A Day in the Life of Remote Learning:
Structuring the School Day
Some families may find it helpful to adopt a learning schedule during this time of remote learning. Schedules can provide stability during a turbulent time; however each family is encouraged to find the system that works best for them.
The following structures are options families may consider adopting or adapting if they find it helpful during this time; these are not designed to be followed exactly, but serve as a starting point. Some schools may have or will send out their own suggested schedules and some schools (particularly at the secondary level) may align question & answer or tutoring sessions according to a distinct schedule to avoid session overlap.
Sample Schedule One:
(Learning blocks are broken up throughout the day.)
Prior to 9
Wake Up, Personal Care, Free Time
Exercise and/or Circle Time
Learning Block 1
Brain break/Recess/Creative Activity
Learning Block 2
Quiet Time/Choice Time
Learning Block 3
Outdoor Time/Choice Time
Sample Schedule Two:
(Learning occurs in a longer block; please note this three hour time frame would need to be broken up by outdoor time, exercise, etc. to optimize learning.)
This schedule has fewer breakdowns with remote learning taking place in the morning. If it works better for your family, you could flip the schedule with remote learning taking place in the afternoon.
Prior to 9 AM
Wake Up, Breakfast, Free Time, Exercise
9 AM - 12 PM
12 PM - 1PM
1PM - 4PM
Creative Time/Free Time/Outdoor Time
Some schools have and may be sharing their own suggested calendars.
Khan Academy (2020) has also published some schedule templates to support families. Broken down by age group, the Khan Academy schedules also include links to a wealth of resources.
Another option is utilizing a ‘Choice Board’ format. Students could even make their own, using the Continuity of Learning plan SCPS has provided and a grid. Families may want to combine a daily schedule with a choice board, or use them independently of each other.
Notes to Consider:
- Families may want to shift the schedules slightly earlier or later depending on the age of their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that adolescents naturally have a later schedule of waking and sleeping, while younger elementary students tend to have an earlier schedule.
- Exercise prior to starting a period of academic focus may help students focus. SCPS has provided some possible physical education activities for students in the latest continuity of learning plan.
- If available, consider setting up a designated space for learning to help students mentally associate that place with remote learning. This doesn’t mean the space won’t be used for other activities, but that it will provide the same location to help students mentally shift to academic tasks.
- Remember screen time recommendations, but know that the American Academy has noted these will likely need to be relaxed during this time as parents are often working from home as their children are trying to continue learning. Turning off screens at least one hour before bedtimes will help students fall asleep quicker as natural melatonin levels will not be depleted.