Expert: Social distancing and distance learning can be bad for young children

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Dr. Aline Yamashita, former senator and early childhood expert, is greatly concerned over how social distancing and home learning are being handled on island and the negative effects this is creating on the students' mental health as well as their educational and social development.

Parents have prioritized the physical health and safety of students when they go back to school, but what about their mental health? Dr. Aline Yamashita was on K57’s Mornings with Patti discussing just that.

Yamashita, a former senator and an early childhood expert, is greatly concerned over how social distancing and home learning are having a negative effect on the students’ mental health as well as their educational and social development.

Also, one of her biggest concerns is that parents with special needs children and those with very limited resources may have a tougher time with the home-learning program as they need much support.

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“I know that you’re not supposed to hold hands, you’re supposed to stay away from others … but all of those kinds of rules are so contrary to how our kids learn, especially our youngest. From our infants to our toddlers, to our preschoolers and to our elementary kids, our kinder and our first graders. And so it’s got to be very trying for our early childhood educators and other assistants to figure out how to educate our school kids,” Yamashita said.

In addition, she points out that although parents are responsible for their children’s education, GDOE and the schools are also responsible for making more of an effort to reach out and help these students and their families during these times.

You can find the audio of the full interview at K57.com.

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