Monday, March 30, 2020

Some Calming Moments for the Whole Family

Good morning,
As we all are adjusting to the challenges we face together I want to share a free resource for everyone.

Have you noticed the downward spiral of thoughts that can happen when you're worried, stressed, or nervous? 
It’s common to fast forward into an unknown future and play out worst case scenarios in our mind. The antidote is to bring awareness to our thoughts and emotions, and return to presence. This helps recenter and stabilize us in times of uncertainty. is providing some peaceful tools for adults and children.

A walk outdoors, keeping your distance of course can be helpful. The photo above was taken at Mercer Arboretum, a free, uncrowded place of beauty.

Stay safe and well!

Friday, March 27, 2020

At home...making the most of the hours safely

Good morning (or afternoon) everyone,

I thought I would share this sweet photo of a dad and his son sharing a bit of food. It was his son's first taste of a s'more and he wasn't quite sure if he liked it!  As it turned out, he did.

Especially in times of stress food can be a comfort for our families.  Sharing the preparation of a meal and then sitting down together to eat helps us to feel connected and safe.  Over the next few days I will be posting some ideas for easy snacks and meals you can prepare with simple ingredients.  Encourage your whole family to get involved (after washing their hands for 20 seconds, of course.)

However, this morning I share with you a very important video from a physician who has taken the time to help us make sure the food we bring into our homes is not also bringing in sickness.  Although it seems like a lot to trouble, the benefits will far outweigh the effort.

Have a safe and pleasant day.  Enjoy the lessons and suggestions our dedicated and hardworking teachers and administration have put together to help our children prosper and feel connected while we are apart.  They will be in touch with each of you.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Resources and Ideas for Parents During School Closing

We know you are all trying your best to manage this situation, trying to balance work, home and everyone’s health and well being.  Please use these ideas to help maintain you and your children’s lives as much as possible.  Check back frequently as we will be adding information and ideas.  
First of all it is important to provide a variety of activities for the entire family.  Doing this will reduce stress and worry and will feel more normal for everyone.  
We suggest having a somewhat regular schedule which incorporates all the essential elements of a child’s day: 
1.     Regular, healthy meals with as many family members present as possible
2.     Enough sleep, preceded by a pleasant nighttime routine, such as story time, quiet conversation and ideally no screen time, especially in the bedroom.
3.     A regular time for school work which will be available from AMCS to all parents
4.     Reading together for pleasure
5.     Time outdoors in a safe place:  the home yard or patio, a walk in a public park remembering to stay 10 feet away from others and not use playground equipment, a small home garden and other outside chores such as washing the car, etc.
6.     Family board games can be relaxing, educational and fun.  Have a regular time set aside at least several times a week.
7.     Taking advantage of some of the special resources listed below.  Virtual trips to the zoo, listening to stories read by librarians, authors and others, learning new songs in many languages, and many more.  Please explore these resources and share with others by the internet.
8.     Take care not to expose your children (especially those under 12) to news stories and TV news.  These are difficult to absorb and understand even for adults and can result in fear and anxiety. 
9.     Your children will miss their friends.  If possible, Facetime chats with friends and relatives.  This can be comforting and fun.
10.    And of course, remember that adults that have been out in public need to wash and sanitize their hands and any materials brought in from outside as soon as arriving at home, including cell phones, mail and work materials. 

Resources for children and parents:
1.      Free stories for ages up to 18 at Audible:
2.     Scholastic Magazine Learn at Home:  resources for families and teachers:
3.     The Smithsonian Learning Lab:  a deep source for science related activity and information:
4.     Great Books Foundation:
5.     Visit the Houston Zoo on Facebook, live at 11 a.m. daily
6.     Stories read by KPRC staff:
7.     Thousands of songs and play ideas in many languages, all free  
8  Free books to read together or for children to read to you: