ELSA - (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
Coronavirus story – This is great for explaining the concept of Coronavirus and the current situation to younger children in a story book form with pictures.
You can download the PDF from this link – https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/coronavirus-story-for-children/
(amended from an online article)
We are sending packs of work home with the children and you might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule . You may have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You may limit technology until everything is done! This may work for some children but here’s the thing...
Our children are just as scared as we are right now. Our children can not only hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds exciting, they are probably picturing a fun time like the summer holidays, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavioural issues with your children. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally - it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule. Play outside. Go for walks (great for your mental health too). Bake biscuits and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Play music, dance, find virtual visits to the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry about the progress they're making. Don't make it a battle to complete any work. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your children because they don’t want to do maths. Don’t scream at your children for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.
If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your children's mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those few weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.
We will endeavour to find ways to support you if you are concerned about your child's mental wellbeing, and will update this page accordingly.
Stay safe. x