Counselor's Corner

Liz Parker, School Counselor, Hominy Valley Elementary

Dear HVE families,

Our unusual school year is getting into the swing of things! I hope your child and your family are finding a good rhythm with virtual and/or in-person learning, and I hope you'll let me know if there is something I can do to support your child. Here are some resources I thought you might find helpful as you and your family navigate this uncharted territory!

- Ms. P

Growing Your Growth Mindset

One thing you may hear your child's teacher mention repeatedly in Zoom meetings is the importance of having a growth mindset. This is something our school really focuses on! We want our students to know that it's ok to struggle, and it's ok to make mistakes - when we struggle through something difficult instead of giving up, and when we learn from something that we got wrong, it gives our brain a chance to grow. Here are some growth mindset resources and ideas from your friendly school counselor:

  • Confused about what a growth mindset is? Here is a kid-friendly video that explains it well:
  • One of my favorite school counselor authors, Julia Cook, also has a great children's book on the subject, called Bubble Gum Brain. Here is a video where she shares it as a read-aloud:
  • Do you ever show your child pictures or videos you took when they were younger? That's a great opportunity to show your child evidence of their growth! If abilities were fixed, then your child would not be able to walk, talk, or do many of the other things that they can do today. Your child has already come an incredibly long way because they persevered when tasks were challenging.
  • Virtual learning is hard, which means it offers your child a lot of opportunities to practice having a growth mindset and learning from mistakes. When your child is struggling with a task, take a deep breath and resist the urge to rescue your child. That doesn't mean you can't be supportive, because your child certainly needs your support, and clearly some of the challenges posed by technical difficulties will involve some adult-level skills. However, instead of jumping in to give your child the answer, try supporting your child as they correct a mistake or find the answer for themselves. Teach your child the helpful life skill of reading the directions one more time, or have them tell you the strategies they already tried and then ask what strategy they'd like to try next. In the end, if the work your child turns in is not perfect, that is absolutely fine. In fact, it is valuable information for your child's teacher, because it shows what your child does or does not understand, which helps guide the teacher's next steps for instruction.

Homework from Ms. Parker

  • Take some deep breaths. This is hard, and you need to take care of yourself! If you and your family would like to try some different breathing exercises to help you feel calm and focused, there are lots of fun and sometimes silly ones on the Go Noodle website or app:
  • Ask your child to teach you the Hominy Valley SPORT pledge that we say each day at school. Find ways to recognize your child for being Safe, Positive, On Task, Respectful, and a Team Player at home. When the language around positive behavior at home and at school is the same, that can make the expectations easier for kids to understand. Maybe you could make your own SPORT tickets to hand out at home, or give your child SPORT tickets that they can hand out to kids and adults in your household who are doing positive things. You've probably been a Team Player lately. Wouldn't it feel good for your child to recognize that?
  • Go for a walk outside in this beautiful fall weather. Take some time to notice all the amazing things happening in nature, using as many of your senses as possible.
  • Looking for some fun ways to engage with your kids away from a screen, but running out of ideas after months and months at home? Try downloading the Kinspire app. It's free, you can tailor it to your child's age or developmental level, and it has lots of ideas for activities you can do together as a family. Here's a link for more information:
  • Let me know how I can support you and your student. I am grateful to work with all the amazing people in our school community!

Liz Parker, School Counselor

Look how much Ms. Parker has grown since she was in elementary school!