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Bobby is a sixth grader at North Brookfield Elementary School in western Massachusetts. He’s crazy about the Loch Ness monster. He’s into math and Minecraft. And he likes online learning.
“It’s a lot easier to focus,” he says. “I can be in my room and be a lot more comfortable doing stuff.”
(S)ome are realizing that their children do better in online school. By most accounts, it’s the case for students who focus better when they are not around classmates.
Bobby has ADHD and sometimes gets seizures. (NPR isn’t using last names to protect students’ privacy.) This means that the 11-year-old often needs to take breaks from class, whether it is because of a seizure or just because he wants to walk around the room to get some of his energy out. Even though he already had some accommodations when school was in-person, online learning makes it easier for him to accommodate his own needs.
Another benefit for Bobby is that all his assignments, readings and instructions are laid out on his computer. His mother, Tashena Holmes, says that’s because Bobby used to get into trouble for missing assignments.
“Whereas with remote school, they usually send videos, so he can rewind it as much as he wants and all the information’s right there so he can reread it,” she says.