Parenting & Family

How is your school handling online learning?

Sr. Member
Aug 7, 2019
844 posts

How is your school handling online learning?

A family member I know has had their school transition into online learning (grade 4).

All they do is get a few things assigned on Monday that they finish and submit on Google classroom by the end of the weak. They really aren't doing much.

I would like to hear how this is being handled in other schools.
18 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
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Give it some time. Our province announced school closures mid March then we had spring break. The first week back was just figuring It the technology and access. They did a base just to see what kids have at home as some have multiple kids on the same device.

For grade 4-6 they have an equivalent of 5 hours of work a week that’s in the core subjects. It was usually assignments posted on Monday, meet ups a couple of times a week with the teacher availed for help via email or chat. They have been adding a little more, but not much. This is in the public system.

We have many friends in private school, and it varies. It seems to be most of the day on line via conferences.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
605 posts
DrDoomsday wrote: A family member I know has had their school transition into online learning (grade 4).

All they do is get a few things assigned on Monday that they finish and submit on Google classroom by the end of the weak. They really aren't doing much.

I would like to hear how this is being handled in other schools.
Here in Ottawa it is 5 hours a week of assigned work that has been taking my grade 6 about that to complete with a focus on language (English and French) and math. Two google meets a week, one with each teacher. Overall seems to be going ok.
Sr. Member
Dec 12, 2005
532 posts
OP, my elem kid (Gr 2) is the same. Upload things to portal that needs to. They are also provided some YouTube videos that he watches, some activities that they do not have to submit works, access to IXL for Math and Epic! Books for reading which I make him do a couple of hours a day to keep him busy. They will be starting a Zoom meeting this week so we’ll see how it goes.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
2253 posts
As a teacher I'm disappointed to hear when students aren't given the option of meeting online with their teacher/classmates.

I teach Grade 8 and we meet online 3 times a week for about an hour as a class. I teach live lessons and some weeks we meet a 4th time just to connect socially and play some games (kaboom, scavenger hunts etc.). I also upload some assignments that don't require a live lesson throughout the week. As well, I have a set office hour every day where students or parents can pop in and ask questions or just talk if they wish. I'm also available by appointment outside of office hours.

I would strongly encourage any parents who are unhappy with their kid's online learning environment to first contact the teacher. My daughter's teacher wasn't going online and I contacted her teacher asking if she would be providing the opportunity for my daughter to meet with her and her classmates as she missed all of them. The teacher set it in motion and slowly but surely implemented the program.

I will say however that you have to be open minded about things. We teachers are in a very difficult position in how much we assign and how much we meet. Some parents have unrealistic expectations of how long their children should be online for. If we push online meetings too much or assign too much work then none of it will get done by the majority of students. If we meet too frequently then students will stop showing up. If students stop showing up and we start contacting parents constantly about it then there's a serious risk of alienating parents and families. You may think that's their problem and you're likely right, but these are not outliers. Depending on the school they may easily be the majority. We have to walk a fine line in pushing students/parents while also ensuring they remain engaged in education. It will definitely vary from school to school and even classroom to classroom.

Ultimately though just reach out to the teacher if you're unhappy with how online learning is being done. Be polite but ultimately advocate for your child's needs. Hopefully any teacher worth a grain of salt will do their best to accommodate your child's needs if what they need is reasonable during these crazy times.
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2010
1359 posts
My oldest son in grade 4 gets about 15 hour of work per week, normally given as a package on Monday with things due on various days of the week. My son's teacher is technology impaired so there are no live meets and often times the assignment need to be updated once or twice during the week so that they're do-able. She's slowly getting better, which I'm happy to see. I think the amount of work is varied enough that my son is getting a decent learning experience from it, although this on-line learning is nowhere equivalent to in-class learning.

My other son is in SK, he also gets a weekly plan with 3 items to do each day, we pick and choose sometimes for the items as I prefer the reading and math (Raz-kids & Dreambox) I have him doing to supplement the SK activities. His teachers have been really good about assembling pictures that student's parents send in showing their work into montages to send back to the students so that they're still "seeing" each other. I would not want live meetings for SK as it would be a gong show.
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Oct 24, 2012
11536 posts
We get some 20-30 pages every week. Half of it is instructions for the parents, linking to many other contents online to give to the kids. The other half is material for the kids.

It requires 100% parental implication because of the complicated instructions, which is 10x worse than when we only had to help with homeworks during pre-COVID.

Note that my wife and I are still working fulltime, but working from home, so no time during the weekenday, so we try to catch up on weekends, but it's too long to do it all on a weekend without ruining the weekend completely for the parents (and burning out our kid who has to do 1 week's worth in 2 days).

I wish the teachers would record a video instructing the kids to do things step by step. A video can be played and paused, rewinded, etc.
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Aug 22, 2011
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I'm doing all of the teaching.
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
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Ottawa, ON
For my grade 4 son, the teacher is doing 1 hour x 2 days a week and sends homework, not as much as I would like. So we help him with things he's has problem with and give him additional work. By the looks of it, he's probably doing the recommended 5hrs per week for school, but with the additional work and teaching we do, it's a total of about 10hrs. Ideally we want him to do 2hrs per day, 1hr in the morning and 1hr in the afternoon.

For my SK son, the teacher sends a weekly plan every Monday with links to videos and worksheets that we print. There is a lot like 5-8 items per day but most of them are things that he needs help with like reading and math. The teacher has done 2 video chat so far, 30 mins each, but it was mostly to have a chance to get in touch with everyone, sing a few songs, etc. They were not for teaching. Besides, I don't think teaching JK/SK by video call would work as they were all talking at the same time and chaotic. My son didn't like it both times as he couldn't say anything.
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Jan 11, 2008
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For my daughter in SK they are set up on Google Classroom and post a set of weekly activities each week on Monday. There are different activities in different areas. Then throughout the week, the teacher will post some Youtube videos of certain books or songs for the letter of the week. There are also 2 other teachers that post a different activity twice a week. We haven't had a live video meet yet, but are having our first one this Thursday. It's optional - attend if you want/are able to and come or go at any time throughout the scheduled hour. The ECE and teacher have all posted several recordings and videos they have made of songs, etc. that my daughter has really liked. They are very active online responding to work that has been completed and posted. Also there has been access to Epic books and a math site provided that is fun.

The teacher has called twice and spoken to my daughter who was happy to hear from her. The teacher has been great and advised me that there was more than the suggested amount of work posted (as for timing) but it was to ensure that there was lots to pick from. It isn't expected that it all be completed. Do what you want to and what you can do which will vary depending on your circumstances.
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Jan 17, 2002
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My son's SK meets daily for about 40 minutes on Google classroom, they split it into two 40 minute sessions of 12 kids . It is just a lot of practising French since it is a FI class. Weekly assignments are emailed, some songs by the music teacher are sent too, usually just her singing with a guitar or accordion. We are both working so it is a struggle to get through it all, we just try to make sure he is progressing in his reading and does some math exercises.
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Oct 26, 2003
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vkizzle wrote: Inefficient...
I'm doing all of the teaching.
You know what could be worse? International university students paying $50k a year in tuition and room and board to stay on campus only to learn in online classes.
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Aug 22, 2011
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divx wrote: You know what could be worse? International university students paying $50k a year in tuition and room and board to stay on campus only to learn in online classes.
That's an acceptable norm.

An SK and grade 1 teacher struggling to control young kids through a screen is beyond amusing.
"Ok, everyone mute your mic and only turn on when you have a question"... half the kids still have the mic on and you can hear all sorts of background noises.
Jr. Member
Feb 6, 2020
155 posts
Before allowing elementary school children to use video conferencing apps, I hope school boards are taking note of potential privacy issues and how children's data is being used by companies.

It's Not Just Zoom. Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Webex Have Privacy Issues, Too

"While there are differences among the privacy policies of the different platforms, on balance, the differences aren't enormous," says Bill Fitzgerald, a privacy researcher in Consumer Reports' Digital Lab who analyzed the documents. "And from a privacy point of view, none of these options are great."

According to their privacy policies, all three companies can collect data while you're in a videoconference, combine it with information from data brokers and other sources to build consumer profiles, and potentially tap into the videos for purposes like training facial recognition systems.

All of the companies responded to questions by Consumer Reports, saying that they respect consumer privacy without refuting our core findings.”

I’m skeptical all parents would be thrilled about school boards approving live conferencing software if they were made aware of these policies. Zoom has spent months scrambling and fixing security issues.

“Umm, let me think. Yes, I agree to let children’s images and video interactions be used by Google, potentially, to improve facial recognition. Further, I agree to let data brokers create consumer profiles on children." Face With Rolling Eyes If I were a teacher, there’d be no way I’d want to use these programs for work without privacy policy changes being made first.

WebEx has facial recognition turned off by default, at least. Seems like the best of bad options. Unfortunately, most boards aren’t using Webex.

“[T]he companies seemed to reserve the right to access recordings of meetings for business purposes, along with details such as who was on a call. Our researchers found the documents were short on details and contained confusing language.” ... -cr-study/
Feb 25, 2007
44 posts
Hello all RFD parents! I am so glad this post came up. I couldn't agree more with some of the comments made by a couple of posters.

The time and effort my wife and I have put in with homework seems a lot more during the pandemic. Mind you we are both working full-time. During the year, the workload was easily manageable and almost non existent on certain weeks. As a parent of gr 4 & 6 children, aside from the daily assignments from ea course, there is virtually no interaction with his teacher. Maybe the odd weekly Google meet with his teachers.

One of my concern is some of the questions are so vague. There's no practice lesson to buld up an understanding to the assignments. The worst part so far is there is no feedback, grading or comments on the submitted assignments.