Social-Emotional Learning has never been more urgent
During the lockdown my husband and I have been walking every day to get some exercise and fresh air. I hope you and your families have been doing the same. Yesterday, on our walk, I noticed a young boy and his mother out and about with a container of chalk. I didn’t really pay too much attention to them or what they were doing until I saw them again and again – in different locations around the Harbour. It was then that I paused and took notice of what they were doing; writing messages of kindness on the ground for passers by.
Walkers, runners, bike riders, other children and adults alike were all stopping to read the messages that were randomly scattered around the waterfront. I couldn’t help but think…what a great idea! Such a simple way to connect with your child and promote kindness and sharing kindness.
Kindness.org says that “we could all use a little more kindness in our lives right now” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s at times like these that random (or not so random) acts of kindness uplift us and those around us, bring joy to our lives, turn mundane moments into feel good ones and strengthen our human connection.
There are some excellent resources for parents to use to cultivate kindness with their children. I encourage you to check out Learn Kind and scroll down to the section titled Kindness Activities from Kindness.org. Here you will find a wealth of simple and easy to implement activities (both independent and with some parental support required) for you and your child to engage with during this lockdown as well as afterwards. I particularly liked the Kindness Quest Scavenger Hunt and the accompanying Family Discussion Questions.
Feel free to email me with any opportunities you and your family have had to try these or other kindness spreading activities.
Deborah Blackman – Parent session update
We have rescheduled this year’s virtual event with guest speaker Deborah Blackman to Tuesday 10 August 2021 (Term 3, Week 5). We hope you can join us.
Deborah is a social worker with a background in Child Protection. She has been working with some of the classes in the Primary School (and does so every year) in order to ensure our community is well informed and pro-active.
This parent session focuses on ‘Keeping Our Children Safe’ and is open for all parents of Years K-6 children to attend. During this 1 hour presentation, Deborah will explore strategies for parents related to keeping your children safe and how to talk to your children about feelings, secrets, good touch and bad touch, warning signs and skills related to child protection. We think that it is very important that home and school provide the same message about this very important topic. We highly recommend this session to parents who have not participated in previous years.
This year the parent session will be held virtually on Zoom from 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm. Please use the zoom link below to access the session:
Meeting ID: 986 6636 6641
Please contact Meghan Carroll should you have any questions about this event.
Years 3, 4, 5 Pre-camp meeting
Thank you to those of you who attended our Zoom meeting on Thursday. We hope that camp will be able to go ahead this year and will keep you updated as new information becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to prepare your child for camp and the opportunities camp presents in terms of experiencing independence and making new friends.
It is normal for some children to feel anxious about camp/being away from home. Even the most outgoing and confident child may have a few moments of separation anxiety as the time to leave gets closer. Be sure to talk to your child about camp regularly. This includes sharing your experiences at camp both positive and negative, keeping in mind that any negative stories present an opportunity for you and your child to unpack what you did or could have done to overcome this challenge and what the outcome was in the end. It’s worth remembering that every challenge your child overcomes contributes to their resilience and self-confidence when facing more unfamiliar situations later on.
Parents can also prepare their child for camp by:
- Ensuring that they master skills like applying sunscreen and doing their own hair
- Helping your child label and pack all the belongings they are taking to camp
- Using/setting up bedtime routines that help them to settle independently (eg. reading a book, mindfulness breathing, etc)
- Reducing the sense of unknown; visit the camp website to explore the grounds/facilities and activities that may be on offer (our schedule will be confirmed closer to the camp dates)
- Have your child identify who he/she can go to talk to if they are feeling unsure (a few friends, a teacher, the camp supervisor, etc)
Remember your child’s teacher has likely participated in several camps in the past and understands that some children and parents are stepping outside their comfort zones. Don’t be afraid to send a note to the teachers who will be supervising your child to raise any concerns you have. They’ll appreciate the extra information as it makes their time at camp easier too.
Most importantly…keep positive. Telling your child you believe they’re ready for school camp and they’ll have a great time helps your child believe it too. School camp is a great opportunity for your child to push their boundaries, discover new friends and experience outdoor adventures first hand.