These are challenging times. For some households, the changes COVID-19 is requiring are a struggle. Many families are spending much more time together. Tensions are probably high for lots of adults and children – both will be anxious as they navigate this new way of life.
How many babies who experience serious hardships in their first year of life have delayed communication skills?
The Berry Street Take Two team based in Bendigo in the Loddon region of Victoria were worried about this. They welcomed a speech pathologist to work with them for more than a year, as part of Take Two’s Communication Project to help understand the scale of the problem.
In these uncertain times, it’s understandable that carers may be feeling elevated concerns about how to manage the changing expectations of contact with family members. As a therapeutic service, Take Two offers this guidance in managing the heightened emotions and thoughts of children in the out-of-home care (OOHC) system in these times. We also provide a list of some free video calling apps and programs that might be suitable to use.
Self-regulation can be defined as the ability to control your behaviour, emotions and thoughts, and specifically, to be able to manage disruptive emotions and impulses (Bandura, 1991). In times like these, it becomes even more important to be building self-regulation skills in ourselves and our young people.
Are you looking for ways to help children maintain focus on their schoolwork at home? That is completely understandable. Children are accustomed to the rituals and routines of school. In their school’s classrooms, they go to a specific environment that deliberately is structured for learning. Now for many children, those structures are different, and they are trying to understand what it means to learn more independently. Based on our research at Berry Street Education Model (BSEM), stress can negatively impact a child’s stamina to learn and their ability to focus. Managing this change as parents, carers and teachers can be overwhelming. Here are three strategies that we hope will help:
During Covid-19, teachers are designing curriculum that students might complete either at home or onsite at school. Based on our research and strategies at the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM), we would like to offer suggestions to bolster your instructional planning. We recommend that teachers design rich tasks for your young people to do at home, rather than sending through smaller tasks. We do not want to overwhelm students or their parents with the need to manage too many things at once.
Remember many parents are working from home so they may have limited time and energy to support their child’s learning, and many teachers working from home might be juggling caring responsibilities as well, so let’s keep our expectations of each other and ourselves reasonable!
Continue reading “Scaffolding Learning with Rich Tasks: Curriculum Design”
This an unpredictable and uncertain time for everyone. With schools closing many parents and carers are wondering how they are going to cope for long periods at home with the children and young people in their care.
It’s the same as what they tell you on planes. You need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others. It’s a huge struggle to care for children if we neglect to look after ourselves. While you may think: ‘easier said than done’ – it really does make a difference.
Here are 4 steps you can follow to help you be kind to yourself.
Teachers are quickly shifting to online learning environments in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the demands of social distancing.
During this crisis, stress levels are heightened for all of us. Trauma-impacted students, and in fact everyone, are susceptible to resurfacing trauma-related reactivity due to the compounding uncertainty and unpredictability this crisis presents. It is essential that schools prioritise student and teacher wellbeing and respond to the impacts of collective trauma and toxic stress.
Predictable activities, rhythms and routines make children and young people feel more secure, safer and cared for. With a little bit of planned structure, children are less likely to feel caught unawares. They will know what to expect.
This is especially important for children in out-of-home care who may be more likely to feel that the world is an unsafe place.
In the current COVID-19 situation with no school and big changes to their daily lives, many children, carers and families are struggling to find a new and reassuring rhythm to their days.
Communities around the world are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. And for anyone who has suffered trauma or lives with anxiety normally, it’s an even more difficult time.
For families with children – especially children who are in out-of-home care – spending weeks at home without any school or other group activities will likely be pretty tough at times.
Over the coming weeks, Berry Street’s Take Two service will be providing resources to help families with children who have experienced developmental trauma to support and manage their wellbeing.
Have you ever had a day when your young students just seem to rev each other up and your centre or classroom is at fever-pitch? Or maybe you feel like your students are having constant meltdowns? Perhaps you feel that every time you look around you’re having to intervene to stop children from hurting each other. What can you do to teach them self-regulation strategies? The answer might be a surprise. When dealing with heightened students, we don’t start with them, we start with YOU!
It is hard to reconcile the massive fires that have raged throughout these school holidays. It has been a deeply concerning start to our bushfire season and our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected. The overall cost to our community is still yet unknown. What we do know is that the psychological impact of the trauma will be far reaching.