Online learning adds more ‘homework’ to students with younger siblings

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Jazmine Coto helping her brother(3rd grader) with online learning. (Photo Courtesy: Jazmine Coto)

Jazmine Coto

Distance learning has taken a toll on many students, it has even added to the already full plate of some students with younger siblings who are now willing to help them with their online school work, while simultaneously keeping up with their own tasks. 

Sophia Vazquez, a junior at Don Lugo High School has three younger siblings that she now has to help along with the stress that comes with being an AP student. After about 5 and a half hours spent sitting in front of the computer for school, she then helps her sisters with their homework. Consisting of math, proofreading essays, help in history and science, and double checks all the work they have completed.

Remote education isn’t just a heavy lift for parents, it turns out- it’s a strain for older siblings, too.”

— The74Million.com

The74Million states, “…they’re making cuts to their own education in support of their younger siblings.” With most of the daytime spent helping her siblings, Sophia does not get a chance to start homework until anywhere from 8:30pm to 9pm. “I go to bed around 1:30 or 2am [completing assignments] and I do sometimes feel really tired in the mornings and would want to fall asleep for at least five more minutes,” Sophia said. Older siblings, including Sophia are having to make the sacrifice to ensure that their siblings are situated for school and all their assignments are completed. This added stress has interfered with the performance of school and has made it difficult for students to manage all their school work along with their siblings.  

As students are still making the transition to online learning, there is a lot more independence that comes with the structure of how we are learning from home. This has become challenging for younger students in elementary schools who are not used to being independent with their school work. Older siblings are now having to assist their younger siblings with how to launch a specific platform, to ensure that they are focused during class, and of course help them with homework. 

These added responsibilities have made it difficult for students to perform well in their own studies and has taken time away from completing their own homework assignments as they continue to adapt to school virtually.