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Family adjusts to home school while campuses closed

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – For many families of public school students in the ArkLaTex, the head of the household is now head of the classroom.

The four students in the Parks family traded their classroom desks for the kitchen table.

“I try to give each one of them individual time because, you know, they all process things differently,” said mom Sabri Parks.

Schools around the area are now closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. That means Parks is left to oversee studies for her kids, ranging from first grade through 10th.

“The hard part about being at home is having to be the teacher, but we are fortunate enough to live in an era of technology,” said Parks.

Parks said her children’s teachers have been helpful during the stay-at-home order, offering video chats with students and other digital resources to aid with the temporary home-schooling.

Parks is playing teacher for her kids, while she herself is back in school. She’s a senior working on her degree in computer information systems.

“Education is key in life,” said Parks.

To strengthen their education, the kids are using iPads and laptops paired with pencils and books. Together, these items combine some elements of school with the comforts of home.

“Whenever I’m not doing work, I just play video games,” said Aubri, a fourth-grader, who said her favorite part about school is lunch.

But using those tech tools for school instead of games has its challenges.

“Having to do the work online is just a little more difficult than doing it in a classroom with the teacher in there and everybody else,” said Jacobie, a 10th grader.

“You just gotta trust in the process and stick with it,” adds 9th grader Jayce. “Just go through it, because you never know what can happen. Just trust in the process.”

For Alizza, the youngest member of the Parks family, more time at home means more time to bond with her siblings.

“They help me with my homework, and they be kind to me,” said Alizza.

Meanwhile, Mom is just ready to leave the teaching to the professionals.

“Teaching, I take my hat off. I appreciate my children’s teachers to the fullest,” said Parks. “Like, they’re amazing.”

Schools in Louisiana are set to re-open April 13, depending on the status of the pandemic.

Students were provided with work to strengthen skills learned in the classroom while at home. The Department of Education waived all standardized testing requirements this school year, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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