March 17, 2020
Dear Maple Hill Families,
These are unprecedented times. As adults, we have the coping and reasoning skills to help us navigate our way into these uncharted waters. However, our children need more reassurance during times of uncertainty. There are many things you can do to help your child. I have put together a compilation of resources to help you in the weeks to come. I wish you and your family safety and health. I will be emailing you updates throughout the school closure time period. Looking forward to being reunited again on April 20th.
Principal of Maple Hill Elementary School
Talking About COVID-19 With Your Child
Message from Mr. Rob Coad, Lead Coordinator of our Walnut Valley Unified District's Crisis Response Team
Children are being flooded with 24-hour information related to COVID-19 and the implications of a “pandemic” whether it be from the media, talks with their friends or overhearing adult conversations. Many of our children hear snippets of conversations that do not give them the full picture. Without the larger picture, students are left to imagine the rest of the story. For example, younger students will key in on a news reporter saying, “Another person has now died from the Corona Virus.” Without the larger picture and without the benefit of an “adult” brain, students can experience intense worry and fear, imagining their teachers, friends, or family members succumbing to the virus. When students experience this loss of control or vulnerability their ability to learn and their general well-being can suffer.
The National Crisis Team and The National Association of School Nurses have put together guidelines and talking points that parents can use with their children. These documents use many of the strategies that the National Crisis Team uses to speak to children about terrorism hurricanes, floods, fires, and school violence. Below are links to these documents.
Create Routines At Home
Our children thrive on routine. Consider keeping their regular bedtime and morning routines, sitting down for lunch at the same time as they do at school, and writing out a daily schedule so that they know the plan for the day. Keeping these small things consistent can help our kids to feel regulated, calm, and make a potentially scary situation feel much more predictable.
Routines will also help your child successfully transition back to school on April 20th. When students are at home with no routines or academic activities, they often experience regression and their return to school is more difficult for them to handle. Below is a sample schedule, that I have created, that you can implement with your child. This schedule considers the entire well-being of the child from their physical health to creative expression.
Learning and Enrichment Resources
Bolster Your Child's Life Skills
This is an opportune time to teach our children foundational life skills that they will need to learn to be successful. Consider spending this time teaching some skills in the home: have kids help with the process of doing a whole load of laundry from start to finish, work through a recipe for dinner together, or clean surfaces around the house while explaining how to safely use different cleaning products. It’s also an ideal time to do some spring cleaning and have children go through their clothes/toys and create a donation box. Drive them to Goodwill and have them deliver their items to the attendant. This experience will give them a sense of purpose and build upon their community awareness. All of these experiences help a child to understand their future role as independent adults.
Enhance Their E.Q. (Emotional Intelligence)
Empower your child to be proactive and help others during these challenging times. When children lend a helping hand, it builds a strong sense of self, connection, and emotional intelligence. This human dynamic is invaluable during these unique times.
- Have them write letters and encouraging notes to friends and family to raise their spirits. They can draw pictures, write down jokes, create stories, etc, and mail their pieces of work. When students create with a purpose, they will be more motivated.
- Ask a neighbor if they need their dog walked.
- Pick up trash around the neighborhood or at a park.
Facebook Live with Author, Ben Clanton
Click on the date below to get the Facebook Link
Here are the "Learning and Enrichment" Resources that were going to be emailed to all parents today at 1:00 p.m.
Physical Education During School Closure
These are suggested physical education activities from our P.E. Team.
Go Noodle on YouTube
Go Noodle videos are one of my favorite resources to play for kids. YouTube has many Go Noodle videos that will get kids up and moving and having a good time, too. These videos are age-appropriate for elementary kids and great for promoting physical activity.
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