Dear Parents and Guardians, 

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy as you find ways to provide creative ways to engage the family activities that everyone can enjoy. Recognizing that every family is faced with a variety of challenges balancing the needs of each person daily. We decided to focus this weekly update on providing families with tips for creating a home schedule that incorporates strategies that  may be helpful in maximizing each day to the fullest.

Finding Balance During Online Learning- Tips for Creating a Schedule 

  1. Incorporate your student’s interests into the schedule.  Talk to your child about how they would like the school schedule to be organized. Negotiate a schedule that works for your family.  Start by asking about subject preferences. For example, if your child likes to read, consider putting that first in the schedule—it can be a positive and motivating way to start the day! Try placing the least preferred course in the middle of the day after a break when your child has more energy to tackle it.

  2. Break down tasks.  If the daily reading expectation is 30 minutes for example, break this down into smaller chunks if necessary.  Reading can be split into 3-10 minutes sessions throughout the day, mixed in with other subjects, activities and breaks. 

  3. Include breaks.  Add breaks throughout the schedule and encourage your student to do something relaxing such as getting some fresh air, eating a snack, taking a movement break or engaging in a preferred activity.  Even if it’s just a five-minute break, it can really make a difference in your child’s energy level and re-energize their brain!

  4. Try different schedules until you find one that works.  If you create a schedule that doesn’t seem to be working well for your student, don’t give up! It might take several attempts.  Branford’s distance learning is called “Flex Learning” for a reason-- Everyone is learning together and making adjustments as they go!  

  5. Celebrate your accomplishments!  This new way of teaching and learning can be challenging for all- parents, teachers and students!  Acknowledge what went well-- Maybe your child completed part of each reading, writing and math assignment.  --Maybe they really enjoyed the special activity for the day.  --Or were grateful to be able to see their classmates during a virtual classroom discussion.

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Be well, Jim