Tai Chi works on the inside of the body and helps us feel peaceful and focused. It becomes easier to find self-control. We begin to understand our needs and emotions and to anticipate a feeling that is building within us. Pretending to be an animal moving peacefully in nature takes us away from the noisy, hectic pace of daily life. The focus, calmness, concentration and ability to work together is amazing.

Tai Chi can help children with learning challenges. The Tai Chi movements in our program are simplified so it is easy to learn.

Tai Chi provides two things children desperately need: physical fitness and emotional nourishment. It provides children with the skills to be calm, compassionate, strong and resilient. The National Association of the Education for Young Children (NAEYC) recommends that children should participate in activities that support the development of the whole child.

To implement Tai Chi into your school in a simple, low cost format: Our In School Residency Programs offer a proactive behavioral intervention to help meet the physical, emotional and mental health needs of students. This integrative approach to wellness consists of core practices and strategies to promote self-regulation, focus, attention and connection to others. The use of breathing techniques, Tai Chi-based movement, social/emotional learning activities and guided relaxation supports students as they learn to manage emotions, transitions and reduce anxiety.

This holistic approach supports learning and student achievement. Educators will also benefit through the use of these integrative tools both personally and professionally.

Residency Components

The K-12 in-classroom component of each residency program is implemented over a 6-10 week schedule. Each class consists of a 45-minute lesson, which can be held once, twice, or even three times per week. Each class will be age appropriate and directed toward the specific needs of the overall group and school.

  • Teachers will be provided an overview of the residency format at the end of the in-classroom workshop. Teachers will also complete a pre-residency survey at this time. 
  • Teachers and students in each classroom are led in a 30-minute demonstration so that they may continue Tai Chi practices within the classroom. 
  • Specific curriculum/presentation of information is grade-level appropriate. It is optional that the curriculum can be related to Common Core State and NC Essential Standards and co-created with their classroom teacher. 
  • Classroom teachers participate in a brief follow-up meeting at the conclusion of the residency, providing an opportunity for review, additional questions, feedback and support, as well as to complete the post-residency survey.
  • Contact with school is maintained throughout the remainder the school year so that follow up meetings can be scheduled if necessary. A final year-end survey is completed by staff and collected. A follow up report is provided to school administration at year's end (or at time deemed appropriate). 

Learning Objectives

    Improved overall health
    Increased strength and flexibility
    Improved body image
    Better sleep quality 
    Improved executive function
    Improved focus and attention skills
    Increased engagement
    ​Better sensory integration  
    ​​Improved emotional regulation
    Greater self confidence
    Increased resilience
    ​Decreased stress and anxiety
    ​Greater compassion & empathy
    Improved communication skills
    Increased leadership skills
    Reduced bullying
    Greater sense of community & safer school climate

Tai Chi teaches us about our bodies. When we practice in the physical movements of Tai Chi, we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These movements help our bodies become strong and flexible.

Tai Chi teaches us how to breathe better. When we breathe deeply and fully (total breath) and become more aware, we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.

Tai Chi teaches us about balance. When we practice Tai Chi, we learn to be more aware about the need for balance in our lives. This could mean equal stretching on the left and right sides of our bodies or making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.

Tai Chi teaches us about taking care of ourselves. Tai Chi is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy. And teaching children how to take care of themselves is one way to show love. As with all forms of exercise, a good Tai Chi practice can mean a good night’s sleep!

"Tai chi does not mean oriental wisdom or something exotic. It is the wisdom of your own senses, your own mind and body together as one process. ~Chungliang Al Huang

Why Kids (and Adults) Need Tai Chi

In-School tai chi Residency Program