As summer comes to an end, parents around the country are wrestling with how to prepare for a school year unlike any other in American history. In a new national survey of 4,600 parents, conducted by Discount School Supply (Newsweek’s #1 rated school supply website) and Co-Learn Club, 71% of parents who know their school’s plans for the Fall, report that their children will be in some level of remote education when school resumes this Fall. For perspective, the National Home Education Research Institute reported that just 3-4% of US children were home schooled in 2019. Only one year later, a colossal shift towards home learning has been thrust upon unprepared American families.
And those numbers could rise further in the coming weeks. As schools continue to adjust their plans, families are forced to endure yet more uncertainty. Of the surveyed parents, 25% are still unsure of their family’s Fall strategy.
With so much up in the air and the school year starting, it’s no wonder that 53% of parents report discomfort regarding the upcoming school year. While 27% of parents are pursuing their own “pandemic pods,” in which groups of students learn together in homes under the tutelage of a parent or hired teacher, the survey reveals that over 30% of respondents are unfamiliar with the pod concept. It’s abundantly clear that we’re not all on the same page when it comes to teaching our kids. This Fall is sure to feature a diverse patchwork of approaches, which adds yet another challenge for parents.
Parents around the country are desperate for guidance. They want to be heard, and they need support.
Need for Support
“Despite a range of different educational strategies, parents are united in their concern for each other’s children”, says Tim O’Connor, SVP Marketing at Discount School Supply. “Of the 4,600 parents surveyed, 72% worry that not all children will have the support they need to be successful this Fall.”
The same group of surveyed parents share concerns that they may struggle to provide their children with the comprehensive “social-emotional support” that they traditionally receive at school. Almost 70% of parents highlight their children’s social-emotional needs as their chief concern going into this Fall, ahead of their own mental health.
Parents are worried that they lack the skills and tools to effectively support their children’s learning. Of the 4,600 parents surveyed, only 25% indicate that they are “super comfortable” with their children’s ability to use the EdTech needed to be successful with remote learning. Similarly, the same low percentage of parents are “super comfortable” with their own ability to use the necessary EdTech. Parents, it seems, are uncomfortable with the idea that they too are going back to school, and that they’re not equipped to succeed.
Tools for Success
So how do homes magically become remote learning environments that can transport familiar rooms into new and exciting learning spaces? How do parents successfully approximate classrooms in meaningful ways as they struggle to identify effective products amidst a sea of identical-seeming brands?
Discount School Supply’s Tim O’Connor believes parents should turn to the companies that their teachers and schools have been using for years. “Discount School Supply has been providing innovative, high-quality and grade-appropriate educational products, with guaranteed low prices for over 35 years” O’Connor says. “With DSS incorporating cutting edge technologies, education pedagogy, and early brain research science into our school supplies, learning products, curriculum, and education furniture, parents can shop with us with ease, speed, and confidence during this challenging time, so they can spend more time focused on parenting.”
With so many unknowns regarding this upcoming school year, parents need guidance and support in order to navigate the deep waters still to come. Parents can turn to experienced education professionals in order to provide that support, in the form of tools and supplies that can transform their homes into spaces that allow children to learn. In a world of questions, parents deserve answers, and Discount School Supply has been providing solutions for over 35 years, including this most unique year of all.