Parents and Families Newsletter
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Dear Parents and Families,
Summer is finally here! Let’s use this warmer weather to focus on getting outdoors with the family and eating healthy while incorporating activities that will increase the language proficiency and academic success of your child.
In this issue, you will find information on the following topics:
Parents and Families Event 2022 Recordings
This Parent and Family virtual event was such a success with so much valuable information shared that the sessions are now being shared state-wide. Take a look on the Parents & Family page on the English Learner Portal to see the recordings from the event with topics such as:
A walkthrough of the English Learner Portal
A breakdown of the types of language programs available for emergent bilingual students
Resources for mental health and wellness
Overview of Programs for English Learners
After reviewing your feedback stating that you wanted to understand more about the various types of programs for emergent bilingual students, videos explaining the types of language programs have been created and shared on the Parents and Families page on the English Learner Portal.
You will find videos in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese that are overviews of each type of language program - Transitional Bilingual Education, Dual Language Immersion, and English as a Second Language.
Please continue to give great feedback by taking this quick survey to share any information or suggestions you might have. We value your input!
Websites for At-Home Learning
Do you need new ideas to ignite the love of reading for your child? Check out the Helpful Websites for At-Home Learning to find reading materials for all interests and at all language levels and grades plus educational games to help with beginner readers. If you would like more websites like those below, check out the Supporting my Child page.
Target Skills: Reading and Writing
Recommended Grade Levels: PK-8
This site has a large collection of useful ESL resources for kids for vocabulary, writing, reading, and much more.
Recommended Grade Levels: 6-12
How Stuff Works is perfect for naturally curious students that include articles, videos, and quizzes about every topic imaginable.
Programs and Pages for Parents
Local Library Supports for English Programs
As students across the state of Texas are learning English in school, parents also have opportunities to strengthen their own English skills. While there are many free online apps, your local library may provide you free access to extensive language programs. Check out the Library Technology website for a list of libraries (physical buildings and online) in your area to ask about free language programs available for you.
Adult Education and Literacy Services for Parents
Some schools or universities in Texas offer Adult ESL classes for parents of emergent bilingual students. Check with your child’s school or district to see if classes are offered in your area or visit our Adult Education and Literacy Provider page to locate classes near you.
Remember there are many more resources for parents and families on the Community Partners page including Adult Education (ESL or GED), Career Readiness, College Preparation, Health Support Services, Scholarships, Housing, Safety, and Legal Services.
Preparing for Next Steps
If your high schooler needs help preparing for college or a career, ask them to check out the Student Resources page. Under the “Preparing for Next Steps” section, high schoolers can learn about how to apply for state and federal financial aid, scholarships, and workforce support services.
Summertime typically means more time together as a family at home, on vacation, or going to work together. To help keep learning happening throughout the summer, try a few of the suggestions below.
I’m Bored, There’s Nothing To Do!
Check out the Best Ideas for Kids chalk games for easy and inexpensive ways to keep your child learning! For children preparing for Pre-K or kindergarten? Let them work on their vocabulary for colors and shapes by creating an obstacle course. Ask your child to make their way through the course by certain shapes or colors.
I’ll Add it to the List
Do you have multiple lists that you are responsible to keep up with for the family? To help share the responsibility, consider having your child be the one who adds milk and eggs to the grocery list. Have them help think about items throughout the home that are about to run out and add to the list. This is a great opportunity to have conversations about a budget or why you shop at certain places. Hopefully this will be one less list you have to manage.
Get Paid to Do What You Enjoy!
Parenting teenagers means preparing them for life after high school by investigating possible career choices. Take time during meals to talk about what interests or skills they have and explore career clusters based on those interests or skills. For example, if your teenager enjoys playing high-intensity video games with a team of friends, possible career choices based on those interests and skills would be computer programming, web administrators, or business intelligence analysts. If your teenager likes art and is very detail oriented, they might explore careers within architecture or marketing.
If you feel like you are overwhelmed, try a meditative breathing exercise that takes just one minute.
Press your hand to your heart, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in.
Release the breath as slowly as you can.
Repeat 2-3 times to complete one minute of mindful breathing
Try a modified version of this method with your child. If you notice they struggle regulating their emotions at a certain time of day or during transitions (daycare to the car, dinner to bed, etc), teach them to place a hand on their heart and hum a song with them for 30-60 seconds.
Sometimes all the self-care and meditative breathing are not enough to get us through difficult times in our life; however, there are resources available for family.
Learning at All Ages
As your child enjoys the summer, use this time to think about your own learning as a parent. Try to save some time and energy for your own education and emotional wellbeing. Explore new languages or activities as a family to give you and your child the opportunity to learn together.
If you would like to access the previous Parent and Family Newsletters, click below.
November/December Newsletter Highlights
Visit findhelp.org to find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for COVID by entering your zip code.
Supporting English Learners in Texas
TXEL.org is a web portal that provides information and resources that are relevant, accessible, and impactful to support educational leaders, teachers, parents and families, and community partners to ensure the academic success of the State’s English learners.