Even as schools in the Austin area begin to re-open, in-person learning remains an intimidating option for many families for various reasons. At Austin Achieve Public Schools, we are proud to offer exceptional on-campus and virtual learning programs to meet our community’s needs.
For families continuing to navigate virtual learning, every day is different and presents its own set of challenges. One day, your scholar may feel empowered to conquer their coursework independently, and the next, amid a ZOOM outage or receiving an incorrect link – the challenges of virtual learning may seem impossible.
Reminder, it’s normal for you and your child to feel overwhelmed in this situation. If your family has chosen to continue virtual learning for the foreseeable future, here are a few tips to help facilitate normalcy, wellness, and productivity at home.
Implement restorative practices and social-emotional learning at home. | Austin Achieve Public Schools
At Austin Achieve, we focus on a holistic whole child education for scholars, including social and emotional learning and restorative practices in all of our classrooms – in person and online. To help your child build the emotional stability they need to succeed academically during these uncertain times, try bringing these practices into your home.
At home, restorative practices and SEL can look like helping your child calm their bodies through meditation or talking through intense emotions to help put a name to what they’re feeling.
Some of our teachers’ favorite SEL and mindfulness resources include videos from Cosmic Kids Yoga, the gratitude flower crafting project, the Emotional ABC’s learning program, and printable Disney coloring pages.
Create a daily routine, and stick to it.
Your child’s schedule isn’t just something that should be followed during the school day! Creating a daily routine from waking up to bedtime will help your child gain a sense of normalcy and stability.
One of the most helpful parts of a daily routine can be having a daily morning check-in with your child during breakfast. These short, five-minute conversations can set a positive tone for your child’s school day.
Here are a few questions you can ask during a weekday morning check-in with your child:
- How are you feeling this morning?
- What are some things that would make today great?
- Was there anything that did not go well yesterday? How can we change that for today? Let’s think of some ways that we can stay positive and do our best at school.
Other practices you can add to your child’s daily routine include waking up at the same time daily, preparing a meal together, or making preparations for the day ahead before going to bed.
Get outside and move.
Spending all day on a screen can be tiring for anyone. Most schools have a break built into their daily schedule. It can be tempting for your child to spend this break by relaxing through video games, YouTube, or social media, but it’s essential to take this time to unplug and move your body.
Getting outside improves mood, concentration, and promotes exercise – especially in children. Taking a break to play outdoors or taking a family walk can help your child in more ways than you think.
At Austin Achieve, physical activity is especially important during distance learning. Our physical education teachers across all grade levels incorporate daily physical activities like yoga, dancing, and aerobics into scholars’ schedules.
Cultivate a peaceful workspace for your scholar to learn.
Just like adults, children need a distraction-free area to work. A peaceful workspace helps them feel calm and stay focused.
If possible, keep your child’s workspace away from distractions like televisions, phones, toys, or gaming consoles. It’s also important to provide ample natural light and to keep your child away from loud noises as they work. Consider setting your child’s workspace up near a window that faces away from a busy street.
Reach out for help.
Most importantly, remember that you’re not alone. Your school community is available to help in any way possible. School social workers or counselors can be an excellent resource for you and your child when things feel overwhelming.
For families struggling with more than just distance learning, there is an array of other resources available. The City of Austin has created rent assistance and utility bill discount programs for households that have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Austin Achieve Public Schools is providing FREE curbside-pickup meals to all families in Austin. Visit our Northeast Campus (7424 E. Hwy 2990) from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM or our Manor Road Campus (5908 Manor Rd.) from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM weekdays to pick up free meals for your family.
When your family is ready to return to campus, Austin Achieve is ready to provide a safe face-to-face learning option. We’re following strict on-campus health protocols like facial coverings, mandatory temperature checks, daily symptom screenings, frequent hand washing, social distancing, and disinfecting our campus multiple times a day to keep our scholars and staff safe.
Until it’s safe for your family to return to on-campus learning, successful virtual learning is possible. If you’re searching for a virtual-learning option or a safe on-campus option for your child, Austin Achieve is enrolling now for Pre-K-12.
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