated learning environment with certified teachers,” she said.

If hiring a tutor is the plan, make sure there’s a way to measure growth so they don’t become dependent on someone helping them with homework. Regardless of the choice in learning, Samp recommends making sure all students have a good base going into the year.

“Make sure they are focusing on the core subjects like math, reading and writing and no matter what happens, make sure your student is on track because a lot of us, our kids were out for five months,” Samp said. “Taking your child in for some sort of assessment is a good place to start.”

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