Homefront Hazards: Remote Education Leads to Learning Distractions


All fed up: Sophomore Sophia Haines must adjust to her noisy siblings in the new school environment

Many North Atlanta students know the struggles of having a chaotic home environment. Crazy little siblings, nosy parents, and noisy neighbors all contribute to a constant lack of peace and quiet while at home. But now, in light of the current situation with Covid-19, that struggle has begun to influence the school lives of students as well. 

The issue of little siblings is one that the majority of our school population can relate to. Even before the pandemic, students had to deal with their siblings distracting them from homework. Now, just attending class is an ordeal in itself. Imagine trying to answer a question or focus on a test with your little brother screaming in the background. “I never answer questions in class because my little siblings are always barging into my bedroom or yelling back and forth in the next room,” said sophomore Mia Hsu. “It’s so stressful.”

In addition, many parents are now working from home or have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Extra family bonding time is always a plus but being around family 24/7 can also negatively affect school life. Several students have testified that privacy or solitude during quarantine is virtually nonexistent, including during the school day. “My mom seems to think that the camera on Zoom doesn’t apply to her,” said sophomore Ella Kaufman. “One time, I caught her holding my dog up to the screen for my whole class to see.”

Close proximity to family members isn’t the only problem. Living in a noisy neighborhood or apartment complex can be just as detrimental to students’ education as nosy parents or annoying siblings. According to some students, occurrences like a dog barking or a loud argument between neighbors are extremely distracting. “There’s always construction going on in my neighborhood,” said sophomore Mya Cadenas. “I have to stay muted all the time because of it.”

Not everyone sees their turbulent home lives through a 100 percent pessimistic lens. A small but steadfast minority of North Atlanta students have maintained a slightly more positive attitude in the face of adversity. “I’m pretty much fine with my family always being around during online school,” said sophomore Gavin Allvine. “Although I will say the leaf blowers in my neighborhood are sometimes very annoying.”

Whether they tolerate their families and neighbors or abhor them, students at North Atlanta are dealing with their new school lives in the only way they know how: trudging through it.