June 12 (UPI) -- Children being separated from classmates and teachers is one the biggest challenges of distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic, parents said in a new Gallup survey released Friday.
Other challenges include children's attention spans and motivation, and balancing jobs with helping children with school. The survey is based on interviews with 1,200 parents around the country.
Forty-five percent of parents said having their children separated from classmates and teachers was a major challenge. Forty-four percent of parents said their children's attention span and motivation were major challenges. Forty-three percent said balancing their job and helping children with schoolwork was a major hurdle.
Two of the concerns many had when schools shut down because of the coronavirus -- technical issues with learning online and access to materials -- have not been major challenges for parents. Only 10 percent of parents listed technical issues with computers or the Internet as a major challenge, and 4% said access to resources was a major challenge.
Fifty-eight percent of parents said technical issues with computers or the Internet were not a problem and another 33 percent said it was a minor problem.
Sixty-seven percent of parents said the inability to access educational websites and resources were not a problem at all of 29 percent it was only a minor problem.
"For the most part, parents believe their child's school has met the challenge [of distance learning during the coronavirus] well," Gallup said. "Still, despite the best efforts of schools, distance learning presents practical challenges for parents and students.
"Being isolated from classmates and teachers, inspiring motivation in children to complete their assignments, and balancing teaching with a paying job are the biggest challenges."
When asked how would they rate their child's school in its distance learning efforts, 77 percent said their teachers did an excellent or good job at being available to answer questions, 71 percent said the same about communication about distance learning programs from the superintendent or principal.
Seventy-five parents said schools did an excellent or good job at providing the materials and equipment their children needed to do their work.