With 2017 coming to an end, here are a few journal prompts to reflect on the past year and to look forward to 2018!
This article was written fro St. Monica's Student Abroad Newsletter
With first term quickly coming to an end, in addition to any personal stresses, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to be developing some academic stress. Your exams and term paper due dates are likely quickly approaching! This can be a very stressful time when you are away at school. The key to stress management is being able to identify your stressors and choosing an approach to help you manage these stressors.
Firstly, let us chat a bit about what stress is. Positive and negative stress are constantly impact all our lives. According to The Random House Dictionary, stress is defined as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension,” and, “a situation, occurrence, or factor causing this.” The word “stress” comes from a Latin word meaning, “distress.”
Stress can be difficult to pin down because it is a very individual thing. Since stress is different for everyone, your approach must be personalized, too. Typically, we interpret stress as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
By this point, you may have figured out what your stress indicators are. Some people begin to feel anxious, some get neck pain, some just have difficulty settling down to get work done because they just feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. Your symptoms will help you identify exactly what it is that is stressing you out. Once you identify your stressors, you can start to look at how to manage them.
Identifying the cause of stress can help you reduce the number and impact of stressors in your life, and it can help you manage the stress that does occur. If you are having difficulty identifying your stressors, you can always create a stress log. Not only can a stress log help you identify your major stressors, but it can also help you identify trends in those stressors and give you clues as to the best way to manage your stress.
Once you have identified your stressors, you must remind yourself that you have a choice in how you will approach it. You can choose from the three A’s
Alter – Perhaps you need to alter the way you are approaching a difficult roommate in order to make your living situation less stressful.
Avoid – Study groups can be helpful, and they can also be stressful. If there is a study group that is making you more anxious than it is helping you, you may decide that you will avoid this group.
Accept – Perhaps you haven’t done as well on an exam as you would like. The results may cause you stress, but once you accept them, and that these things do happen, you will be in a better position to work towards a more successful grade the next time around.
The three A’s can really help in dealing with stress once it occurs. However, the best way to manage stress is to create a stress reducing lifestyle. When you live a stress reducing lifestyle, you will do a better job of managing personal and academic challenges when they do arise.
The foundation of a low-stress lifestyle involves 3 essential building blocks: diet, sleep and exercise. Take some time to evaluate your diet. Is it balanced? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you ensuring that you are getting exercise daily? No stress reduction program will be successful in the long term unless you have this solid foundation.
Additional tools that can help you in this upcoming busy academic season are: listening to music, having a sense of humor, soothing stretches, deep breathing, prayer and meditation.
Wishing you a great and low stress month!
For the last 4 years it has been an absolute pleasure to host the Dawn Program for Behavioral Sciences at Learn and Lead. We have worked with Nicole Cox to provide ABA services within the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through the years she and her technicians have managed to work with many parents, students, teachers and families to help children with Autism and/or behavioral challenges reach their potential. She has been an invaluable resource to us at Learn and Lead and to nation. We wish her all the best!
Educational materials facilitate successful teaching and learning. Our 2017 Educational Materials Catalog is available at the center. In this year's catalog there is a wide array of materials for classrooms from pre-school to middle school.
Sections in this years catalog are:
We know many teachers have lost materials with the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria. For this reason, teachers will receive a 20% discount on items in this catalog. Discounts are also available upon request on items from Scholastic, Benchmark, Carpets for Kids & Jonti-Carft Furniture. Call Yolande at 232 3398 or email her at email@example.com.
Are there any other parents that are ready for back to school? ! As much as we love our little munchkins, the summers can be long, and I know many of us are looking forward to the first day of school!
The first day of school is filled with great excitement. With the new uniforms ready and the fresh new school supplies all set to be broken into, there is much anticipation! For some children, this also comes with a little bit of anxiety. Being nervous on the first day of school is natural, but there are a few things we can do to ease help them with some of these nerves.
As adults, we tend to have less anxiety when we are prepared. Children are the same way. The first day of school can be filled with many unknowns and lots of uncertainty. This is especially true if your child is starting a new school. Having an organized beginning to the school year and knowing what to expect can make the difference between a few healthy nerves and full-fledged fear and anxiety.
Firstly, start by validating their concerns. Never underestimate the power of being understanding. Remind them that being nervous is a natural emotion, but that there are steps that can be taken to make this emotion feel less overwhelming. Have a frank discussion with your child about their concerns, so that you know where you need to put most of your efforts.
We live in an age of instant gratification. Our children are growing up in an age where gratification is not delayed or earned in the same ways it may have been in the past. For this reason, it’s important to teach our children the virtue of gratitude.
There are many virtues that our children have to learn when they are young. They need to learn how to share and how to take turns. These are skills that we want them to learn when they are young and that we teach them; we don’t expect them to just pick these up. This is important to keep in mind when we think of gratitude. Although living by example may encourage your children to show gratitude; it is also a skill that should be taught.
Gratitude is a mindset that is developed through environment and the way in which we guide our children. As a parent, by practicing and encouraging gratitude, you are doing more than just teaching your children to say thank you and have good manners. You are helping them to develop a way of thinking that will help them be healthier and happier individuals that connect with the world around them. When you do not take the time to teach gratitude, you risk raising children that feel entitled and as a result may end up feeling perpetually disappointed as they grow up.
With the 2017-2018 school year right around the corner, it's registration time again!
Our specialized tutoring program will resume the week of September 11th, and we cannot wait to get back into the swing of things!
New students entering our Specialized Tutoring program will take part in an initial consultation and assessment with their parents present. This gives us our starting point that helps us to personalize each child's plan.
Our Specialized Tutoring program focuses on helping each child reach their potential in English, math and thinking skills. Clear goals and targets are set and sessions are structured to help each child achieve their personal goals and targets.
Registration fee is $50.00 and sessions are charged based on an hourly rate. The registration fee for returning students is $25.00. Please return registration form to Yolande at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will contact you to either schedule your consultation or your child's schedule.
We have so much going on in our world today that we have to wonder whether we are forgetting the importance of the basic principles such as kindness and compassion.
Sometimes, children can be mean. Yes, they can be very mean. This is not cute, this is not a sign of maturity, and this is not acceptable. I want to be blunt about this, because when we don’t encourage kindness and compassion in children, we have to remember that we are creating teens and adults that will lack kindness and compassion as well.
The key to raising a child who demonstrates kindness and compassion is to begin by training our minds to notice kindness and compassion. Yes, the minds of us as parents. When we notice it, we can praise it. This encourages more of the same behavior. Kindness and compassion can seem like abstract values to children, so when we point out clear instances of kindness and compassion they gain a better understanding of what these virtues look like in reality.
Let’s use a basic example of praising behaviors to understand why we want to recognize and praise kindness and compassion. Imagine you have a baby that is about to start walking for the first time. When they take these first few steps, we fill them with praise, hugs, kisses, and smiles. The baby starts to realize they are doing something that gets a pretty awesome reaction and is followed by all sorts of goodness. This encourages them to continue to build on this behavior. We continue to give them this attention until walking becomes a normal behavior and they see and feel the benefits. So how does this relate to kindness and compassion? If when a child is kind and compassionate towards others they are praised, they are more likely to continue the behavior…even when praise is no longer always there.
Children are generally very good receivers of kindness and compassion. They tend to get it from their parents and caregivers all the time. When we help them become givers of kindness and compassion we escalate their feelings of happiness, improve their well-being, reduce instances of bullying in our schools and communities, and enrich relationships. These basic virtues are extremely powerful, not only to the receivers, but to the givers.
So how can we notice kindness and compassion? Help children become conscious of what they are doing. For example, if your child is picking up the toys, rather than just saying “thank you”, say “thank you for picking up the toys.” If big sister, runs to comfort little brother when he takes a tumble highlight the fact that she ran to him to comfort him.
When actions contribute to the welfare of others, point it out. “You said thanks for having me over so that your friend knows that you appreciate them inviting you.”
You can also simply add a descriptive tag to an action in progress such as, ‘that was kind,’ ‘that was helpful, ‘that was thoughtful.’ When we do this, we are yet again moving from the abstract to the concrete. We are teaching our children what these qualities look, feel and sounds like.
By noticing compassion and kindness we are making our children more conscious. As parents, we need to model acts of kindness for our children to see. When we model it, and encourage and notice it within our children, we will see the behaviors increase. Remember, that we tend to get more of what we focus on. Focus on the bad behavior, the behavior spikes. Focus on the good behavior…you may find that you get more good behavior than you expect!
Yolande Robinson B.Ed. M.Ed.
Yolande Robinson, owner of Learn and Lead Educational Center, has a passion for educating and sharing knowledge. She is the mother of three children - Maya, Jamell Jr. and Jacob.