Compass Charter Schools Advice and Activities for Coping During Challenging Times

By May 7, 2020 Blog

Compass Charter Schools Advice and Activities for Coping During Challenging Times

(part of a series of blogs throughout April to share our expertise with the greater community)

Many of us started out this quarantine, overwhelmed, and alarmed. Then we got into some routine and created a new normal. But, now it is about the time that this new normal is wearing off, and we are beginning to lose our sanity, patience, and composure! We have enlisted our expert counselors, teachers, and staff to share ways that we can continue to cope during this challenging time.

At Compass Charter Schools, we have incredible counseling and special education teams. We know this is a particularly difficult time, especially for parents of special needs scholars. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your counselor or contact Gabi Golan, Director of Special Education for help with navigating special needs services.

Ways to Cope

Go easy on yourself and your scholars. This is a stressful time for us as parents, but scholars are missing their friends, school, and activities as well. Be gentle with your expectations, and choose your battles. Can the schedule be changed? What are some fun surprises to fit in? Pizza nights, game nights, movie nights, spa nights? Try to break up the routines if possible so that everyone has something to look forward to.
~Rebecca Jacobs, Educational Facilitator

Allow time for your scholar to pursue their interests during this time. This is a great time to build confidence for those scholars whose talents do not lie in the two main focuses of a classroom: verbal/linguistics and math/logic. There are so many other valuable interests and talents we as humans bring to the table. Leave plenty of room for exploration of these interests.
~Angela Cloud, Educational Facilitator

Be flexible! Schedules and routines are great; however, we need to adjust routines to ensure balance and joy in the journey. In these unique times, there is an excellent opportunity for families to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company.
~Janae Smith, Online High School Coordinator

Do what works for you and your family. There is no right or wrong way to do this! Try different strategies and ideas until you find ones that work best for you. Join online support groups.
~Dr. Aviva Ebner, Assistant Superintendent & Chief Academic Officer

Teach your scholar that it is ok to fail! It is a big part of the learning process, and your scholar will grow from that experience.
~Kasey Wingate, Scholar Success Coordinator

Give your scholars specific positive encouragement. For example, I really liked how you “fill in the blank” yesterday.
~David Spink, Online High School Teacher

Activities to Do!

Attend live sessions, join clubs, and go on field trips. It is easy for scholars to feel disconnected and isolated from school, but having at least one opportunity for engagement each day will help them feel connected and build relationships.
~Jason Bee, AVID Coordinator

Create a Daily Activity List:

  1. Write down one thing that you are grateful to start the day
  2. Set and keep a routine
  3. Get outside every day
  4. FaceTime a loved one every day
  5. Take five-minute breaks during the day to breathe
  6. Write down one success from each day at the end of the day

Exercise! There are so many excellent online and virtual classes!
~Rebecca MacAlpine, Director of Engagement

Do something fun every day and give your kids real face to face time, where you’re not distracted.
~Sandy Lee, Educational Facilitator

Pilates and yoga!
~Kasey Wingate, Scholar Success Coordinator

Anything that the child enjoys! If they do not enjoy it, I would not force it. However, let them know that some physical exercise is required and healthy for them each day.
~David Spink, Online High School Teacher

Go outside and walk around the block!
Do the Funky Cowboy Dance!
~Barbara Johnston, Special Education Instructor

Just Breathe!

Breathe! We all need to just grant grace and be patient. Most of us have scholars at home and are trying to work. No one should expect that work is going to be the same during this time with everyone out of their typical working environment. Go with the flow and do the best you can.
~Dawn Anglemyer, Special Education Instructor

Create a Rhythm

Establish a rhythm that includes short work periods followed by playtime/free time (outdoor preferably). A routine helps reduce anxiety and empowers scholars to lead the way through their schedule. 

A rhythm that works for everyone is the most important part of structuring the day. Also important to consider that every human needs both connection time and individuation time. Rhythms may always need small adjustments as children and their needs change, but generally, your children already have a rhythm for getting those needs met.
~Abigail Terrell, Educational Facilitator

Practice Gratitude

  1. Remember what we still can do – we can still love our family well, we still have access to food, we still have sunshine. Stay focused on the little things that we still have rather than focusing on the things that we can’t have in this season. 
  2. Focus on serving others – when we remove our focus from ourselves and focus on what we can do to love/serve others, it is always time well spent.
    ~Rebecca MacAlpine, Director of Engagement

Thank you to our incredible staff and educators for sharing this wealth of information. Our team is here for you – our scholars, our learning coaches, our staff, and our greater community. Be well, stay safe, and reach out if there is anything our team can do for you. 

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