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COUNSELING SUPPORT DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE

tips to get you started

Experts advise that keeping a routine during a time of uncertainty is important to maintaining a sense of calm and control. These suggestions, many borrowed from this article from the New York Times help parents plan for the days of school closures.

1) Will an adult be around to supervise?
If you are an essential worker, you may be faced with the dilemma of child care for your children. We may be able to help. Please reach out if you are needed at work and there is not another care giver within your home.

California does not have a specific law for the age at which a child can be left alone, or in the supervision of an older sibling. Parents are asked to make that determination based on maturity levels. The California Department of Education offers a checklist to help you make this decision here

Your child may need to take on more responsibility during these days, especially if they are needed to care for younger siblings. Have realistic expectations on what they are able to accomplish academically based on their responsibilities and stress levels.

2) Do we have a daily schedule?
Setting up a daily schedule with your kids will help them manage time, provide brain breaks, and create a sense of normalcy. Take a peak on the right column for an example - or build your own!

 

Your schedule can be unique, especially in these first weeks before remote instruction plans are solidified. I recommend starting the day with a family meeting - look ahead at the goals for the day and talk about the game plan. Make sure to start with affirmations - ask kids to share their thoughts/worried/concerns - but also ask them to share something they feel proud about or are looking forward to.

 

Set aside time to review student work during or at the end of the day. This can be your opportunity to look at the work with your kids, or to reach out to teachers for clarification or support. It also gives you a chance to praise your child for their progress and process.

 

Family meetings are a good idea at the end of the day, too. Ask everyone to share their highs and lows. Make space for "do-overs" for anyone who lost their temper or patience. Encourage children to think about what they want the next day to look like. This is a rare opportunity to increase our children's emotional intelligence and to model healthy communication, coping skills, and conflict management. If your family is struggling - reach out! We can talk ideas to help you get on the right track.


3) Do we have the necessary tech equipment to access learning and enrichment materials?
Please contact a teacher, counselor, or administrator if you are having difficulty accessing school activities due to technological capabilities. We will do what we can to provide tech support. Make sure to check for updates daily as our ability to provide remote services changes over time.

 

Our school district is in the process of training teachers on various remote learning tools. We are also in the process of making sure all of our families have access. It will take time to get settled into this new way of learning - please be patient with yourself, with your kids, and with your school staff!

4) How do we plan to keep our kids active indoors?
For younger children, GoNoodle.com is a fun website for getting kids to dance and move. Older kids can take advantage of YouTube to learn various dance moves, try out meditation or yoga. Hopefully, we will be able to move about freely in the outdoors, but having indoor options is important, too.

 

5) What can we learn from all of this? This experience is different for everyone. Some people will be able to focus on the opportunity to grow as a parent, as a family right away. Other families are experiencing additional crises related to loss of wages, housing instability, or other factors. One truth that applies to everyone is that self-care is crucial.

 

Connect with your loved ones, slow-down, find a pace that works for you. There are lots of virtual tours and activities to try. We should get better and better at finding ways to connect with one another virtually. Keep in touch with your loved ones - and ask for help if you need it! Look for ways to volunteer or donate, being of service to others keeps us from ruminating. 

6) How will we balance children's exposure to social media during this time?
Encouraging kids to find a healthy media balance in our normal life is challenging, but this situation makes it even more important to urge kids to disconnect. Try this self-care bingo for other activities that promote overall wellness!

 



 

self care

accessing services

  • Join my Counseling Google Classroom for tips, worksheets, ideas delivered to you electronically on a daily basis. You will need to login with your child's SRCS google account and enter the CODE fc2tph7
  • Email mgreenwood@srcs.org to set up regular check-ins via phone or Google Meet. I will be reaching out to all of the families that I currently work with but am also available for individualized support to all of our students.
  • Stay tuned for information on Grade Level Social Hour via Google Meet

useful resources and articles

Sample schedule

schedule