At-Home Distance Learning: a Hartfield Parent Perspective

The Hartfield Academy Community is about a week into our school-wide distance learning journey, and it is no secret that we are all learning how to manage this season together. The world is navigating an unprecedented obstacle course due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, and Hartfield is no exception. Not only are we learning more every day about this pandemic, but we are also relying more and more upon technology to unite and connect us in ways we have never seen before in the lifetime of our school. 

Our students and faculty have utilized at-home and distance learning for several school days now. As March begins to give way to April, teachers and students are having to work together in ways they never expected. Additionally, parents are partnering with their students on a whole new level as they take an active part in the school-day dynamic.
 
At Hartfield, we take pride in walking in lock-step with our parents in order to do everything we can to achieve our mission of every student fulfilling their God-given purpose. While we did not foresee having to work together in this manner, our administration is incredibly proud of the dedication shown by our teachers and parents to mobilize in educating our students together.

“The teachers at Hartfield are absolutely the best! The assignments we picked up last week were so organized and easy to follow. Kendall was thrilled to receive a video message from Mrs. Marchman and we know we are being covered in prayer by all the teachers and staff at the school.” - Jennifer Van Norman, parent to Kendall (8, 3rd grade) and two Hartfield graduates (Hayden, Class of 2017 and Kaylee, Class of 2019)
 
Lauren Hall, parent to Hazie (10, 4th grade) Ellie Frank (6, 1st grade) and Waverly (5, K4) has jumped right into at-home learning, leaning on the Lord’s strength:

“I know my girls work very well with routine, so I immediately planned out a daily schedule for us. We start out each day the same and try our best to stick to the schedule. This makes the day fly by and we all know what to expect each day. We begin the day with breakfast immediately followed by a walk around our neighborhood either with a scooter, bike ride, or skates - we’ve really enjoyed this part. When we return home, we feel ready to tackle our studies. We start learning time in prayer (led by the girls) and we do a devotion together - I have to admit, this feels like it’s more for me than for anyone else! Asking God to give me the strength, patience, and good attitude to get through the day and for help with any challenges that may come our way makes me feel ready to conquer the day ahead.”
 
Angela Estel, parent to Landon (15, 9th grade), Delena (14, 7th grade), Dawson (8, 2nd grade), was a tad unsure how her family would manage distance learning at first. “My thoughts at first were..overwhelming. [There was] so much information, and honestly I didn’t know if I could handle it all.” But as her family got started, she was encouraged by their experience so far:
 
“My children seem to be managing it very well... they seem to be more on top of it than I am. I’m impressed with how organized they were right off the bat and their attitudes about it have been one hundred percent positive.”
  
We have not even scratched the surface of the deeply important work being done in the homes of every Hartfield family. We are all learning together, with the hopes that we will be able to reunite and continue the vital classroom experience together, in one building, very soon. Until that day comes, we want to leave you with few words of wisdom from fellow Hartfield Academy parents:

“..See this opportunity as more time you get to spend with your kids. Try to get each day’s work completed in one sitting - it tends to be harder to refocus once you’ve stopped. That being said, it’s important that the kids and parents don’t get burned out, so taking a break is ok once in a while. Just remember that we are all in this together, the teachers are here to help us and we can make it through one step at a time!” -Layla Hutton, parent to Laya (14 yrs old, 9th grade),
Zane (12 yrs old, 6th grade), and Brodie (10 yrs old, 5th grade)
 
“Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect...to have it all together...or to even be on a strict schedule. What we are all going through right now is applying enough pressure to us all... we need to be kinder to ourselves, more forgiving of ourselves ... and trust God that this is all going to work out!  We all love our kids and want what’s best for them and will do our best to make sure they make the very best out of a sad situation.” -Angela Estel
 
“Have fun. Go at your kid’s pace. Try to enjoy this time with your kids!” -Elizabeth Thweatt, parent to Olivia (K4)

“Remember that Hartfield is a family. We are not in this alone. If you need to bounce ideas, ask a question, laugh or cry, just reach out. We are all in this together! Don’t be overly hard on yourself - some days are going to be better than others. And that is perfectly ok. Grace. Lots of grace.” -Jennifer Van Norman
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Hartfield Academy is fully accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Southern Association of independent Schools (SAIS).