Sixty per cent of students feel unmotivated during the pandemic: study
HALIFAX -- When schools across the Maritimes closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, children were forced to say goodbye to a structured routine that stimulated their brains, bodies, and social skills.
Parents are doing the best they can to help their children cope with the transition, but a new Angus Reid poll suggests that both parents and their kids are struggling during the pandemic.
When Alix Robinson's eight-year-old son wrote a note saying “I hate my life,” she shared it on social media, with his permission, to show other families they're not alone.
“I think for school, socializing was probably 90 per cent of what he enjoyed about it," says Robinson.
“I know there are a lot of kids that do really struggle with the change in structure.”
The Angus Reid poll asked 650 children between the ages of 10 and 17 how they are feeling during the pandemic.
When it comes to learning from home, 75 per cent say they are keeping up, 57 per cent dislike it, and 60 per cent feel unmotivated.
“It's been mostly carving out the time to get everything organized, lay out everything that needs to be done, and then kind of monitor it to make sure that he's actually taking in what he should be taking in from the lessons,” says Robinson.
The survey found 71 per cent of children are “feeling bored.” Eighty-eight per cent of kids are watching movies and TV, 74 per cent are playing video games, and 65 per cent are texting and calling friends.
“The thing that's keeping me sane is I get to talk to my friends on like my Xbox,” says Grade 3 student Cary Robinson.
High school student Lucas Seto says he tries to keep himself occupied while stuck at home.
“I listen to podcasts, I've been cooking a lot, baking, so I've been trying to find some new things to do to keep myself entertained,” says Seto.
“I'm usually super, super busy, so it's definitely been a weird adjustment coming home and having not really much to do.”
Another survey, by educational company Osmo, looked at how parents are feeling during the pandemic. It found 71 per cent of caregivers are still working while trying to help their children learn. Two-thirds of parents surveyed say they're running out of ideas to keep their kids engaged.
Mark Humphrey is a country manager at Osmo. He says parents can turn activities at home, like cooking or chores, into educational opportunities.
“Try to take the current environment, the home environment, and actually use it to our advantage,” says Humphrey.
The school year will officially end on June 5 in Nova Scotia, so parents and students will get a break from at-home learning in less than a month.
“We'll have to find some other ways to occupy that space with a little more structured routine, and obviously as the weather gets better it certainly becomes easier to fill that time,” says Robinson.
Robinson advises parents to remember they are not alone and to try to find the positive, even on the days when things are tough.