‘Feeling defeated’: Local mom spotlights kindergartner’s struggle with remote learning

Mother, 5-year-old son struggle with remote learning; pediatrician gives advice

CHARLOTTE — A local mother says that she and her kindergartner are already struggling with remote learning, just four days into the school year.

“We are all feeling defeated right now,” Lauren Palmer said.

The pressure is on parents now to make education work at home.

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“I want to be honest on how ugly and hard this is,” Palmer said.

Her five-year-old son, Jennings, attends Smithfield Elementary School.

“It’s just particularly painful as a kindergarten parent,” Palmer said. “Kindergarten is such a milestone year and they are losing out on so much.”

Jennings starts school at 7:45 a.m., engages with the teacher and takes breaks. But the days are still long.

“He told me, ‘When are the buildings going to open? I hate school on the iPad. I want to see the teacher,’” Palmer said.

Local mother Lauren Palmer captures the struggle that her 5-year-old son is experiencing with remote learning as a kindergartner.
Local mother Lauren Palmer captures the struggle that her 5-year-old son is experiencing with remote learning as a kindergartner. (Lauren Palmer)

Jennings is overcoming a rare blood cancer and is in remission. He lost time in pre-school and now due to the pandemic, in-person learning is on pause for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Palmer said she knows how difficult it could be for other parents.

“I have resources of time to offer my child,” she said. “I cannot imagine what it must be like for a mom who is trying to work or a single mom.”

Atrium Health pediatrician Dr. Ranya Chakra said “brain breaks” are crucial, especially for younger learners.

Chakra also said taking a computer screen outside helps.

“Taking them outside showing them things in the environment -- you learned about these colors today, let’s learn them outside,” Chakra said.

Palmer said she is trying to make the best of the situation.

“I want other parents to know they are not alone,” Palmer said.

CMS reverses course, will re-open with full remote learning