How to Reduce the Stress of Schooling from Home for Everyone

Seisen News

How to Reduce the Stress of Schooling from Home for Everyone
Veronica Gomes

For adults and children alike, routine and predictability are calming during times of stress.

KG/Elementary Counsellor: Letter 6 to SEISEN Families

Weekly letter: 7 May, 2020
Online Learning Week 8
by Veronica Gomes

Dear SEISEN Kindergarten and Elementary School Families,

In today’s letter, I’d like to continue to discuss how to reduce the stress of schooling from home.  This recommendation has been made before, but it is always useful to reiterate!

Structure

Keep calm and structure on!  If you Google “How to support my child during COVID-19,” the top advice is to stick to a regular schedule, even when you’re all at home all day.  There's a good reason for this.  For adults and children alike, routine and predictability are calming during times of stress.  If you’ve tried to set a schedule and your children are resisting it, here are some reminders:

  • Now is not the time to clamp down and control your child’s day.  Now is the time to collaborate with your child on a schedule that works for the whole family.
  • It is okay if your schedule does not go to plan every day.  Every day is an opportunity to fine-tune what is working and eliminate what is not working.
  • Your job as a parent is not to recreate an eight-hour school day.  Your job is to help your child feel safe and do their best with the distance learning plan the teachers have provided. 

When creating a collaborative schedule remember that it may look more like what you would create over a summer break, including opportunities for fun, exercise, hands-on learning activities and family connection.  It is also important to build in “emotional checkpoints” during the day and involve your child in the schedule.  It will also depend on your child. Some children may need more structure than others and some kids may like to re-create the schedule to look like their school day, with breaks for snacks and a recess.  I have included some schedules and they are definitely aimed at the younger elementary and KG child.  One is unstructured and the child can insert what they would like to do and the another includes more detail.
Resources for Family schedules.


In keeping with the Positive discipline philosophy which KG and the Elementary school teachers at Seisen International school use, I’d like to make a suggestion to include the morning meetings held at school, at home. Some suggestions on how to do it can be found here. 

Here is a 9-minute video for parents on how to build structure and checkpoints in the day to give children the opportunity to talk about how they are really feeling about the current situation we find ourselves in. 

Resources for Check in’s and Morning meetings.  

 

Finally, my brother in law, Quinton Pascoe, is a principal of a school in Johannesburg, South Africa.  His latest message to the students at his school was very pertinent and I have his permission to share it with you!

 After reading the message of encouragement, please double click on the video for his demonstration.

Reference:  Make Social & Emotional learning stick 
https://makesociallearningstick.com/keep-calm-and-structure-on-how-to-manage-emotions-and-build-structure-at-home-during-covid-19/

As always, please contact me if you need to talk!

Yours sincerely,

Veronica Gomes / vgomes@seisen.com

 

As the reality of another week of distance learning and disruption of our regular routines sets in this week, I’d like to focus on keeping it simple and go back to some parenting basics.

Whether in Tokyo or abroad, many of us are under self-quarantine. It is important to be aware of cabin fever syndrome – rooted in the feeling of confinement and isolation for an uncertain period of time.

At this time, we would like to encourage our community to take the time to practice self-care.  We might find this to be a highly stressful and challenging period.  We can help manage our anxiety by acknowledging and discussing our feelings about this situation with loved ones or with myself as the KG/ Elementary counselor who is trained and equipped to deal with stressful situations like this.

Fostering a Growth Mindset

ES teachers have continued to tackle how to help our students develop a "growth mindset" which has been linked to greater academic achievement. 

Wheel of Choice: Problem-Solving Made Easier!

Fitting with their current Unit of Inquiry, Relationships, our grade 1 students are learning about many different strategies to help solve problems with their classmates and friends using the Wheel of Choice.  

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