Dear Auntie: how do you keep child who is distance learning accountable?


Hello, it’s Dear Auntie, and I would like to shout out to all teachers and staff who work in our schools throughout America, especially Minnesota! Dear Auntie appreciates you.

On student being home alone and distance learning:

Dear Auntie:

I am a schoolteacher scheduled to go back to work soon; at the same time, my middle school son will be home doing distance learning by himself. I want help with deciding how to make him accountable when he is at home. I want him to be responsible for his academics. He is at an age where responsibility is enormous. Now, I’m not home to supervise. Please, help! 

—Schoolteacher and mother

Dear Schoolteacher:

The first thing that comes to my mind, gone are the days where everyone knew everybody in the neighborhood—when families supported each other without being asked are being blood-related. Just because a child is of age to stay home, does not mean that this is best for our children. I’m just sayin’.

Some students do well with distance learning, and some students just have not matured enough. We have to put a system in place to ensure that our students will be successful by giving them some responsibility and accountability for their education—educated in the sense that they understand that no matter what they want to be when they grow up, one must learn skills. The skills are reading, writing, critical thinking, mathematics, etc.

Dear Auntie’s guidelines:

1. Ensure you and your child have a system that you can check homework. 

2. Have an agreed-upon time that the teacher will send you an update on your son’s progress.

3. Have his father or a trusted adult check on him throughout the day when possible.

4. Have your son’s school schedule.

5. Help your son to know that school is his priority and job.

6. Teach your son about time management.

When a child is able to do his/her best in whatever they do, the child develops a sense of pride.

Always remember that Dear Auntie gives you her perspective, and you make the final decision. Have a question? Send your inquiries to