It’s here. We’ve made it to winter break! After working through ALL of the learning options this fall (classroom, hybrid and distance) I know so many families, including my own, who are looking forward to taking a few well-earned days off from school. Their plans include sleeping in, lots of pajama time, and spending down-time with family over the holidays.

Speaking of pajamas, there’s genius in focusing on getting a full night of sleep. It’s one of the best ways to succeed. It sounds easy, but we know from experience that it is often a struggle to get the minimum recommendation of eight hours of shut-eye each night. Here’s why you should  keep trying:

A full night’s sleep allows our brain to reset, leaving us ready to form new pathways in our brain. Barbara Oakley focuses on this idea in her book Learning How To Learn. She calls it our nightly “brain upgrade.” Who doesn’t love the idea of a nightly software upgrade? I sure do!

Our days at Yellow Parachute Learning Partners have been busy over the past couple of weeks. Jenny McKeand, our Student Connector, has received calls from parents who want to help their students best utilize their winter break time away from school. Parents are seeing that their kiddos are overwhelmed. 

As always, school continues to move forward while some students struggle with certain concepts and lessons. But without regular in-person connection, the struggle is magnified this year. 

Students have fallen behind with their school work, so parents are searching for a tutor who can help get their student caught up. These parents are approaching winter break as a great opportunity to get their students caught up without the burden of keeping up.

We’re also getting calls from parents of high school juniors, who are inquiring about ACT test preparation. The ACT is a main focus of these students in the spring, so now is the perfect time to discuss a plan for getting their college-bound high school students ready for this important entrance exam. 

How do we use winter break to our benefit, without overwhelming kids who are already working hard? As with most things, the answer is to plan a balance. 

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Choose rewards for completing tasks.
  3. Work in small, scheduled amounts, and collect a reward after each work cycle.

Allow ample time for rest, relaxation and togetherness, while also dedicating some time to studies and checking in to make your students are caught up with their school work – ready to start the New Year strong. It’s a clean slate!

Regardless of how your family plans to use their time off during winter break to their benefit, please know that you do not have to do it all. Picking up the phone or sending the “contact form” may seem like a daunting task, but just like anything worth doing, you’ll look back and wonder why it took so long to make the connection with us. 

Most of all, we’re here to help! If you’re looking for tutoring help, Jenny would be happy to jump in and help connect your student with a great Learning Coach who can meet their needs. We want to help your family begin 2021 with a “let’s do this” attitude!

For more helpful insights visit the new Parent Resources page on You can also download our Wheel of Life tool to start creating momentum today!

Happiest Holidays.

Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners