Richmond business offers in-home support for families struggling with virtual learning

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In a time where parents everywhere are struggling to be the educational bridge between their children and the laptop, entrepreneur Samuel Anderson has stepped up to create a business called Direct Learning Solutions (DLS) that aims to give relief to families stressed out with the challenges of virtual learning by providing educational supervisors right into the home.

“It’s laughable to think that a third or fourth grader is going to sit in front of a computer for five hours a day and actually learn something, most students are going to need that hands-on assistance," said Anderson. “Their teachers are providing the educational piece virtually, but we’re there to assist in filling the gaps.”

DLS works by providing facilitators with educational backgrounds into the host families' homes. From there, parents can choose between different learning pods which include one-on-one learning, pods between four to five students, and a price reduction for pods of up to six students.

DLS staff also have a list of COVID procedures that have to be taken care of before the start of that learning time.

“We want to provide an educational support service where our staff go in and help continue the academic instruction that the kids are receiving in this brand new virtual learning classroom,” said DLS Chief Operating Officer, Hez Butler. “Our staff are provided with training to redirect and diffuse situations that occur and work with kids because not everybody is built to work with kids.”

“We have somebody there to be there with them and provide that adult supervision so that parents can get back to work,” said Anderson

Our team brings education to your front door. Allowing parents to get back to work and students to take control of their education.

Posted by Direct Learning Solutions on Monday, July 27, 2020

Additionally, DLS Executive Director Robin Martin Lawson says that all facilitators who will be supervising students are CPR and First Aid certified, and have been fully vetted and have extensive background checks.

“We take all of the onus off of the parents in hiring, we have insurance that covers them, we’ve done all that vetting, we’ve done all that training, we’ve done all the interviewing,” said Martin Lawson. "It’s making sure that the kids are staying on task, they’re able to log in, they’re able to click on the links that they’re supposed to but if they’re trying to do a worksheet that they can’t figure out...there’s someone there that can help them.”

Facilitators like Keel McNeer have been supervising students since the virtual fall semester began. She says her role is necessary to make sure that learning over the screen is retained and reinforced in the student.

“I am with them from the moment they sign in to the moment they sign out, a lot of students need that one-on-one connection just to continue their education beyond the screen,” said McNeer. “I come in and I already have information about their teacher and what they’ll be learning for at least the first couple weeks of school if not for long.”

Even though the business was born from the challenges to learning brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson says the services DLS provides will be in high demand even after schools are able to physically teach students.

“You’re going to have some families that don’t want to send their kids back to public school, they don’t want to pay the high cost of private school - we’re going to be that thing right in the middle,” said Anderson. “Our tagline is ‘we bring education directly to your front door.”

Direct Learning Solutions focuses on grades K-5, but they have plans to expand all the way to grade 12 in the near future. If you would like to consult this DLS for your student click, HERE.

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