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'Not a fan': Grandma, 4th grader rate homeschool one week in

"I like the way, at school, like you can see everyone, see your teachers and be face-to-face and not through a screen," said 4th grader Lily Wodhanil.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Stay-at-home orders went into effect for many communities and the Governor issued a statewide order that will begin on Monday.

But for families with children, it was school-at-home this entire week as public health officials try to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Schoolchildren completed one full week of home-school after the entire state of North Carolina switched to distance learning.

Many families are adapting and adjusting but many others still find it a challenging and different experience.

Lily Wodhanil, a 4th grader at Northern Guilford Elementary School says she's somewhere in the middle on homeschooling.

"I will give it a three," said Lily when asked to rate the week so far.

Lily said it has been interesting interacting and videoconferencing with her teachers and classmates via Zoom, Face Time or Google Duo. While she has learned new ways to use technology, Lily says she misses her friends and prefers going to school.

"I like the way, at school, like you can see everyone, see your teachers and be face-to-face and not through a screen," she said as she explained the positives and negatives in her choice of rating.

"I'd give it a three because you don't have to wake up as early," added Lily.

Once optional, Distance Learning is now mandatory, with the heightened concerns over the continued spread of coronavirus throughout the United States.

As the health system battles the virus, homeschool is the only way students can learn for at least the next 2 months. Public health officials believe by keeping children at home and from making contact with their peers at school, they can prevent more people from contracting the virus and halt its spread.

Lily's grandmother Debbie who is a retired educator says activity and interaction with teachers and peers are vital to a child's educational development. 

"I've never been a fan of homeschooling for these very social reasons," said Debbie Wodhanil who's helping supervise Lily's learning and care for her while her parents are at work.

Wodhanil gives the online learning structure and materials, help from teachers and principal with Guilford County Schools a top-notch rating.

"The system did an excellent job with preparing the teachers in order to move forward...so I would give the school system and the teachers probably five, the whole idea of homeschooling probably a two," she added.

Wodhanil said sacrificing school and keeping everyone at home at this time though is important for everyone's safety.

"We have no choice, we have to stay at home and apart from each other for the time being and we will just keep plugging away," she concluded.

Many families say they appreciate the quality time they're now forced to spend with each other but wished the circumstances were different. 

Governor Cooper says schools will remain shut till May 15. 

A decision on if they'll remain closed for the rest of the school year depends on how efficiently public health officials are able to contain coronavirus.

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