Wellness Wednesday

Your Counselor - Ms. Mutter, & PBSES Coach - Ms. Kusunose

From Ms. Kusunose

As a PBSES Coach, I am here to support you around positive behavior and social-emotional supports. For families and students, this may look like supports that promote a positive learning environment in your home. This week, the focus is on ROUTINES. Setting upon routines and schedules is one way to help support your child/children through this transition. There is not a one-size-fits-all routines guideline or schedule for you. Try out one and see if it fits your family’s needs. Try one that you come up with. Or reach out and ask others, ask me for other ideas.

Some hints:

  • Set-up a realistic schedule. Keep it simple. In the beginning, make a schedule for the morning portion of the “school day.”
  • Put up a visual schedule with times included. Less is more.
  • Include breaks! Movement breaks. Cooking breaks. Game time with dad break.
  • Use statements like, “If _____, then _____.” You may need to provide a small reward. Keep it simple! (Child gets to choose between ___ and ___. Sing a song together. Play a 10 minute game. Rewards around time may be helpful to provide the social interactions students are not getting as much as during a typical school day.·
  • Keep in mind that childhood development experts generally say that a reasonable attention span to expect of a child is 2-5 minutes per year of their age. This is only a guideline.
  • Be patient and give yourselves time to transition to a new schedule and a new set of routines.
  • This is useful for both children and adults!
  • Here are some examples of schedules (one for families, one for teachers):
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Newcastle Bedtime Quilt

Take a look at the Newcastle Bedtime Quilt! You can hear stories read by different staff members at Newcastle!


From Ms. Mutter

Last week, I promised to send weekly ideas that would fall under the "I Can Control" circle, such as coping/resilience tools, movement videos, creative home-activities, and ways that all ages can practice some essential self-care during this difficult time. Looking at Ms. Kusunose's visual schedule examples above, there are a couple of areas I want to emphasize this week.

These days, it is easy to get caught up in the "what-if's", and anxiety about the unknown. This is where things like yoga, mindfulness, or simply taking nice full breaths can really help to bring us into the present moment, giving us a sense of calm. With this in mind, see the below ideas/resources for Movement and Resilience:

Movement: Yoga! Free yoga videos for K-3 can be found here. And for 3-5 can be found here.

Resilience Tool: Mindful Breathing - in through the nose and holding it at the top, then slowly letting it out. For kids especially, it really helps to have a visual representation of this special way of breathing. Here is a simple kind-friendly video designed by a headache specialist at a children's hospital - it helps to pace breathing at a rate that calms the mind and body. Click here for a video of me reading a story called My Magic Breath, which helps to illustrate for kids how to breathe in a way that promotes calm (and it's great for bedtime!).

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** Note: If you have complications with accessing our available district food supports (or know someone who does), please reach out to Ms. Mutter and she will assist in finding a solution that best meets your needs**