The emotional toll of distance learning


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Education reporter Laura Meckler explores the impact of distance learning on young kids’ emotional health and behavior — and what families and caretakers can do to help make a difficult situation better.

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In March, school campuses across the United States began to shutter, forcing a nation of students home to pivot — seemingly overnight — to online learning. But left in the lurch are children, especially young children.

After many districts decided to stay online during the fall semester, The Washington Post asked listeners and readers to send a recording of what it’s been like to continue school from home. “We heard back from a lot of kids, and what we heard was sort of a few themes over and over again,” says education reporter Laura Meckler.

On today’s show, Meckler explores the enormous behavioral, physical and emotional toll that online learning has had so far. She speaks with 2020 teacher of the year Tabatha Rosproy and child psychiatrist Matthew Biel about what parents can do to get them, and their children, through Zoom school.

Alexis Diao produced this episode, and reporter Hannah Natanson contributed reporting. You can read some of those submissions and view artwork by children about distance learning here.

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