Home School Health Check

Home Schooling and how to support your child, read on and take the Home School Health Check!

I can’t work, I’m hungry!’

‘Mum, no offense, but I need a professional to teach me!’

‘No, I can’t do it today, I’m rubbish, I don’t get it.’

Sound familiar? We’ve heard from many parents during this period about the ‘joys’ of home schooling. From the ups of discovering new arts and craft activities to the downs of having to Google what a fronted adverbial is.

Did you know that it’s not just your child and family having these conversations? We all have basic needs that need to be attended to first before we can even think of home schooling. Abraham Maslow famously wrote about the hierarchy of needs that underpin everything we do – children and parents alike.

Physiological needs – there is such a thing as being ‘hangry’. Kids are unlikely to engage if they their basic needs are not met. This is why schools have breakfast clubs. Likewise, as a parent you are not going to be able to concentrate if you need the loo, or are tired.

Safety needs – your child is unlikely to be ready to learn if they have just been yelled at. Home schooling needs to feel supportive and an environment where it is safe to make mistakes. Likewise you probably won’t be able to give home schooling your best shot if you are worried and thinking about how you are going to pay the bills or what will happen after the furlough scheme ends.

Love / belonging needs – We all need to feel part of a team to perform at our best. To be loved and feel belong is a basic human need. So your sulky pre-teen is going to need a bit of time to readjust after being sent to their room. And as a parent, you are not going to be your home schooling best if you have had a bust-up with the other half.

Esteem needs – Children need to believe that they have capability. Plenty of praise and encouragement helps. Likewise, when we scroll through parenting groups it’s hard not to feel in competition with other parents on home schooling. Be kind to yourself, and know that you are doing your best.

Self-actualisation – all of the magic comes together at the top of the pyramid. When all of the basic needs are met, your child is ready to learn, and you are in a position to give home schooling your best shot.

We are currently working on packages to support the most challenging of these needs – around how to motivate your child, build their self-esteem and resilience in the face of challenges.

In conclusion, remember the occasional INSET day is OK, and your job in this situation is to parent, rather than teach. We are reliably informed that baking a cake on an off day counts as Food Technology and Maths; and that gin is the answer to home schooling. Cheers.

Please get in touch if you need any help.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamTeenager

www.thinktuition.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thinktuitionservices

01744 604947

Moving on Up

Moving on Up

Moving on…

Today the day came, the day my little man Harry, who’s now nearly taller than me moves on to the next chapter of his school life. The final day of primary school.

I’ve no idea how we got to this point so quickly, he is still in so many ways, my little boy. He will still slip his hand into mine as we walk down the street, he will still expect me to tuck him into bed at night and he still can’t sleep without his favourite blanket. In so many ways he remains my little boy.

Yet time stands still for no-one and it is time. Time for him to move to this next chapter of his school journey. Time to go and join the, ‘big kids,’ in secondary school.

I remember driving him to his first day at his gorgeous Childminders. Dropping him off and hoping that he would be happy and that he wouldn’t miss me too much. He was and he didn’t.

I remember picking him up at lunchtime for his first afternoon in nursery, in his little red tracksuit, and wondering how we’d arrived at this point so quickly. I wondered at how I now had to let go of a little of him, to let him make his own choices without me always being there. I hoped he’d have fun and make friends. He did both effortlessly.

I remember picking him up at lunchtime for his first afternoon in reception, him saying over and over again, ‘I am so ready for this!’ He was and again I wasn’t. I couldn’t believe we’d gotten to reception age so quickly and that again I had to let him go to be loved and cared for by someone new. I hoped he’d make friends, love learning, be happy and that he would always be able to tell us anything. He did.

I remember him leaving year two ready for juniors, wondering again how it was possible I now had a child ready for juniors. I hoped he’d always be happy, that he’d have a strong mind, that he’d be brave, loving and confident. He has been all this and so much more.

I write today as my son leaves primary school ready for his next big adventure, Secondary School. I know that he is ready in so many ways and that again, I am a little bit left behind. Not quite ready to begin this next stage yet. Not quite ready to let him go and be with the big kids, not quite ready for the teenage years. For the day he wont slip his hand into mine anymore. I’m not ready to know less about his day, or to not have a teacher to contact who knows and understand him almost as well as me.

But I have to be.

Because time slows for no-one.

He is ready, and as this year has proved to us more than any before, he will approach these changes with a sense of adventure, with optimism, with a strong and brave heart, with a zest for life.

And I hope for him again.

That he is happy.

That he finds friends who truly love him and understand him and ‘get him.’

That he is brave.

That he finds the gold in every day.

That he can talk to us about anything.

That he’s never too old to step in for a cuddle when the day has been tough.

That he finds strength in who he is and realises how incredible he is.

That he understands and knows in his heart how loved he is.

One more step along the world you go my darling Harry, we are with you cheering you on every step of the way.

 

If your not so little one is moving to seniors this year, why not join us over at Team Teen, the place where relationships are made with other parents to support you on the next phase of your parenting journey.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamTeenager

You would be so very welcome.

Cal

Home Schooling – is your child ready to learn?

Home Schooling – is your child ready to learn?

How is home schooling going?

‘ I can’t work, I’m hungry!’

‘Mum, no offense, but I need a professional to teach me!’

‘No, I can’t do it today, I’m rubbish, I don’t get it.’

Sound familiar? We’ve heard from many parents during this period about the ‘joys’ of home schooling. From the ups of discovering new arts and craft activities to the downs of having to Google what a fronted adverbial is.

Did you know that it’s not just your child and family having these conversations? We all have basic needs that need to be attended to first before we can even think of home schooling. Abraham Maslow famously wrote about the hierarchy of needs that underpin everything we do – children and parents alike.

Physiological needs – there is such a thing as being ‘hangry’. Kids are unlikely to engage if they their basic needs are not met. This is why schools have breakfast clubs. Likewise, as a parent you are not going to be able to concentrate if you need the loo, or are tired.

Safety needs – your child is unlikely to be ready to learn if they have just been yelled at. Home schooling needs to feel supportive and an environment where it is safe to make mistakes. Likewise you probably won’t be able to give home schooling your best shot if you are worried and thinking about how you are going to pay the bills or what will happen after the furlough scheme ends.

Love / belonging needs – We all need to feel part of a team to perform at our best. To be loved and feel belong is a basic human need. So your sulky pre-teen is going to need a bit of time to readjust after being sent to their room. And as a parent, you are not going to be your home schooling best if you have had a row with the other half.

Esteem needs – Children need to believe that they have capability. Plenty of praise and encouragement helps. Likewise, when we scroll through parenting groups it’s hard not to feel in competition with other parents on home schooling. Be kind to yourself, and know that you are doing your best.

Self-actualisation – all of the magic comes together at the top of the pyramid. When all of the basic needs are met, your child is ready to learn, and you are in a position to give home schooling your best shot.

Remember the occasional INSET day is OK, and your job in this situation is to parent, rather than teach. We are reliably informed that baking a cake on an off day counts as Food Technology and Maths, and that gin is the answer to home schooling.

Please get in touch if you need any help. www.thinktuition.co.uk www.facebook.com/thinktuitionservices

We also run free group support through our facebook page

 

01744 604947

Starting School during Covid

Starting School during Covid

Starting school is a huge transition point for our children and the beginning of a brand new chapter.

At this time, transition is tricky, because of Covid 19 and the recent pandemic, many changes have happened that impact our children’s transition and the support they receive in this. Each school is doing things slightly differently and each school has its own systems and processes in place.

There are however some key points that parents can support with transition and the journey from nursery to reception.

Here’s some top tips

  1. Speak positively about school and the changes that are coming. Find out your child’s teachers name and drop them into conversation regularly and positively – eg Miss Sweeney will be so proud of how you dress yourself you are ready for PE lessons. Miss Sweeney will love how you always try your best. Miss Sweeney will love how kind and friendly you are to others. Talking about teachers positively in a non work sense will help to build a virtual relationship and link.
  2. Drive past the school and look at the building and playground talk about what will happen when they start, talk about the fun they will have on the playground.
  3. Talk about how to make friends, look at what makes a good friend and do plenty of role play. ‘Hi I’m John, I like to play dinosaurs what do you like to play?’ Hi I like going to the park, my favourite is the swing, what do you like?’ My names …. What’s your name? Looking at role playing for friendship is key as children haven’t been practicing these skills during lockdown. Role playing facial expressions and how they attract friends eg smiling, being kind, sharing etc, can be key to supporting children starting school.
  4. School uniform is something that is a tricky issue at the moment, some schools are talking about going back in own clothes but others will be going back in full uniform. Making sure you have school uniform in will be key to supporting your child’s transition. Choose it together and make sure children can put clothing on independently and take it off too. Practice makes perfect – and builds confidence too!
  5. Practice dressing and undressing. Children will be expected to dress and undress independently for PE lessons, taking off and putting on clothes and doing fastenings on coats too. This can all be practiced to help build confidence
  6. See whether your school has a virtual tour that you can take with your child. It’ll be helpful to see the school and keep playing this every couple of weeks to familiarise your child with the setting.

If you need further support with your child starting school we have a free starting school group you can join led by Early Years Teachers and Staff. It’s answering some of thw common issues around starting school and looking at the EYFS curriculum too.

Feel free to follow the link below

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BNBStartingSchool/?source_id=1627256524259105

 

Cal and the BNB Team

Transition to Secondary School

Transition to Secondary School

Transition to Secondary School

This can be a tricky time at the best of times but with the current circumstances, transition is proving even more difficult at the moment.

Don’t worry, we have 5 top tips to support transition as well as an incredible event led by primary and secondary teachers that you can get involved in!

So here are 5 things you can do to help your year 6 youngster right now!

This year has been particularly challenging for everyone. There is a massive amount of uncertainty for parents and children about how the next big steps are going to be managed for year 6. Schools have been told that they are not to bring the year 7 cohort in until September at the earliest, so for many children and parents the High School is a dark looming unknown prospect. No-one has had a school familiarisation visit, it is unlikely schools will be opening in the summer for transition activities they would have run in previous years. It’s really hard not to feel helpless in the situation, so here we are offering you 5 practical strategies that you can apply right now, to support your child.

1. Talk about the process with your youngster. Try to use open questions to see how they feel about moving to High School. Don’t presume you know how they feel – you could be worrying on their behalf! Equally, if your child is anxious about it, don’t dismiss those worries, use them as a springboard to delve deeper, to problem solve and check out the reality of their concerns. There are plenty of free resources out there that can support this conversation – this resource is totally free to download, and offers a structure to help you talk to your youngster about transition. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t3-p-191-secondary-ks2-to-ks3-transition-resource-packet

2. Get on the school website to get yourself informed. Many schools are updating their websites with opportunities to have a virtual visit, welcome videos, transition learning packs, names and contact details of the transition leader in school, and policies. Spend some time looking through the school website to help allay any concerns your child might have, and don’t be afraid to phone or e mail the school if you have any burning questions.

3. Check out whether you need to start gathering supplies. Some schools are asking for full uniform, others are not because they want to see that children’s clothes have been laundered every day. Some schools will want you to get them kitted out, others will be providing equipment to stop children bringing in things from home. It’s best to know what your High School wants before you start buying kit!

If your school asks for your child to be fully kitted out you need to be prepared. Transition to High School is often a costly business, so start planning ahead about the things they will need. They will need for instance a Scientific calculator, Maths set, PE items and so on. Don’t forget to name EVERYTHING! Year 7 students can (and do) lose stuff when they go into school and I mean EVERYTHING – from pens to underpants, go figure. Give yourself a chance of reuniting them with their stuff, and make sure that your child knows where the Lost Property Office (or ‘Lost Properly Office’) in school is.

4. What if they are worried about making friends? This is a biggie for many parents, particularly if they are not travelling with known friends from primary. Again, talk about it with them. The chances are they will find someone who they will get on with, there are more youngsters to choose from! However, if you feel your child might struggle with the social aspects of school there is plenty you can do to support their social skills. These are all free and offer a good starting point: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-s-2546937-ks2-recipe-for-a-good-friend-activity-sheet https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-c-255090-friendship-problem-scenario-and-questions-activity-sheet https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-t-3643-how-to-be-a-good-friend-cards

You can also discuss the matter with your high school lead if you think this might be difficult for your child. Typically, high schools will group children with no immediate relationships from primary with others in the same boat, or make special buddying type arrangements to support children. High Schools are just as concerned that children settle in well and are

supported if they are going to find the social aspect of school trickier to manage. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with school if this applies to your youngster.

5. And finally, your youngster is looking to you for guidance and will be following what you say and do very carefully. Always communicate that they are going to make a great start to High School, that you are excited for them, and you expect them to settle and enjoy it. Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you believe you can or not, you’re right.’ This applies to your youngster, so always be careful to model a positive attitude about their capabilities on managing this big change. I can tell you with confidence that children do make this transition, and before you know it, you’ll have a sulky non-communicative teenager on your hands! Good luck with all that.

If you would like to learn more about transition, you may also find the following events useful:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transition-to-secondary-school-tickets-110103422300?aff=ebdssbeac

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/copy-of-transition-to-secondary-school-tickets-111108051172?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

If you would like to get in touch for a chat about your youngster, we are just a click or call away:

www.thinktuition.co.uk www.facebook.com/thinktuitionservices

01744 604947

What is Separation Anxiety?

What is Separation Anxiety?

What is separation anxiety?

As a parent or carer, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that separation anxiety means I’ve done something wrong.

Children who haven’t bonded with their caregiver don’t usually cry, as we see with children who as babies were not held and rocked and snuggled.

These babies stop crying because they know that no one will answer. Children who haven’t bonded don’t experience separation anxiety.

So the crying and clinging that happens when you try to drop off your child at nursery or school is a sign that your child’s brain is developing normally. This was a big weight lifted for me as a mum when my child cried ALOT going into school.

 

How can you support your child or young person with separation anxiety?

 

These are my own opinions as a mum that helped but also using some mindfulness techniques I use as a therapist.

Transitional objects,  Comfort blankets, teddies etc will help your child by using their senses to be reminded that they’re safe and will provide comfort at the times your child needs it most. You can buy a special object or your child might have something that they’re attached to already. Having a transitional object does not mean in any way that your child isn’t ready or will be picked on by other children.

Pictures are a reminder When my youngest daughter started school the school reception teacher asked parents and carers to bring in a picture on the first day to put in a picture frame in the play house area. This helped my little one remember that we’re not too far away and when my daughter focused on the family picture she felt the love and protection that comes from us all. Any anxiety she may have been feeling will have lifted in that moment from focusing deeply on her loved ones, oxytocin (the bonding hormone) was released. This activated another pattern in her brain that literally released any fear around being in school without us. If your child’s or young persons school doesn’t ask you for a picture you can ask them and explain the positive impact it can have. Some people think that having a picture may cause more upset but after that initial separation at the door it really can help support your child or young person.

 

Stepladder approach for separation anxiety

 

It can be tempting to simply let a child avoid situations where she might feel separation anxiety. We can choose not to drop our babies off at the gym nursery, or to keep them out of swimming lessons, or even to home school.

Instead, you can try this stepladder approach. The first step of your stepladder should be the thing your child fears the least. This might be as simple as leaving your child in another room while you take a little break in the bathroom, or leaving her at home with home with dad for 10 minutes while you go to the shops. If necessary, offer a reward to the child when you return but praise usually works wonders so don’t worry about buying a reward as this can become something that your child expects. I would turn up to my sons school with after school snacks as a treat or a little book I had picked up from a local shop. I stopped this the day I turned up after working a little later which meant no time to stop at a shop and my son kicked off massively because I didn’t have a prize for him. Ensure that you use positive praise as well as a little prize like a sticker or a printable certificate you can download from

Twinkl – https://www.twinkl.com

Once your child experiences less fear around the first step, give them even more praise and encouragement! They’ve done incredible so make sure they know it.

Then you take the next step. This might be dropping her off at for 30 minutes at your parents house or for a very short play time date with a friend. If those steps are too far apart, pull back and make very small changes instead.

 

Play therapy through social stories

 

Play therapy is designed to role play normal, everyday situations while allowing your child or young person to identify the solutions that may come with tricky situations. Social stories through play therapy is often used when working with children with autism, anxiety, and other similar struggles.

A social story can help a child with anxiety in several ways:

  • It shows the situation from a child’s perspective.
  • It helps the child have appropriate expectations about the situation.
  • It gives the child the chance to have some control over what they will experience.

 

Social stories can be written for young child, or why not them have some say in how the story will go, that is more likely to will the child or young person a sense of control over their life. This sense of control can be really important to a child with anxiety because they know what’s coming next. Great for when scheduling the days agenda or deciding how the day looks for our children or young people as well as for ourselves.

 

If you’re struggling with separation anxiety and you would like private 1-1 counselling support please fill in the contact us form and we can direct you.

 

BNB Team

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