BLOOMER (WQOW) -- As the pandemic continues to impact families, one local mother-of-four decided to make a Facebook page where parents could express concerns with virtual learning to help them navigate this new way of school.
"I wanted the Facebook page to be an opportunity for families to connect on whatever aspects of virtual homeschooling they were struggling with," Katie Bushman said. "Sometimes you want to touch base and know that other families are struggling with the same things that you are."
Bushman, who has two children in kindergarten and a fourth-grader this year, said the virtual school option was the right choice for them.
"I know it wasn't an easy option for most families, and I know that there are so many families that are torn between wanting to keep their kids home and also needing to work," she said.
Of course, it has been an adjustment for her and the children, made even trickier by her fight with bladder cancer.
"Actually, yesterday was just my last day of chemotherapy. So we're really excited we had the option not to send them in person," she said.
She decided to create the Facebook page, Chippewa Valley Learning At Home, to help get other families in touch with their districts and to feel a sense of solidarity.
"I've put some materials [on the Facebook page] to do, what I was describing, where you go to a park, but you turn it into an educational opportunity," she said. "You can either learn about the park's history or explore shapes and colors or work on spelling while you're there."
Bushman encourages other parents to even just step outside to their backyard with their children to promote learning.
"We listen to the different sounds, and we compare leaf shapes, and we talk about the leaves change and fall off, and we talk about deciduous trees," she said.
"We're just trying to turn our normal everyday activities to things that are one step up and little more educational. So that they can still enjoy their day-to-day activities, and their sense of normalcy, but also make it a learning opportunity."
School administrators and librarians are also on the Facebook page checking in to see how they can assist parents, Bushman said.
Issues, like problems with online learning tools, have been specifically addressed by the Chippewa Valley Unified School District after parents, on the page, took their collective concerns to administrators.