As children have returned to school for a few weeks, there has been an expected rise in Covid-19 cases.
It feels that children are increasingly telling me that either they or a classmate has had Covid recently. Subsequently, their whole class has been sent home for a couple of days until they receive a negative test.
Every time I hear a report of covid, I pause teaching for five minutes and try to reassure the children that although we still have to be careful (washing hands etc.), the vast majority of children are not negatively affected. I also try to ensure that my voice is calm and reassuring as children can always sense worry. It is essential not to skip over the topic and bury our heads in the sand.
The environment children are growing up in will undoubtedly promote different levels of stress. We can help alleviate the worry through various methods such as exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
In its basic form, mindfulness is paying complete attention to whatever you are doing. In today’s age, we all can be guilty of rushing around, trying to multi-task and thinking about tasks that we have to do later. Essentially, mindfulness aims to get you to slow down and think about nothing but the present. Children are in a prime position to benefit from mindfulness as it is easier to develop habits from a younger age that will grow with them into adulthood. If you choose to try mindfulness, it is vital to act as a role model and engage in the activity with your child. However, being a role model will also benefit you as mindfulness positively affects all people. I am aware that in our busy daily lives, it may seem impossible to schedule another activity. However, this is the whole point of mindfulness. It is about slowing down and taking a few minutes to care for yourself and your family.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
There are numerous benefits of including mindfulness into your routine: reduced stress, increased attention span, improved mood, and improved behaviour, to name a few. Mindfulness has a particularly positive effect on children that may find it challenging to concentrate, such as children with ADHD. Mindfulness activities are abundant online; however, I will discuss a few of my favourite, easily adapted ones below.
Mindfulness colouring is an activity that only requires printing off a sheet or buying a mindfulness colouring book and crayons/markers. The narrow lines help promote attention and eliminate any background thoughts.
Undoubtedly, my favourite mindfulness activity is taking a walk in nature. While you are out together, encourage using your five senses through instruction: Do you hear that? Do you smell that? Let’s feel that tree trunk etc. You could also go on a rainbow hunt during your walk. Try to find an object that matches each colour of the rainbow.
Heart Beat Activity
Try the Heart Beat Activity, which requires your child to participate in a short, high-intensity activity such as push-ups for one minute. Upon completion, ask them to put their hand on their heart and focus on breathing.
Before embarking on a mindfulness activity, it is important to gauge the mood of children. If they are full of energy, it may be beneficial to wait until they have got rid of that energy. Also, explain to your child that they will probably go off track at some point during a mindfulness activity and that this is normal; however, encourage them to try and re-engage. It is also beneficial to try a few activities to find what your family enjoys. Having a positive experience of mindfulness will ensure that it is easier to implement into your routine.
Unlock Your Child's Potential with Education Support Hub
Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL and AQE Transfer Test preparation.
I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our amazing reviews on Facebook and Google.
Currently, I am experiencing increased demand. There is now a waiting list for new P3 and P4 children classes, which will be starting in the next few weeks. Additionally, P5 and Transfer Test spaces are approaching capacity, so please contact me at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.
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