Learning in the Time of Corona

FAIRFIELD COUNTY – Students of every age – from pre-K to grad school – are grappling with a completely new set of everyday circumstances, as the coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools. But it’s not just the students who are dealing with big changes. Many parents of school-age children have been pushed into the unfamiliar role of homeschooling, on top of all the other adjustments to daily life – and it hasn’t all been coming up roses, even though their children’s classroom teachers are still at the helm, albeit online.

Richard Winn Academy senior Carson Stuck.

“It was a challenge at first,” said Amy Stuck with a laugh, whose sons Carson (a senior) and Miller (an eighth grader) attend Richard Winn Academy. “We had to figure out all kinds of tech stuff, like how to set up laptops with multiple screens, and how to attend Zoom meetings. And, of course, we all get on each other’s nerves because we’re cooped up together all day, every day,” she said. “But things are getting better. The boys are doing really well. My husband, David, keeps them busy with fishing trips, interesting projects, and learning how to drive a manual transmission. Plus, they enjoy helping out with the cooking.”

Carson, this year’s class valedictorian at RWA, said that managing schoolwork remotely has been challenging.

“Reading and interpreting a work by Shakespeare, alone, was extremely difficult,” he said. “I miss being in a classroom with other students and a teacher who is right there to help.”

Carson is no stranger to adversity and that may have helped him adjust to the Corona-19 adversity. During the spring of his sophomore year he tore his ACL while sliding into second base during Eagle baseball tryouts. After surgery and rehab, he returned to the football squad his junior year, but then tore his ACL a second time. Devastated to be sidelined from football in his senior year, he turned to his faith, along with guidance from his youth leaders, mentors and coaches. Carson said he’s come to understand that despite the stress, uncertainty and disappointments during times like this, he knows that God holds the answers.

“So that’s what I am doing now, drawing on my faith in God, and looking forward optimistically rather than dwelling on what I’m missing or what might have been,” Carson said. 

Like Carson, his whole family is trying to stay hopeful and rely on their faith.

“Now, more than ever,” said Amy, “we need to let God’s plan unfold.”

Amy said that during this experience, the family has been able to go with flow, instead of stressing out about routines or keeping things ‘normal’.

“At first we tried to keep to a typical schedule, because we assumed this was just a short-term thing,” she said, but added that they’re learning to take each day as it comes. “Now we don’t worry about alarm clocks, dress codes or bedtimes. We just keep a consistent family dinner time each day.”

Carson said likes the unexpected opportunity to spend this time with his family, especially since he’ll be leaving for Clemson in the fall.

“But,” he said, “I would much rather be counting down the days at school before graduation than counting the days of quarantine.”