For the adults in the house, trying to do their own jobs while helping children with class work has become one of the most trying aspects of the pandemic.
Daniel Levin’s son, Linus, 7, was supposed to be doing math. Instead, he pretended to take a shower in the living room, rubbing a dry eraser under his arms like a bar of soap, which upset his 5-year-old sister, distracting her from her coloring. As much as he tried, Mr. Levin, who lives in Brooklyn, could not get Linus to finish the math. His hopes for the reading assignment were not high, either. “He’s supposed to map out a whole character trait sheet today,” Mr. Levin said one day last week. “Honestly, if he writes the name and the age of the character, I’ll consider that a victory.” Ciarra Kohn’s third-grade son uses five different apps for school. Her 4-year-old’s teacher sends lesson plans, but Ms. Kohn has no time to do them.