Social-Emotional Learning at Home
Tips and Activities for Students and Families
This newsletter offers a resource for families to support the continued social and emotional learning of your children. These activities are designed to be easily implemented in your home and to provide options that best fit you and your family. During this time of isolation, it’s incredibly important for all of us to find ways to stay connected, grounded, and socially, emotionally, and physically well.
Wondering How to Bring Calm Into Your Home? Try These Suggestions
Adapted from Casel.org and confidentparentsconfidentkids.org
Take care of yourself. Pay close attention to your own feelings of stress or anxiety. Try to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. Take breaks throughout the day. Modeling good self-care will empower your children.
Acknowledge and support children in processing their full range of emotions and concerns, while offering calm and reassurance. See the Coping Kit below.
Provide age-appropriate information and accurate answers about the news while limiting excessive television or social media. See resources on talking to your children about COVID below.
Share with children what you’re doing to keep them safe. Help children learn about and practice proactive strategies, such as frequent handwashing, to stay healthy. In addition to promoting healthy practices, this can help them feel a greater sense of control.
Whenever possible, provide consistency in daily routines. Set expectations about getting up, getting dressed, eating breakfast and doing school work. Consistent routines can help foster a sense of safety.
Help your children think of creative ways to maintain their friendships and social connections. This may include writing emails or letters to friends, setting up a FaceTime playdate or group chats with friends.
Build time for Playtime, Downtime, and Family time. Even older children need regular "PDF" for healthy development.
For older children, cultivate compassion by encouraging them to reach out via phone or text to potentially isolated elderly family members, neighbors, or their peers. Help them feel empowered by exploring a virtual volunteer opportunity such as online tutoring or supporting a favorite cause.
Help children maintain their physical health by: 1. Picking out a fidget bracelet, button, or other small wearable item (that can be disinfected daily) to redirect the urge to touch their face. 2. Choosing part of a song they love that is at least 20 seconds long to sing while washing their hands
Children follow our lead. It is important as caring adults to model patience, flexibility, courage, and compassion. Children are new to navigating this type of stressful situation. It is our opportunity to show them positive strategies and help them gain these skills.
How to Create a Family “Coping Kit”
Adapted from confidentparentsconfidentkids.org
Use "emotion emojis", "the feelings wheel" or create your own family set of emotional emojis to name and acknowledge emotions children may be experiencing. Remember, there are no “bad” emotions–it’s ok for them to feel whatever they feel
Practice calming breathing techniques and mindfulness activities to reduce stress
Try yoga or other movement and stretching activities
Do fun indoor physical activities and games
Provide a private journal or sketchbook where children can express their emotions through writing or drawing
Spring into Fitness! For those who want to mix up their workout over the month of April, try this great set of workouts from one of our FMS teachers.
Practice mindfulness with these MSD / Yoga4Classroom sequences from our elementary schools. Try this simple, fun sensory break called Washing Machine from Yoga4Classrooms to promote body awareness, release tension and energize!
MOVE THIS WORLD has a great set of free resources for families to use at home, including short mindfulness videos, writing prompts for journaling, and strategies for developing growth mindset.
Confidentparentsconfidentkids provides ideas for Spring Breaking at home, as well as resources and strategies for creating consistent routines at home, incorporating brain breaks, and promoting sibling kindness.
Talking to Children About Coronavirus
For all ages:
Talking to Your Children About Coronavirus (NASPonline.org)
How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus (PBS.org)
Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus (childmind.org)
Coronavirus Slide Presentation for Parents and Kids (mindheart.co)
Video Explaining Coronavirus to Your Child (Brainpop.com)
For middle school:
Just for Kids: A Comic Explains COVID-19 in a Relatable and Compassionate Way