It takes a village

Grace Whitaker '22, Web Editor

The Teranes family house is always full of energy, now more than ever. Mother Kayla Teranes is navigating online preschool with her son Andy and taking care of her youngest daughter, Greta, while her husband works out of the house and daughter Eva Teranes ’22 works through her sophomore year.
Kayla Teranes, mother of five children, said older siblings and parents are now taking on the role of at-home teachers to help keep the young children in the family focused ever since students made the sudden switch to online schooling last week in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Eva has been like a fill-in teacher when I’m busy with Greta,” Kayla Teranes said. “She’s been an incredible help– I can’t imagine what it would be like without her home.”
Eva is the middle child of the five kids, and said she has been helping her parents with her younger siblings since she was in middle school.
“I’m not used to teaching kindergarten and then, all of a sudden, everyone has to pitch in and help,” Eva Teranes said. “For me, I can get through my schedule and my day-to-day and understand (the remote learning), but of course, younger kids need that help.”
While Eva loves helping out, she said finding a schedule that works for everyone in such a packed house has been difficult.
“Having our different schedules and trying to figure out what works, while also trying to keep everyone else in mind, has been really hard,” Eva Teranes said. “Like today, Andy and I both had Zoom meetings scheduled at the same time.”
Andy is five years old and currently in preschool. According to Kayla, his school day consists of reading, XtraMath, Lexia (an online early learning program) and
some worksheets at home. Because he is doing school from home, she said it has been difficult to keep him focused on his work.
“(Andy) wants to get up and go play, he wants to go outside, he wants to go do other things,” Kayla Teranes said. “Eva has been a huge help and a change of pace when (Andy) gets frustrated with me.”
Kamryn Richards ’22 is the oldest of five children in her family. She said balancing her schoolwork while looking after her four younger siblings has been very hectic.
“We usually do not fight, but since we’re all in one big place, it’s easier for us to get on each other’s nerves and start fighting,” Richards said.
Richards said she has been struggling with staying focused on her own work while also looking out for her siblings in any way that she can.
“It’s just hard to do school,” Richards said. “If someone’s fighting or playing a game and they’re getting really excited, it’s kind of loud. I’ll be doing something, and then all of a sudden you hear screaming, yelling and stuff, and I just have to block it all out.”
Richards said she is always lending a helping hand with her siblings and has been lovingly nicknamed by her grandma “the third parent.” Richards’ parents are both teachers managing their own classroom schedules, she said, so they rely on her a lot to help out.
“I have two siblings who can manage themselves and take care of themselves, but my two younger siblings, (who are) seven and five, need a little more help with things,” Richards said. “So, I’ve always helped (my younger siblings) out with stuff when my parents are busy.”
While students are learning how to navigate online school and work from home, so are parents according to Teranes.
“We’re still kind of at the beginning of all this, we’re still trying to figure out,” Kayla Teranes said. “The first week was a little stressful, but as the days go on we’re learning what works and what doesn’t.”