A Note From The Elementary School Counselors...
By now, you and your children have a week of FIDs under your belts. Maybe it went well. Maybe some challenges popped up and you adjusted. Maybe you watched not only your children, but yourself race through a roller coaster of emotions. BUT YOU MADE IT! All of those feelings and experiences are to be expected. As we continue to adjust to a new way of learning, allow yourself and your children the flexibility to adapt to new routines that work for everyone. Please know that we are all here to support you on this journey. Stay healthy!
-The Elementary School Counseling Team
Information for Families
Starting School at Home (S@H) may mean a change to your routine. That’s okay! We have heard and read time and again how important routine and predictability are for children AND adults. Harvard Health shares four helpful reminders as we manage our time at home. Please read here.
Information for Children
Now that learning is happening online, we have the opportunity to teach our children social media etiquette. Common Sense Media is helping parents teach their children appropriate strategies when using social networking sites like Google Meet and Google Classroom.
Student Daily meals- High School Entrance C20 11:00-1:00
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - 412-460-3663
Mental/ Behavioral Health
Resolve Crisis Services 1-888-7-YOU-CAN; 1-888-796-8226
National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255 / Text CONNECT 741741
Preparing Families for School at Home (S@H) - Top 5 Tips
Maybe your family has already logged on to sites like Scholastic or Discovery Kids, or maybe your family has been waiting for a teacher to direct you where to start? We are all navigating our way through the current school closure, in search of providing the best education possible to our children in a new format. Starting Monday, our new format, School at Home (S@H), will begin. As every new adventure begins, curiosity, excitement, worry and stress are sure to follow; every captain’s “passengers” so to speak. The following tips can help smooth the waters as we begin this new educational journey together.
One learning community.
1. Create a daily schedule with a routine for learning - A “typical” school day is filled with routine and rightfully so. Routines create comfort and predictability. Establish a time and a place for academic work and stick to it. Post the schedule for everyone to view. Limit the distractions. After a few days, re-evaluate and decide if your schedule is working. Allow your family the flexibility to make changes to your routines to best meet your needs.
2. Encourage problem solving & independence - As children begin working, foster an attitude of problem solving and perseverance. Trouble-shooting problems is a life skill, and one that we can model and reinforce throughout this learning opportunity. Remind your children of key strategies like reading and rereading directions, trying two strategies before asking a grown-up for help, making mistakes is okay and part of learning, taking a break and returning to their work and to keep trying. We will return to school at some point, and these life long skills will help them as they continue to grow with their peers in their classroom learning environment.
3. Expect a range of emotions - Again, this is a new adventure filled with fun and challenge. Model a positive attitude. Waves of confidence and excitement may turn to frustration and sadness which are all normal. Plan for them, validate them. All of our feelings are okay. Offer strategies to cope with a break, distraction, deep breathing or laughter. Celebrate the successes and invite the challenges as learning opportunities.
4. Teachers are available to answer questions - Teachers are here for you AND your children. Communicate with them. Teachers do not expect you or the children to know all of the answers, nor will teachers always have all of the answers. We all are learning something new right now. However, we will work together to find the answers. It’s okay if it’s imperfect and messy; we will keep learning together. If we understand this as adults, we are better able to model and reassure our children. Their “best” will be enough and teachers (staff and administrators) are available to help. Reach out to them.
5. Practice patience - There is space between every situation and our reaction, a famous Austrian psychiatrist once wrote about, and in that space is our opportunity to choose a response. Practice patience in that space. Our children take their cues from us and when we model effective coping strategies when we feel stress (like doing “new math”) so will they. Expect the roller coaster of feelings, plan to be flexible, simplify, highlight even the smallest successes and find humor. Patience will encourage our children to do their best and reinforce their confidence as lifelong learners.
Think about it: This new learning adventure will be one for the history books! Hopefully these five tips will help you and your family not only make it educational academically, but socially and emotionally, with memorable moments to look back on for years to come.
Here we go!
Websites and Activities For Home
- Go Noodle
- Read as a family
- Thank you cards to local hospital staff
- Scholastic Learning at Home
- Lego Challenge
- Family Game Night
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
- PBS Kids at Home
- Find Your Favorite Animal-Smithsonian’s National Zoo Web Cams
- DIY Crafts at Home
- Family-made Scavenger Hunt
- Kidz Bop Dance Party
- Practice a breathing exercise (five finger breathing, infinity breath, star breathing, etc.) Examples
- Kindness Challenges for Home!
- Family Step Challenge or daily family exercise
- Live Polar Bears from Rehen, Netherlands
- Start a Daily Journal...think about it - we are making history!
- Learn about Artists at Home
- Research a job that you might want to do when you grow up! Career Exploration
- Family Organization Time-organize 1 drawer each day