Elementary School Kids, Mindfulness, Physical Activity, SEL Social Emotional Learning, Uncategorized

Yoga for Kids: Homeschooling Programs


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Mindfulness has seen an uptick in schooling. The benefits range from increased ability to focus, higher achievement ratings, better control of emotions, and less aggression. Many homeschoolers will also want to reap the benefits of mindfulness with their kids. But where can they start? Try yoga for kids.

pupils meditating on classroom desks

Yoga for kids can be a fun way of introducing young ones to the benefits of mindfulness. With so many YouTube videos with programs specifically designed for kids, teachers can easily introduce the moves and yoga practices. Sometimes students will meditate, and at other times, they will enjoy different yoga poses with a minimum of equipment – just a yoga mat.

Students and teacher doing yoga pose at elementary school

Yoga for Younger Students

One very engaging yoga activity is an adventure called “Yoga Quest” offered by Cosmic Kids.

Kids are motivated by learning opportunities that capture their imagination. Yoga Quest not only involves kids by completing the quest, but they offer 5 different maps that adults can print so the kids can check off where they are in their quest. And when they have every area checked off, there is a certificate waiting for them. 

Below is one such map of 5 in total. Shark’s Bay screams excitement. Start with Norris and end with Nibs. When they  finish the quest,  they will have done 

  20 yoga adventures

  that’s 6 hours and 25 mins, 

  or 375 minutes,   

or 22,500 seconds of yoga practice

Try out the Shark Bay section of the Quest to see how it all works and then get started on the quest with your kids.

Yoga for Kids Who Are Older

Younger kids will enjoy Yoga Quest, but the presentation is not appropriate for older kids. But do not despair. You do not have to opt-in for an adult program as there are many choices that will appeal to older kids, too. You can coninue yoga for kids throughout all of the grade levels.

Yoga Ed

Yoga Ed has some videos on the internet that you can try out with your kids. Start by building a routine of easy poses. You can gain more training through their website.

Yoga for School

Yoga for School  Rachel has some close-up sections to help you see the moves more clearly. Since this routine is for school, no equipment is included. 

Super Hero Yoga

Superhero Yoga may appeal to the  males in the classroom. This session comes with some advice on the importance of helping others.  You can also see yoga classes by spiderman’s alter ego.

Yoga With Adriene

Yoga with Adriene has yoga moves designed specifically for the classroom setting. No equipment is required. It is a low key workout perfect for beginners. (both teachers and kids)

A Convenient Source for Yoga Mats

If you need several mats for your kids, you will love this pack of 12. You need only a minimum of equipment when you start teaching yoga for kids.

Consider this mat if you are purchasing for an individual. The yoga moves are printed on the mat so your yoga enthusiast can develop their own sequence of moves.

Christmas, Elementary School Kids, gifts, grandparents, Holidays, presents

10-Year-Old Gift Advice for Grandma

Hello my 10-year old Love of My Life

I am writing you this letter as a check-in for Christmas. I think I know what 10-year-old boys like, but I wouldn’t want to disappoint you. And you know how much Grandma cares about you.

So here goes my reverse wish list, and you can respond to it with a thumbs up or thumbs down.

There are many items on this list but don’t expect to find all of them under your tree. Grandpa and I will make a selection using your ratings.

A little bird, called your mother, let me know that you have grown so much since I last saw you that your bike is getting too small for your size. So, it is on the top of my list for you. But what type should I buy? This one comes in several different colors, but I know how much you favor pink. Do you want a racing bike built for the street, or is a mountain bike for trails more useful to you? Perhaps a gift certificate for the right store would solve this problem, and then you can select the bike of your dreams.

This one has an aluminum frame and disc brakes with suspension in the front forks. It is made by RoyalBaby.

But if a bike is not at the top of your list, I thought I could find some other gifts that would tickle your fancy.

How about a robotics kit? I hear that your older sister is using the kit I gave her last year, but she is reluctant to share it with you.

I have found a new kit that I thought you might like. It is the MakeBlock Ultimate Robot Kit. She has the MBot Robot. The new kit needs to be assembled, but the advantage is that it can easily be made into other robots. I understand that you are starting to learn to program at school. You can see from the pictures that you can make many different devices.

I found a cool video camera you can attach to your bike helmet or handlebars to take videos. And you can use it underwater, too.  When you go off on your scouting adventures, you could record the highlights of your week. I look forward to seeing what you are up to now and then.

When I was looking through the internet sites, I found a book with some parts to do some AMAZING things with the scads of LEGO blocks that you have.  It is called Chain Reactions. With the instructions and some of the kit pieces, you can build 8 chain reaction machines. But, of course, with your inventive mind, this kit could be turned into many wonderful devices—all diabolically clever, too.

I hear a lot about 3D printers, and I know your family doesn’t have one yet. I wondered if you would be interested in dabbling with this technology. I am not sure what you can make with it, but I am sure you will figure out something wildly pleasing.

You will need to save some of your allowance to pay for the filament it requires when the first one runs out. They have some with rainbow colors. I haven’t heard you talk about a wish for such a printer, but I thought I’d try and get you something you could experiment with. Then again, you might not need one as your school or library might have one you can use. 

As winter closes in on us, I thought you might like a way to get physical. I remember the fun we had as a family playing table tennis back when your mother was your age. I know that your space is limited, so I thought of a fold-up table tennis. Indeed, you will need paddles and an assortment of balls. It is a great way to spend some time with your close friends who are in your bubble. And the table will last for years. You can bet that when we can come for a visit, I expect to trounce you in our tournament.

I heard some kids in our apartment complex, talking about their drone and camera. I have never heard you talk about a drone before, but when I saw how excited these kids were over their drone, I wondered if you would like one also. I know you love technical gadgets, and this is one that you could use where you live as long as you were careful to take it to an open space. When we can go to the cottage, there will be plenty of opportunities to use it there.

So, these were the things I was considering, but I would love to hear any ideas you might have as well.  And if you have heard your sister’s wish for anything, I’d like to hear about that too. Sometimes a grandma has to have extraordinary sleuthing skills to be a successful Santa. For her, I was considering wireless earbuds as she spends so much time on her phone talking to her friends. Do you know if her phone is an Apple or Android? Or does that matter. Clearly, I need some help with this.

Luv you

Hugs and Kisses    (I know – mushy, too mushy)

Grandma and Grandad

Other Suggestions for a 10-year-old boy

See the New York Magazine

Christmas, Elementary School Kids, gifts, grandparents, Holidays, presents

Christmas Letter to Grandma: Grandaughter Greta

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Hi Grandma

Mom is helping me write this letter to you. We added some pictures to help you find exactly what I was putting on “My Wish List”.

This week my teacher helped me write a letter to Santa to tell him about the toy I wanted most. And I had to ask Santa a question, too. So, I am going to do the same for you.

The toy I want most is a 2 wheel bike, all pink. But I think Santa has heard me, and he will be bringing that in his sleigh on Christmas night.

Mom tells me that you and gramps are not going away for Christmas, and we might get to see each other if the virus has not spread to our town. I am crossing my fingers and toes in hopes that will happen. 

I remember last Christmas when we Facebooked each other. You were in Florida with your friends, and we were getting ready for bed on Christmas Eve. We made chocolate chip cookies for Santa, and I ate one of them for you. We will be making more cookies for Santa, but this time you can eat your own cookie that we will make. Mom has some cookie cutters in the shape of trees, presents, stars, and Santa Claus. Do you have a favorite shape that I can decorate for you? We practiced yesterday, and here is our dish of the best cookies. I helped with the red icing.

Photo by Otto Espinal on Unsplash

So, here are some other things I want.  Mom helped me find some pictures on the internet so you could see what I want.

Now that I am getting older, mom says I can have some special things for girls. I’d really like to have rainbow hair, and there is a special kit to color my hair in different colors. It is called hair chalk. My friend Tracy showed me her hair on FaceTime. Her mother had to help her, but her hair was amazing. 

I love making things. And many of my friends have special friendship bracelets. I have some threads and beads, but I would love to have more. There are many types on the Internet but here is one I like.

At school, we are learning how to code on the computer. I have finished the Angry Bird game from Code.org, and I would love to have a real robot I can program. It is made in pink, just for girls. I can add some of my LEGO to make many different things. 

I’d also like some special pencil crayons. We are learning about Black Lives Matter, and I would like to have lots of choices for my drawings. 

Mom has some ideas for you, too. 

Since I like to read, she suggests a subscription to the National Geographics for kids. I love finding out facts about our world. Last year, I read all about earthquakes at school and decided to do a science project, too. It would be fun to get a present every month in the mail.

Once a week, we have games night, and I would like a new game to play. When we looked at the games, this one sounded like fun. Mom likes it too because it will help me learn about financial literacy. It is called Monopoly – Ultimate Banking. It has a machine, and you can tap your card to buy things. How cool is that!

And since I love reading so much, mom thinks a Rebekah set of girl Detective books would be just the thing for our every night reading time.

That is a lot of things to choose from. But I know how much you like shopping. I guess you will be doing most of it online since you have a rule that you only go outside of your house when you have to. You want to be safe from the virus. And we want you to be safe as well.

I have a special surprise for you and Papa. It is hard to keep a secret about what it is. But I know you will like the taste.

See you soon



hugs and kisses

PS   Baby Lee gives kisses and hugs.

Coronavirus, Elementary School Kids, Parenting, Preschool, Toddler

Kids Can: in the Coronavirus Pandemic


When you can do something in a circumstance, you feel in more control. Kids do not know this fact instinctively, but you can help them to cultivate this strategy.

It will help your kids establish a better emotional balance during this pandemic.

What the Research Says

“According to a 2017 study by Fothergill, kids experience the general atmosphere of anxiety and panic as acutely as adults do, only they might be better at hiding it. That fact might contribute to a general sense among adults that children are somehow naturally “resilient,” and can bounce back easily. And that attitude from adults can hamper both proactive attempts to help children process what’s happening, and necessary therapeutic efforts after the disaster,” according to The Atlantic.

You Can

So, what can you do as a responsible parent? You can focus on what kids can do to maintain a positive attitude and encourage coping skills during the restricted conditions in the coronavirus pandemic. Try out these 7 ideas to eliminate bad behavior!

1. Be A Helper!

This is a win-win situation. Parents will welcome the help at home at the same time that kids need to be active.

As a parent, you can explain that just as the emergency care workers help sick people, kids can help at home to keep family members safe.

Set up a list of ways to help from setting the table, putting out the garbage, and creating a garden. Let your kids select the tasks they want to do if you’re intent on getting “buy-in” from them. Then reward them with an acknowledgment of their contribution. Make your praise specific as it is more effective. It may sound like this. “When you do the dishes, it gives mummy more time to organize things for all of the family. Thank you for doing such a great job!”

If your children are older, they can be a helper in your community. There are many special projects developed by a local community organization, churches, and government agencies to meet the needs of this unusual time. Many tasks can be completed by older kids in your own home if you do not want to expose them to the risks of working with people outside your family bubble. They could make courtesy Facebook connections to elders in the nursing homes, or package material to distribute as just a few examples.

2. Follow the Family Routine

Kids thrive on knowing the ebb and flow of the day, so it is crucial to set up a routine for eating, sleeping, chores, entertainment, and other daily activities. A routine will ward off bad behavior.

To make the plan visible to everyone, it is essential to post the schedule where it can be seen. You may not have times associated with the routine, but the order of some activities will be very similar every day.

Not every day needs to be identical. For instance, you may target one day a week for grocery shopping or to assist at the local food kitchen or work in the garden.

3. Stay Healthy

To fight this virus, each individual has a societal responsibility to stay healthy. For your kids, that can manifest itself in helping to plan healthy meals or snacks, times and types of exercise, times for social interaction, and times for individual responsibility such as homework or job-related tasks.

You will need to point out that these healthy initiatives are required to combat the coronavirus spread. These small steps are all part of the larger fight to beat this pandemic.

4. Ask Questions

Often kids can misinterpret the media, have learned an incorrect fact from a friend, or respond to their anxiety in a very damaging way. Negative emotions based on misconceptions are potent.

Encourage seeking the truth about the pandemic so that the path to a more normal life is clear.

You may want to add a question period in your daily routine to spark interaction. Perhaps while you are preparing dinner, you can have an open session where questions are asked or present some critical information. Bedtime is another opportunity for conversations, as well.

5. A Temporary Situation

Kids need to understand that this situation is, for now, but it will not be forever. You can assure them that gradually they will be able to do the things they always did, such as go to school, visit their friends and family, play on the beach and everything else.

But at first, things will be different as we all need to use social distancing, such as wearing masks, meeting outside, or meeting behind glass. Eventually, these precautions will fade away and just become a memory.

6. Be Thankful Every Day

Although our current situation may be the toughest sacrifice you have had to make, it is not the most severe that people in other areas face daily.

It is critical to help your kids see the positives in their lives. Perhaps everyone they know is healthy. Or staying at home has meant more time with family members. Your kids may have learned a new skill in this time, such as learning to ride a bike or learning how to use tools or reading more books.

You may want to put a thankfulness time into your routine. Every day, in the conversation around the dinner table, you can role model what you were thankful for today. It can be something as small as seeing the first robin of the year or as big as grandma got out of the hospital today. Focus on the positive in direction opposition to the build-up of negative emotions.

7. Be the Best They Can

By helping your kids understand the source of their negative emotions, they can take control of their own behavior.

There are many storybooks and YouTube videos that explain the connection between stress and anxiety and bad behavior in a kid-like manner. As a parent, you will recognize that poor behavior is likely a maladjusted response for dealing with fear or depression.

Teach your child to understand that these outbursts are responses to a situation that is beyond their control. Your kids need to focus on what they can do in this very oppressive situation. They can choose to make themselves feel better. And you are there to support them as they find ways to be more positive.

With young kids, you need the right tool to help your child understand that sometimes life sucks, but when it does, that is the time to use the light at the end of the tunnel to boost their spirits.


There are some specific resources for parents to use to address feelings kids may be experiencing. Some are coronavirus specific, and others are about the emotions generated by a variety of situations. Use these resources to help your children understand that dealing with their feelings will put them into control of their life.

Spark your child’s understanding of their emotions through the right media resources.

Recommended Articles

Activities and conversation starters during the coronavirus pandemic By YoungMinds

Recommended Social Story Books for Younger Children

Use special storybooks to help change behavior. 5 Tips and Tricks for using Storybooks to Alleviate Emotional Distress

A New Day by Alex Ryvchin

There is hope for the future in this story. Arm your kids with this sentiment during this time that is filled with doubt.

Heroes of the Pandemic by Anant Naik

These everyday heroes perform magnificent feats daily. Your kids can replicate their bravery by stepping up their efforts to keep the family safe and in good spirits. Just ask them to be a hero and you may be surprised at their effort.

Help your Dragon Deal with Anxiety by Steve Herman

Although this is not a coronavirus specific book, all of the lessons in this book can be applied to the current situation.

Help your Dragon Cope with Trauma by Steve Herman

Trauma can come in many forms. It will be easy to relate the situations in this book to your current family situation. The important aspect is how to cope with trauma in any form.

Uncertain Times: A Story for Kids during a Pandemic
by Jaime Henle , Giada Biasetti, et al.

This storybook has been written by a clinical psychologist. The tiny bird, as a narrator, is a symbol of hope and freedom, which is what we need these days.

Not Forever But For Now: by Heather Malley

This story is about about feelings during the pandemic. The many scary emotions that are explored are put into counterpoint by the ever green activities and refrain “Not Forever, but For Now.”

Someday Soon by Ari Gunzburg

As adults we can rationalize that “someday soon” will come. Young kids need to hear and see confirmation that their hopes are not lost. We are all longing for that change, even if we know that it will be the new normal.

Recommended YouTube Videos

Helping Children Manage Anxiety During the COVID 19 Pandemic: You will appreciate the background information. – for parents

Kids and Stress: Willem, the “News Dude” speaks directly to kids about the causes and some solutions for stress. – suitable for older children

Stress Relief for Kids: Blow out the candle breathing. Use this video to explain training in deep breathing using cartoon characters. Your child will understand a mindful moment. – varied ages

What Causes Anxiety & Depression? This video uses scenes from the movie “Inside Out” to explain why we need to acknowledge our feelings, but then shows a way to move on. It’s okay to be sad. – a variety of ages

Managing Worry and Anxiety: The rap cartoon is about how to overcome worrying. great for older kids

De-stress Hacks to Relax: Your kids can make stress-relieving tools to destress. – suitable for older children

Anxiety for Kids – You are Normal: This video is an explanation of anxiety. The explanation includes the physical changes you undergo. – for older kids

Ruby Finds a Worry: In this storybook read aloud, A worry follows Ruby everywhere. It grows every day until she finds a friend to talk to. It shows that talking about worries with a friend is the best solution. – for young children

Anxiety Management for kids: This is a cartoon explanation about the source of anxiety.- for a school-aged child

Dealing with Anxiety as a Kid: This video explains the physical cause of anxiety and ways to cope with the fears. – for preteens and teens

Coronavirus, Education, Elementary School Kids, Parenting

7 Tips and Tricks for Going Back to School: After the Coronavirus Lockdown

Red haired boy wearing a mask, sitting at a desk. Many schools will insist that all kids will need to wear masks to keep everyone safe.

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Very soon, every family will be facing this dilemma.  You will be thinking about sending your child back to school. Since the restrictions for the coronavirus are easing, many areas are opening up the schools. In most places daycares have been open for a while. Some parents will welcome the opportunity to get closer to the new normal, and others will refuse to send their children.

In this unpredictable world, both viewpoints are understandable. 

But if you do send your child back to school, help prepare them for the inevitable.  It will not look like what they know and are familiar with.

Here are 7 pointers to assist you. The ideas have been generalized, and you may need to confirm the details with your school district. You can explain the following to your child.

1. Not The Same

School will not be the same as before. But it is safe for you to return if you understand a few ideas and the new rules about school.

If you have an older brother or sister, they may go to school first, or they may have to wait until after you go to school. Not everyone will return on the same day.

Your mom or dad may take your temperature every day to make sure you are ok to mix with your friends. This check will keep everyone safe.

2. I Can See My Friends

You will be very happy to see your friends, but you cannot play with them in the same way as before.

You can see your friends and talk to them, but you cannot get any closer than 6 feet – Parents you will need to demonstrate how far that is – have your child stretch out their hands.

You can practice social distancing at home so your child can be prepared for it. Have a “social distancing morning or afternoon” in your home to normalize the conditions. Include handwashing in your routine.

There will be no sharing of anything, including school supplies, snacks or lunches, books, papers when you go back to school.

Your teachers will give you lots of time to play with each other in a safe way. You can share what you have been doing with your families. Or you can just play, now that you are together again.

It could be that some of your friends will decide to stay at home and will not be at school with you. That is their choice. Their mom and dad will keep them safe at home.

3. The Classroom Will Be Different

Medical vector created by nizovatina – www.freepik.com

There will be fewer people in your class, so that your teachers can keep everyone safely apart at the right distance. 

You will not be allowed to leave the classroom without an adult to help you remember the rules about distancing.

Your teacher will likely teach you everything, from reading to physical education to music. It is unlikely that there will be any teachers that teach many different classes.

It also could be that your teacher may not be back.  He or she may have health concerns or may have family members who need care.  It could be a personal decision on the part of your teacher. You will not be told why they are not at school, as this is private information. No one will share the reasons with you. 

4. Keeping You Safe from the Virus

You may see more people cleaning more often. This is to keep you safe. So, if you use the blocks, they may have to be cleaned before anyone else uses them. Your teacher will explain what to do to keep you safe.

You will have to do more personal washing than ever before.  Parents need to be aware that “the new government directive says children will have to wash their hands upon arrival at school, before and after each trip to the toilet, before and after each meal, after play, after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing, after touching shared objects, and before going home,” according to The Local. Hand washing will take time for everyone to do, a few at a time.  Before you go to school, I will help you practice how to wash your hands washing and in school, you can use the songs or methods, so you know how long to spend washing your hands.

If you have a fever at school or show signs of illness, you will need to go home to keep everyone safe. 

5. Hey!!!!   This is Different

Your mom or dad will have to take your temperature every day before you leave for school.

Somethings you see will surprise you. There may be X’s on the pavement or in the hallways, so you will know where to stand. There may be arrows for ways to walk.

You will continue to see masks.  Children may have the choice to wear a mask. Some kids may have a medical reason why they cannot wear a mask. But all of the adults will wear one.

Your parents will not be able to go into the school. They may have to wait in your family car. You will need to go inside yourself, but your teachers will be there to help you. Don’t worry, everything will work out, when you go back to school.

You may go to school for a week and then will stay home for a week. Or you may go to school in the afternoons and your friends will go in the mornings.

6. Recess

Recess will look very different. Some schools will have sections of the playground for certain classes. Others will have classes go out for recess at different times.

There will be no baseball or soccer games as you come into contact too closely for those types of sports. You may want to bring some toys to play with at recess, but you may not share these toys with a friend. 

Some areas of the schoolyard may be closed to everyone. That could include the playground, sandpits, and other equipment, when you go back to school.

7. My Ride to School

You can go to school on the bus, but you may not be able to sit with a friend, as that is too close to keep you safe. Your brother or sister may need to sit on the same seat with you because they are in your safe bubble. Your friend may sit across the aisle from you. No one can turn around to talk to a friend as this is too close. You may want to play a game with your seatmates on your ride to school. You could play “I Spy” or you could count the blue cars you see on your ride.

Your teacher will help you understand how you are feeling about the differences in what is happening. Your friends will be telling everyone how they think and what is frustrating. That will be your chance to explain to them how you feel. It is okay to be upset or confused. Many kids will feel that way.

Kids and teachers will make mistakes until everyone becomes used to the new way of going to school. Everyone needs to be patient with each other because changes are hard to do, especially when there are so many happening at once.

Parental Advice

1. Check the school website or contact your school to determine the details of the return to school from the coronavirus lockdown.

2. Talk to your children about aspects of returning to school in small chunks. Do not overwhelm them with too much information. It is okay to say, “I don’t know the answer, but I will try to find out for you.”

3. Try to be matter of fact about the entire situation. The calmer you are, the more relaxed your kids will be.

4. Remember to ask your child if they have any questions.  Your child might be worrying about something that isn’t true.  You can alleviate some of their stress with your answers.

5. If your child is anxious, you may want to consider a delayed entry back to school. Things will start to become routine after the first week, and that might be the most suitable time to have your child begin to participate in school.

6. Similarly, if your child becomes too anxious with all of the changes, you may want to withdraw them from school at this time, until things are less restrictive. Your child’s mental health is more important than academic progress over the next few months.

7. The school system is well aware that this is a difficult time. As a parent, you have the right to request support for your children and your family. So if you feel your child needs a special request, be sure to voice your concerns. Schools will take measures to accommodate all kids, if it is within their guidelines.

Remember, there is no textbook answer to the complications of the coronavirus. Don’t be reluctant to negotiate what you feel are the needs of your family.  Contact the school with any of your concerns. They will make every effort to help you. We are all struggling to maintain our composure in these very trying times. And don’t forget to celebrate with your children their return to school.

Going to school is a big step back into our new normal state.

With careful preparations, your children can do their share in helping their community heal. 

Helping Your Child in Other Areas

Emotional Distress: Help your child gain control over their emotions. Use storybooks to address jealousy, temper, and other emotions. https://familysmartprocom.wordpress.com/5-tips-and-tricks-for-using-storybooks-to-alleviate-emotional-distress-in-your-kids/

A Positive Approach: Kids Can: in the coronavirus pandemic. See the tips and tricks to help kids be more positive during the coronavirus pandemic. Use storybooks and Youtube videos to help your kids understand their emotions.  https://familysmartprocom.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/kids-can-in-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Early Reading: If you need some guidance about teaching reading, learn some tips and tricks from an award-winning  Canadian teacher who has been teaching reading for decades. Help for Parents (Reading Instruction) : https://familysmartprocom.wordpress.com/how-do-i-teach-reading-to-my-preschooler-phonics-worksheets-picture-books-toddler-games/

Physical Activity: Take a look at these outdoor activities to expend your child’s energy.   https://familysmartprocom.wordpress.com/outdoor-activities-for-kids/