Dear Parents & Guardians,
We hope spring break gave you and your family the opportunity to "unplug" and find meaningful ways to spend time with one another. We hope that your child's transition back to remote learning was smooth and that the tools being utilized by teachers makes communication and learning more accessible.
These times are stressful for everyone. Our kids miss their friends and being engaged in classroom learning. One significant way to alleviate the stress families and our students are facing is by promoting routine and a daily schedule. While remote learning offers some flexibility, approaching each day differently undoubtedly causes stress and anxiety for many. Not only do our students have a responsibility to complete their homework assignments in a way that is in many ways foreign to them, parents feel great stress to support this learning. A big factor of maintaining a daily routine and schedule is student accountability; that is, the choices and decision-making of our students.
Children often have a lot of expectations to meet. They have trouble being accountable because they have difficulty managing their tasks in an organized way. A schedule allows them to do this. Keep in mind that some children will become overwhelmed with a schedule containing many steps. In that case, limit the schedule to the few most important things you want the child to accomplish, or cover up steps, only revealing a few steps at a time.
Allow your child to participate in the creation of a home schedule. At school, schedules are often created by the teacher, but allow the children in your class to participate if possible. Once the schedule is created, review it thoroughly with the child to the best of their ability to ensure understanding.
To reinforce the schedule, acknowledge the child's efforts when they follow it (e.g.,
great job with your schedule tonight
nice work following your schedule
you were so responsible completing your schedule today
, etc.). It all depends on the child though. Some children respond best to verbal praise, others to gestures or physical praise, while some children may seem to not respond to praise at all or may not like certain kinds of praise. For children who seem to show no emotion when you praise them, continue to do so anyway because their response on the outside may not match the feeling they get from praise on the inside. Experiment to see what works or doesn't work for your child.
For any child following a schedule, you can tie privileges to the completion of the schedule. For example, you can tell the child that he can pick a
of his choice once he has completed the schedule or after completing the schedule accurately for a certain number of days.
Below, please find a video on the "why" behind a schedule. While this video is long, it provides an excellent explanation and will undoubtedly support families struggling with negative child behavior as a result of inconsistency in routine.
High Schoolers may operate much differently! Often they will sleep later which means they may work much later! As long as the work is getting done that's OK!
Parents: Give yourself grace!
You are trying your best during a time when you're facing your own stress and responsibilities. Do what you can, when you can. If you are struggling to access content, please maintain open communication with your child's teacher as they want to best support their students and YOU! Furthermore, if you would like to speak directly to your child's school counselor, please call their number, provided below, and they will return your call as soon as possible.
Below, please find some additional resources and tools to promote schedules and routines that require student choice and decision-making, which promotes student accountability.
High School Counselors:
Middle School Counselor:
Elementary School Counselors:
Promoting Choice & Decision-Making in Distance Learning