• Hi Families, 

    For those students that I see in groups or on an individual basis, I have created a google classroom for each group in which I will be posting assignments and materials for those students to work on each week.  I will post lessons on the days I typically see you/your child's group. You will have a week to complete each assignment. If I see you/your child multiple times during the week, multiple assignments will be posted for your child.  I will also be emailing parents about lesson materials and to touch base. Please feel free to email me at jbuechner@antioch34.com with any further questions.

  • As a way to help support families during this unusual time, I will be posting some activities that families can use at home to practice coping skills while away from school.  Many of these activities are teaching children to feel calm through the use of mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness is the awareness of one's physical, emotional, and mental state.  While at school, I tell students that this is being aware of what is going on in the present moment and to be mindful of what they are currently feeling and experiencing. This helps the child stay focused on the present rather than thinking about the future. Research suggests that mindfulness can help decrease behavior episodes and aggression and increase happiness and help one sustain attention.

    Breath of Fire: Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. Relax your stomach muscles.  Blow out fast like you are blowing out a candle.  Continue for 20 quick breaths.  Take a break and repeat. 

    Mindful Observance: Pick any object in the room. Focus all of your attention on that object. Observe what it looks like, what shapes it has, the color, how it moves, and how it makes you feel. Continue focusing for two minutes. 

    Count to 20: Sit in a comfortable position.  In your head, slowly count from 0 to 20.  As you count each number, take a breath in and out.  Then count backwards from 20 to 0.  Try only thinking about counting. 

    5-4-3-2-1: Using the physical space around you, focus on identifying:

    • 5 things you see
    • 4 things you can touch
    • 3 things you can hear
    • 2 things you can smell
    • 1 thing you can taste 

    Your Top Ten: Sit comfortable and close your eyes. As you breathe slowly, think of the top 10 words that describe who you are. Picture those words written in your mind.

    Floating on a Cloud: Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Imagine you are floating on top of a cloud. Relax all of your muscles and let the cloud control your weight. 

    Slow Breaths: Sit up straight in a comfortable position. Relax your stomach muscles. Slowly breath in, filling your lungs with oxygen.  Hold at the top and slowly release your breath until your lungs are empty. Continue 10 times. 

    Mindfulness Break: Sit in a comfortable position and relax your body. Close your eyes. Focus on slowly breathing in and out. Try not to think of anything specific. If a thought pops up in your head, just let it go. Continue slow breathing in and out. 

    Mindful Listening: Listen to a piece of music. Close your eyes and just focus on the music. Observe the sounds, tone, rhythm, and volume of the music. Think of how the music makes you feel. 

    Walking Meditation: Find a place to walk back and forth in a line. As you walk, slowly lift your foot and place your heel on the ground.  Feel body weight shift on to that foot. Continue with the other foot, thinking about the steps as you go. 

     

  • During these unusual times, anxiety may be heightened amongst yourself and your child.  In this resource I have included a resource guide about Covid-19. It also includes coping skills to practice with your child. Resource Guide for Covid-19. Additionally I have linked the following resources for parents:

    Supporting Children Who Are Worried About Coronavirus

    15 Ways to We Can Help Kids Who Are Worried About Coronavirus

     

    Practicing Positive Self Talk

    Many children, at times, struggle to regulate their emotions.  It can be difficult for them to find the tools they need to help.  Learning how to practice positive self-talk can help deal with challenges. Self-talk is the practice when you say words quietly to yourself or in your head.  We can think of it as the little voice in our head.  What we think to ourselves when something happens can affect how we feel.  By using positive self-talk this can help make ourselves feel better.  For example, if you found out you were not invited to a friend’s birthday party, how would you feel?  We have the power to help ourselves feel better by using positive self-talk.  For example, the next time this happens, you say to yourself, “it’s ok, I know I am a good friend and I will get invited to other parties.”  

    Below I have linked a worksheet to complete with your child.  You will see a list of positive self-talk phrases on one side and on the other side are different feelings. Take the time to read each feeling and then draw a line to the positive phrase you can tell yourself.  This may look a little different for everyone, but that is okay!

    Positive Thoughts Worksheet

    You can also talk to your child about times in their life they were experiencing different feelings and how they could have used positive self-talk to help them through that time.

     

    Identifying and Dealing with Anxiety

    There has been a certain amount of increase in anxiety with everyone recently due to the coronavirus pandemic including children.  Oftentimes anxiety stems from being embarrassed or feeling as if we are being judged or not knowing what to expect next and often start as thoughts.  The thoughts can easily turn into bigger worries, fears that can become overwhelming and at times can feel like they are growing out of control.  In order to help reduce anxiety, sometimes it helps to talk about it.  You can begin this conversation with your child by explaining that we all have things that we worry about.   They may be big or small but those worries can cause us to feel uncomfortable.  Let your child know that sometimes these worries can creep up on us and it is OK to talk about it.  You can work with your child on identifying some things that cause them worry.  I have attached below a worksheet you can work on together to identify worries if you are interested.  After talking about the worries, you can identify ways to help your child feel better.  One strategy you can work on is deep breathing.  I also linked a deep breathing strategy to practice with your child. 

    Other suggestions include:

    • Imagine your favorite place
    • Picture the people who care about you
    • Take a break

    Fill your worry cup and Square Breathing

    Size of Problem:

    As we are trying to navigate the world today, it is helpful to give your child the words to use to talk about what they are experiencing.  One of those ways that can be helpful is to talk about the size of the problem. This will help give your child a way to conceptualize their experiences.  I often define a small problem as one that can be solved on your own and does not take very long to fix. An example of this may include not getting called on to answer a question, losing a game, missing a goal in soccer, etc.  A medium sized problem is a problem that you might need help from an adult and takes some time to fix (longer than 30 minutes). Examples may include forgetting your lunch on the bus, a friend being mean to you, getting a consequence/behavior sheet at school, etc.   A large problem is a problem that takes much longer to solve and could take up to several hours, days, months, and even years to solve, you will need multiple people to help you solve this problem, and sometimes it is an emergency. Examples of a large problem include a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado), parents getting a divorce, moving to another state, etc.   Most of the time and on most days we experience small problems. And all size problems can cause uncomfortable feelings such as feeling sad, disappointed, upset, frustrated, angry, etc. By starting the conversation with your child about the size of the problem is a great way to help your child view a problem and start to cope with their feelings. 

    You could begin this by talking to your child about different size problems.  You can talk about what are small, medium, and large problems and then discuss examples of each of these problems.   You can also talk about ways you can solve small, medium, and big problems.

    Worry Scale:

    Additionally, a way to help your child manage their feelings of uncertain or anxiety is to talk about it.  Encouraging your child to talk about what is bothering them often helps lessen those uncomfortable feelings.   I have included a worksheet to help you talk about with your child about their worry. Let your child know that it is OK to have worry and that there are adults in their life who can hlep them manage those worries.  Worry Scale

    Feelings Wheel: 

    Sometimes we struggle to put our feelings into words.  When this happens, it can increase frustration and anxiety.  This could lead for your child then to have a poor reaction, have an outburst, or blame others. In this link, I have included a worksheet to help your child label their feelings.  Let your child know that everyone has feeling and sometimes it is hard to express those feelings. You can also let them know by checking in with a trusted adult or friend will help them feel better.  

    Directions for Feelings Wheel:

    Start by coloring each feeling however you want. Once you are done coloring, you can cut the wheel out.  You can use a paperclip or some other type of clip to choose how you are feeling that day. Clip how you are feeling and you can talk about why you have that feeling.  For example, you could say, "Today I am feeling happy because I played a game this morning."