The New York Times asked children how they felt about learning online at home and most said they would rather be at school.

This article was written by Henry Dodd, age 11, whose father works for the Times.

Kids are getting more bored by the day. We wish we could go back to school to see our friends. But some of us are also really scared about getting the coronavirus, and we don’t want our friends and family to get it either.

That’s what kids across the country told The New York Times (where my dad works) when they were asked about learning from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Some are having fun with their parents and their brothers and sisters, but most are missing their teachers, their friends and their normal lives. (As Dahlia Stringer, who is 11 like me, said in her letter, “Everyone knows little sisters are annoying” — little brothers sometimes are, too.) And a lot are frustrated about missing out on things like spring break, field trips and graduation.

“I’m hoping that things will be back to normal someday,” wrote Sasha Udovich, 9, from Los Angeles.

Same. Home-school is definitely boring, but I really hope we can make it through this safely and return to how things used to be. I miss my friends.

Here are some of the feelings about learning from home that kids across the country shared in letters and emails. They were gathered together and lightly edited by Adeel Hassan, who works with my dad.

Dahlia Stringer, an 11-year-old from San Francisco, has a lot to say about home schooling.

Let’s start with the positives: Family time, freedom and snacks.

I like that I can stay with my parents the whole day because I really, really love them. I like that we can have our own P.E. with our dad. The only thing I don’t like is math. But I still would have been doing that in school, so I guess it’s better to do it at home at least.

— Judah Rajski, 7, Tampa, Fla.

Alice: I like being home because you can eat and drink while you are doing your schoolwork. And you get to do your homework with your sister. You can ask mom or dad to help you, because they are both at home now. You don’t even have to raise your hand.

Shelby: You can go outside and play when you finish your work, while at school, you have to read silently after you finish.

— Shelby Sanders, 10, Alice Sanders, 6, Baton Rouge, La.

It gives me time to work and complete assignments on my time throughout the day. Rather than sit in school for six hours, I can break up the work throughout the day and use the extra time to work around the house or go outside.

— Ana, 15, Southbridge, Mass.

The positive thing about being home during the coronavirus pandemic is that I get to spend time with my family and share with them what I’m learning. I get to involve my parents in activities that I have only done with my friends. I also get to see what my siblings are learning and help them.

— Miabella Capote, Denver, N.C.

I enjoy staying home as long as I don’t think too much about why I’m not at school. I actually have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. I’ve been trying to use that extra time for productive things, like learning how to cook.

— Charlie, 17, Kirkland, Wash.

Samuel: The best thing about being at home is you get to hang around your family more and not being able to be around other people helps you get outside, and do some exercise.

Anna: I do like learning from home because I get more work done than I usually do because I have my parents’ assistance. I don’t because I am away from all of my friends and my teacher’s assistance. It is also difficult to see and do assignments online. But I do get to take breaks, go to the bathroom when I want, eat snacks, go outside, etc. I also don’t have to do any homework if I get all my work done for the day.

— Samuel Rogers, 12, and Anna Rogers, 12, Berea, Ky.

Declan Walsh, a 9-year-old from Brooklyn, says that he misses his friends at school. And he’s bored, too.
But there is a lot that makes it hard.

The worst is that the teachers might not always see your hand when you’re raising it. I really miss my friends and play dates. My mommy, and sometimes my daddy, have to help because it’s too hard sometimes.

— Noah Bresler, 6, Brooklyn

Life without school is much more boring then I thought it would be. Without the summerlike feeling of no work and being able to see friends, it’s actually very depressing.

— Una Hoppe, 14, Beacon, N.Y.

It’s really easy to get distracted at home. I like going to school and using the time at school to do schoolwork. Now all schoolwork is done at home, so my brain thinks there’s more homework because my brain hasn’t adjusted to staying home the whole day. Learning is difficult because before you were jogging and now you are crawling.

— Juny Tranel, 11, San Francisco

The thing I miss most about school is my friends, but I FaceTimed my friend today and I liked it.

— Ruth Rajski, 6, Tampa, Fla.

It’s hell. My teachers think what a responsible amount of work to be assigning is 40 minutes (about a class period) plus half an hour plus of homework. This is from EVERY teacher, so it adds up real fast. Over the last few days, I’ve had more work than I would usually have if schools weren’t closed — and I have to do it all sitting in the same spot for hours.

— Jasper Smith 17, Brooklyn

Because the work is optional, and the homework is not for a grade, I know many friends who choose not to work on it. Along with that, the assignments do not go along with what I’m currently learning at school. The homework is assigned to the entire grade, the levels of students academic-wise are different. Some students may be taking geometry, while others may be taking algebra or math. The assignments are often easy for a certain group of people, while for others it’s difficult.

— Bryan, 14, Pennsylvania

“I like our video morning meeting every day with my teachers and friends,” says Ella Diwan, 6, of Manhattan. “It makes me feel like I’m still at school. My baby sister won’t leave me alone, so I decided to let her join.”
“I like our video morning meeting every day with my teachers and friends,” says Ella Diwan, 6, of Manhattan. “It makes me feel like I’m still at school. My baby sister won’t leave me alone, so I decided to let her join.”
The technology can be fun, but it doesn’t always help.

I’m doing online learning through Google Classroom, and sometimes it’s difficult. My math problems won’t attach, the file didn’t save properly. But we have to work through that, and it’s necessary to help others.

— Eleanor Pitcher, 14, Wales, Mass.

I like our video morning meeting every day with my teachers and friends. It makes me feel like I’m still at school. My baby sister won’t leave me alone, so I decided to let her join.

— Ella Diwan, 6, Manhattan

I’m a visual learner, and so I prefer to take a hands-on approach, including marking up and annotating the work before me on actual paper. However, with online learning, it’s difficult, and I find myself writing much more than I usually would. My phone is right next to me, so it’s so easy to pick up my phone and text my friend, who I see on the screen, or check the newest post on Instagram and TikTok.

— Daniella Ojugo, 17, Burlington, N.J.

It’s harder to focus at home as there’s no one to discipline you for playing on your phone or talking to a friend. It’s harder to grasp certain concepts, specifically those that are more hands-on. It’s harder to ask questions since there’s no way to virtually raise your hand. And it’s harder to keep a smile on my face, because I don’t know if or when I’ll see my teachers and classmates in person again.

— Josephine Dlugosz, 18, Woodstock, Conn.

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Sasha Udovich, 9, left, and Anna Schofield, 8, finding a way to say hello in Los Angeles.
Sasha Udovich, 9, left, and Anna Schofield, 8, finding a way to say hello in Los Angeles.
Many kids miss their friends and would rather be at school.

I miss my friends and having a regular schedule. I used to complain every day about having to go to school, but being in quarantine has really made me appreciate being in class. I’m sure that when I go back in the fall, I’ll probably go back to disliking it again, but for now I wish I was back in school.

— Molly Lawrence, 16, Hyattsville, Md.

I would prefer to go to school rather than be taught curriculum at home, because then I would be able to play with my friends at recess and talk with them at lunch. My parents don’t know what my teacher would teach, so I can’t learn the new science curriculum. I can only review science I have already been taught.

— Kaelin Cunningham, 11, Fairfax, Va.

It’s not as glorious as it seems. It gets boring. I personally am starting to miss my friends and my teachers. I sit inside all day and work. Yes, I am grateful for what I have, and I am grateful I still have a family. Staying home and doing distant learning has made me discover deep respect for teachers I didn’t even know I have. Now I see how hard they work for their students. I see how much they care.

— Tatum Connolly-Wazewski, 13, New Windsor, N.Y.

There are days where I don’t want to do any work, and it’s really easy to just not do it. Learning at school definitely helps motivate me to get my work done, because I’m in the environment to do work and there’s really nothing else I can do. At home I have the liberty to literally do anything other than schoolwork.

— Valeria Ramos, 16, Riverdale Park, Md.

I feel like I understand more at school than at home looking at the screen. I think some of my teachers try their best to teach me through video calls, but for some subjects, it doesn’t always work or help. Sometimes I am lost. Even if I ask a million questions, I don’t feel that it is the same, and I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I would rather be at school than home. I find it distracting that I am at home and learning at the same time, because there are so many distractions — you either hear the TV on, someone’s cooking, police and ambulance sirens in the background, etc. I can say emotionally my teachers have been very helpful and caring, which I love the most.

— Syeda Saima, 15, Queens

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Anna Rogers, 12, of Berea, Ky., depicted the global impact of the coronavirus.
Anna Rogers, 12, of Berea, Ky., depicted the global impact of the coronavirus.
The virus is scary. And thinking about it can make you sad.

Every day I take a walk around my neighborhood with my parents and when I see my friends, I’m told I’m have to stay six feet away. I get really sad I can’t be with them. I’m also scared they’ll never find a cure and I’ll never get to play close with my friends again. I’m hoping that things will be back to normal someday.

— Sasha Udovich, 9, Los Angeles

I’m in my last year of middle school, and I will probably have to finish it from home. I wonder about the students next year, students who I’ll spend the next four years with, whose family died because of this, whose parents died because of this. I wonder about my family. Are they going to get sick? I wonder about the children who’ll die. I wonder if I’ll be one of them. If my family will be the one this virus reaches next. I start high school next year, and I wonder how.

— Louisa Elena, 13, Jacksonville, Fla.

My little brother asks every morning if the germs went away yet — he really misses school like me.

— Tessa Podvesker, 7, Montclair, N.J.

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Juny Tranel, 11, of San Francisco, says that he tries hard not to get distracted at home.
Juny Tranel, 11, of San Francisco, says that he tries hard not to get distracted at home.
It’s hard to know what the future will be like.

Online school is the equivalent of no school. The one-on-one time, the accountability, the schedule and routine are all gone. No parent is perfect, and no parent can effectively replace seven to eight teachers, all with different subjects. The issue is the loss of many factors for success. Isolation, no routine, even just the lack of repercussions for not doing work. All of this leads to a decline.

— Pres, 17, Fayetteville, Ark.

Thousands of juniors (including myself) have selected rigorous courses for our last full year before our apps our due. Many of us are taking five or six A.P. classes and finally getting leadership positions for the clubs and activities we dedicated so much time to. As I sit at home, I feel that the edge that I have been working so long for is slipping away. I was ready to make this last full semester count.

— Fahad Mohsin, 17, Northborough, Mass.

I feel as if I can’t take a break or “turn off” school. I’m up at 7 a.m. and doing some form of school work or studying until 7 p.m. I even take my flashcards down while I make lunch.

— Madisen Cordell, 17, Lake Stevens, Wash.

Most schools in America have senior prom, Senior Ditch Day, senior prank, senior banquets, and most important, graduation. No one signed a contract giving me the right to any of that, but then again, I feel entitled to my senior year.

When I walked out of school on March 11, I didn’t expect that to be the last time I would see the people and the places that helped me mature into the person that I am today. Now when people ask what high school taught me, I can honestly say that I learned something outside of math and science: Nothing in life is promised.

— Rachel Osband, 18, San Jose, Calif.