Montgomery County parents doubling as educators while kids are home from school

ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- While some kids in Philadelphia have only been out of school for a day, many children in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania have not been going to classes for more than a week, and the unexpected break is not ending anytime soon.

Parents in Abington Township said they are still trying to keep a routine while their students learn at home. Some students are still wearing their backpacks in the morning, and saying their pledge of allegiance just as they would start their day if they were going to their elementary school.

Liam Smith is a student at Copper Beech Elementary School, and while he's home, his dad is his teacher, teaching him in the kitchen area.

"It's been weird, and I really don't like it because I miss my friends," said Smith.

It's a new normal parents and students have to adjust to. Parents said they received learning packets from the school district, so they have plenty of instructional material to go through.

Other parents still have to work all day long, so they have family members stepping in to teach their kids, like Heather Salyer, who said she's teaching her brother's kids while he works, including showing them educational movies.

"They know them better than I do, so hopefully I'm not getting scammed by a 4-year-old, but I probably am," said Sayler.

Rebecca Oursler, has three children, two of whom also go to Copper Beech, and she said it's been a challenge teaching them all at once.

"Math is a challenging one because I learned it differently than my second grader is learning," said Oursler.

Her second-grade daughter said she's enjoying spending time at home with her brothers, and learning from her mom.

"It doesn't feel like a long school day, we finish our school work, and then we can play," said Kara Oursler.

All three neighbors are trying to help each other's kids stay active by participating in a shamrock hunt where they can count shamrocks on their windows while taking a walk around the neighborhood.

Parents also said it's been helpful to communicate over social media and group chats to get ideas from other parents on how to keep their little ones entertained.

"I don't know how teachers do it, I have to say that I value our teachers and I appreciate them a lot more now," said Oursler.

A challenge many parents said they're facing is that their kids have been asking for a lot more snacks since they're out of their routine now and the fridge is in their classroom.

"When they get bored, they come and ask for food," said Oursler.

Starting on Wednesday, Abington School District will be providing free breakfast and lunch, for students who qualify, to pick up at different school locations.

Abington School District's Superintendent, Dr. Fecher, said "We are wishing a safe and healthy two weeks for our Abington School District families, and have provided our students with enrichment activities to help keep school lessons fresh in their minds during our closure. We hope to reopen our buildings on Monday, March 30, but are working out instructional contingency plans as the situation continues to evolve."
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