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Parents Shuffle to Keep Kids Entertained and Educated as Coronavirus Closes Schools

Leah Paul, like millions of others, is finding her new normal. 

She’s now working from home, teaching live online music classes, as counties across the nation lock down or consider self-quarantine for residents. 

She left the in-person studio le…

Leah Paul, like millions of others, is finding her new normal. 

She’s now working from home, teaching live online music classes, as counties across the nation lock down or consider self-quarantine for residents. 

She left the in-person studio lessons behind over coronavirus concerns — in California, more than 300 cases were reported by Monday.

“I kind of panicked because this is our livelihood. So I started researching video conferencing. And I just quickly put everything online,” said Leah Paul said of her company, Sweet Potato Music.

From her living room in Atwater Village, she’s connecting with other parents and their kids — who are also stuck at home. 

It’s kind of like staying afloat until you can figure out what the new reality is going to be.

But it’s not just trying to entertain children at home, after school districts across the region, including LAUSD — the second largest in the nation — were closed.

Parents who are home with their kids are also trying to teach.

Via a video-chat interview, Jessica Englbreston, a high school math teacher and mom of two, said she’s trying her best to accommodate. 

“Maybe I’m a little biased since I am a teacher. My goal is always to educate,” she said. 

She created assignments for her students. She said she wants them active and engaged while their schools are shut down.

But she says being away from her students is also tough.

“Most teachers find it difficult being away. We care about them, not just as students, but as people. We’re worried about their safety, that they’re getting enough to eat,” she said. 

Some high school students are also trying to stay on track with their work.

Adam Ordaz goes to Warren High School in Downey and are trying to stay focused on their digital assignments.

“I’d rather be in school because this discipline is hard, in my opinion, so I assume many others aren’t following it really,” Adam said. 

Learning from home presents a new challenge of staying focused, but for now, is the only option for many. 

LAUSD will be opening up resource centers Wednesday where they are said to offer hot meals as well. Here’s a list where other districts are offering meals for students in the meantime. 

Dream Center in Echo Park, a volunteer service, also welcomes LAUSD students to eat breakfast or dinner.

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