As a teacher and a mom, I am preparing to teach from home. I am thinking about the lessons that I may need to provide to my students via e-learning as well as what I will do with my own three children to keep everyone happy and healthy. I know that I am not the only one thinking about this extended time home. While many are looking at this time with dread, I have to be honest, I am actually looking at it in such a positive way. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are unsettling times. I am worried about everyone’s health and well being. I worry about my parents and grandmother. I also realize that I am EXTREMELY lucky to be in a situation, that if school does get closed here in NY, I will be able to be home with my kids because I am a teacher. Not everyone is in the same situation. For those feeling overwhelmed about either providing lessons for students or finding things for your own children to do, my goal is to provide some resources to make this time a bit less stressful. If you read my blog, you know that I am a BIG believer in mindfulness and what a better time to try it out? As mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I will be providing daily mindful activities for my own students who have requested that we continue our mindful minute even if we are not together. I will post them here for you to use with your own students or children. I have collected a list of great apps that I have used that are either completely free or at least of great free aspects that can be helpful for you and your families. Here they are: (P.S. – I do not get any kickbacks from these companies!) *All can be found in the app store!
*10 Percent Happier – This app has just been release for FREE due to the pandemic. This is a great resource for you to use as an individual to start your own mindfulness practice or to pass along to older students.
*Calm – This app is my favorite go to. However, there are only some aspects that are free. However, it is the perfect place to start if you are looking for a resource!
*Insight Timer – I use this app in my classroom and love it.
*Headspace – this app is free for teachers! A great resource for kids and teachers!
*Stop, Breathe, Think – I really love this app as it helps you identify the perfect meditation based on what you are currently feeling.
As I mentioned, these are great apps to use either for personal use or with students. I cannot think of a better time to incorporate mindfulness with your own children if you happen to be home with them for this extended time. Instead of watching the news 24/7, incorporate a minute or more of mindfulness as a family. The way that I look at it, this time is scary, but really could be such a wonderful time to build connection and new traditions between our families.
As a teacher, I totally understand the stress that many are feeling. The idea of teaching virtually can be daunting. Thinking about the lessons to send while being mindful of the situation that our students may be in has me really thinking. I don’t want to over burden them especially since I know that some of my students will be the babysitters in their households. Other students who receive special education services will not be getting the help that they need. Also, the stress of all of this for a child can be more than they can handle. That is why giving them a tool to be mindful and take a meaningful break may be so important.
If you are a teacher and would like a list of other FREE resources to help with lesson planning or activities for children, follow me on facebook where I have posted many of the free online resources that I have found.