The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted families from low-income backgrounds. The shift to remote learning has required parents with preschool-age children to adapt to new ways of collaborating with teachers. Given the longstanding inequities in the education of children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, exacerbated by the pandemic, it is critical to learn about the challenges that parents encountered and how they supported their children’s learning. This knowledge will help to identify ways to better serve these communities during times of crisis and beyond. This study examined how Latinx parents from low-income backgrounds engaged in their children’s early education during the COVID-19 crisis. The term Latinx is used in an effort to be gender inclusive when referring to people of Latin American descent. We explored: 1) How do Latinx parents perceive and apply teachers’ suggested activities to support children’s learning during the early childhood education program closure? 2) What parent and child-initiated learning opportunities do parents report? 3) What challenges with remote learning do parents encounter? Twenty parents of preschoolers in a mountain state metropolitan area participated in a 30–45 min. phone interview. All parents spoke Spanish at home to a different degree. Findings revealed the emergence of more authentic parent-teacher partnerships and parents’ extensive engagement in teacher-suggested activities. Importantly, families created a variety of practices to support children’s learning and wellbeing. Yet, a vast majority of parents expressed feeling stressed with the demands of remote education, particularly keeping their child interested in remote learning. Implications for home-school partnerships are discussed. (author abstract)
Rethinking home‑school partnerships: Lessons learned from Latinx parents of young children during the COVID‑19 era
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