The Struggles of School: At Home Edition


March 12, 2020, the Thursday before California shut down:

As I dive into my synthesis essay for my AP Language and Composition class (AP Lang), my eyes immediately catch sight of a name: COVID-19. As I grumble in frustration of how this virus is taking over my life, I then sigh, knowing that I will never be able to escape it. The prompt requires me to form an argument on the factors that my school should consider when closing school and if they should. Scanning the documents for evidence to create my argument, I stumble upon a quote:

Education is not a place but a service.

While that quote is very true and accurately represents today's situation of "online school," students are struggling to perform, stay motivated, and focus in the presence of the comforts of home.

were all zoomers now
we're all zoomers now

1. Lower Level of Performance

As things change, people have to adapt to their surroundings in order to do well in their environment. In school, students are adapted to learn, observe, and react, allowing them to perform to their potential. In the classroom, there are 3 main types of learners— auditory, visual, and hands-on. Auditory learners have the privilege of listening to their professors speak while visual learners can observe and write down what their professors are highlighting on the whiteboard or in the notes. With the introduction of online school, visual and auditory learners alike have not been as affected as hand-on learners, a type of learner that requires a physical element like writing down notes, making projects, and interacting with objects. Hands-on learners will have a harder time performing to the level that they are used to due to the lack of interaction. This will cause decrease in grades and quality. The online learning style also effect other students who have a hard time learning via screen, wish to ask questions after class, and those who do well in a group setting.

The Struggles of School: At Home Edition

2. Lack of Motivation

Targeting the study of the mind and human behavior, psychology addresses how in different environments, people have different mindsets and approaches to certain circumstances— a concept called association. Association refers to the cognitive connection between ideas, places, and certain mentalities from previous experiences and behaviors. Association can affect a person's memory and [style/progress of] learning. This is the main reason why studying and learning from the same location as when you take a test helps you do better on the test because your brain recognizes similarities between when you were learning and when you had to reciprocate that information.

Anyways in this case, online learning can cause students who associated home with comfort and relaxation to feel unmotivated to complete classwork or not pay attention as much as they would at school. (Not to brag at all) To provide some context, I am a straight A student taking AP and Honors classes at a private college preparatory school— in short, I am a good student at a hard school. Whenever I go to school, I make sure to work hard, pay attention, ask questions and fully understand the material being taught; however, when I return home, I lay in bed to find comfort and relaxation. Now that I am in online school, I find myself struggling to keep up because where I once used as a place to avoid work, I now have to complete rigorous assignments. The mixed-matched association is creating a lot of problems for me and other students alike, all dealing with the lack of motivation to complete the same quantity with a high quality.

(PS I know people are going to tell me to just work done and I am but it is harder than usual and I'm proving how this aspect of psychology is creating a lot of difficulties for me in online school)

*soooo excited for class*
*soooo excited for class*

3. The Inability to Focus

Phones chiming, music playing, birds chirping, people talking. Distractions. All are distractions and IT. IS. HARD. I have a younger sister who 4. Since she is not in preschool, our house has become her preschool. Everyday I find her: running down the hall loudly, constantly watching her shows, and keeping the sound level on max while she plays Wii sports and the Legend of Zelda(Yes she is pretty good at Zelda and is better than me lol). What I'm trying to say is that homes are full of distractions. Even without my sister I have a hard time staying on one task for an extended amount of time because so many things are happening at once. My dog is pacing, phones ringing, and messes to be cleaned up.

School is a great place for education because it is a place away from all of such distractions, enabling students to stay on task and focused on the assignment at hand. Without school, distractions come poring in. I mean, who doesn't go through social media like 5 or more times a day? No one because social media and phones are distracting and having them at hand closer than ever before is even worse for students trying to learn. It drags them away from their classwork to focus on something even *more precious*.

[just make sure you are wearing a shirt. no pants required]
[just make sure you are wearing a shirt. no pants required]

Home might be where the heart is but not where the brain is. Learning at home creates struggles that students have to face alone and is not an ideal environment for education to thrive in. Thank you for reading and I hope I did not bore you. Stay safe and zoom on.

(also enjoy the zoom memes) #zoomers #onlineeducation

The Struggles of School: At Home Edition
Add Opinion

Most Helpful Girl

  • somexrandomxgal
    I thought I was the only one who has been feeling this way. I don't know why the heck I was so happy when all the schools in England have closed temporarily. But I got extremely bored at home for the past couple of weeks. I also have online classes but they're not as helpful and effective as the normal classes at school. I just get distracted easily and home is where I get away from all the busy work outside. So I'm still not used to the new system referring to education. And I feel like I have a lot to catch up cuz I'm not learning that much tbh. I find it quite difficult to be learning stuff online. Like not trying to brag but I was good in maths. But every time my teacher would set me work that I have to do, I get most of the questions wrong and I find it hard to understand the lessons despite the videos and videos they sent. I think I consider myself as a 'hands-on' learner. But I have to get used to this system cuz we might possibly be like this for 6 months and there is no way I'm flopping my subjects
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • sejla
    Well written. My daughter and her boyfriend are both doing at home college. He has a 7 year old brother and 2 year old sister so I’m assuming he has similar issues. My daughter is pretty diligent about getting her work done but it’s getting a bit old 2 weeks in
  • IlyaTheImpaler
    Well I find it more efficient to learn at home. So even though I'm in my final year of university, I am almost entirely self taught. I don't know how I can help, but if someone can't learn things on their own, they will struggle the same way at any decent university. That's a reality.
  • evilpiglet
    The wifi is killing me, I almost didn't get to submit my works on time
    • sparke328

      So accurate! My dad, sister and I are all on the internet and our WiFi is really taking a beating...

  • jabbahut
    Nothing beats going out of the house, I feel the same way for college, would rather go to lectures than sit at home.
  • Anpu23
    I feel you, I took an advanced cource through MIT's advanced learning. And the course requires a specific log in, but due to the virus those logins didn't go out, and after 3 emails and multiple online discussion posts I still don't have an answer. It's driving me crazy, I want this information but I can't go forward in the class, and I am coming up on a test deadline on a problem I simply do not understand because I don't have the proper material. Just hang in there...
    • sparke328

      Thanks and you too. Good luck with that information and good job for taking an MIT class!

    • sejla

      My daughter had to contact a department head because one of her professors wasn’t getting things posted on a timely manner or correctly nor answering email questions. It did help.

    • Anpu23

      @sejla thank you, they finally got back to me last night. Looks like it's worked out.

  • Darshluv
    A very informative Post i aslo like to add
    Students are also facing a lot distrations nowadays beacuse they have to study through smartphones or laptop so it might get a chance to open social media or watch a movie because these things are just one click away, somethings many also lot concentration due lot of notifications coming through these apps.
    To know more-ramagyaroots. com
  • midnightmoon05
    A new struggle we are facing.
    Hope you find a quiet room, lock yourself in there during the time when you need to be doing your work. I agree its not easy.
  • Avicenna
    Excellent points, and rest assured that many others have had similar experiences, albeit usually as college students.

    I'm sure you'll persevere and overcome
  • ChefPapiChulo
    i'm sitting here trying to do some stupid computer homework. I hate it so much. I'd rather be doing anything else than this. I haven't even started it and its been sitting in front of me for hours.
  • Jamie05rhs
    When I was in school I sometimes found it helpful to sit outside and read/write. It's great if you have a deck or patio with a picnic table. Or if you don't have a picnic table just bring a chair out. Besides, the weather is really nice right now.
  • jasco
    I honestly perfer being home schooled anyway i don't like being around most people anyway it does get lonely but at least i don't have to listen to complainin people everyday and its quite to
  • Massageman
    In trying to help out some neighbors and friends who now have "emergency at-home school", I ran across this post at
    Maybe our GaGers will find it useful too. Disclosure: Like usual, no one paid me anything to mention anything. :- ) And, if you use Zoom, be SURE to use a password on it due to the recent "zoombombing" problems.
    • As of today, our school not allow to use zoom with students till further notice.
      They are trying to put more restrictions on Google Classroom.
      Thank you for helping out there :)

    • @midnightmoon05 In some cases, I've heard of small groups forming little virtual study groups with Skpye, too, when they can't use Zoom. Of course, I have no way of knowing if they are speaking specifically about Skype or Zoom, or generically (meaning any sort of on-line talk/video/video chat/conference service.

    • Those work well with extremely discipline students. In fact, they execel in such learning style (group study, discussions... older kids obviously)
      Other wise, new family structure must be set in place with new way of learing with other siblins,/ pets/ distractions... not easy for many. These parents are not used to having kids around ALL day and needing their attentions all day...

    • Show All
  • George090
    Lovely to know
  • Anonymous
    I'm an Open University student so it's amusing seeing everyone struggle with studying at home, whilst OU students are basically teaching themselves for their degree and have done for 50 years. Only now do people appreciate what it's like!
    • I think what Asker writes about is a high school/middle school thing. At universities (mine for example) people who can't learn things like programming languages by themselves never pass first year courses.

    • What is Open University?

    • Anonymous

      @IlyaTheImpaler I believe they do computing and IT degrees where people teach themselves at home.

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    Now that I'm back in school during the shutdown, I have difficulty staying motivated too. That's the biggest struggle for me.
  • Anonymous
    I definitely feel like this at home school is gonna screw up a lot of people's heads. Also... you have a Wii? Me too. You should play Endless Ocean on your schoolwork breaks. Zelda is crazy hard. lol