Homeschooling     Hot Topics     Home and Family     Women's Health     Healthy Kids     Teen Health     Family Fun    

How to help kids slow down and tune in

Mindfulness helps with mental focus

How to help kids slow down and tune in

Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment, by being aware of our sensations and acknowledging our thoughts and feelings.

For kids who have difficulty staying focused at school, mindfulness can help them calm down and stay present. Anytime your kids' energy is getting out of control, a mindfulness exercise is a good way to bring them back to earth.

Licensed clinician Stephanie Kaufman offers these suggestions for family activities to introduce your child to mindfulness.

Awareness walk: As you stroll together, ask your child to pay attention to sights, sounds, and smells. Describe what you are noticing, too. Pause to touch objects and talk about their texture and temperature.

Inflate a balloon: Instead of going for speed, the trick is to use the smallest number of breaths. This goal requires taking long, deep breaths, both in and out. Ask your child to describe the sensations that follow.

Memory game: Both you and your child take a few moments to look around, then close your eyes and try to describe as many items as you can remember. For children that find this task overwhelming, you can limit the scope to a particular section of your environment.

Guess with eyes closed: Hand your child objects to feel with eyes closed, and ask them to guess what they're holding. The olfactory version of this game can take place in the kitchen or bathroom, where you can pass foods and toiletry items under their nose to identify by smell.

Mindful listening: As you listen to music, help your child notice rhythms, harmonies, instruments. Online you can find nature recordings and try to identify animal sounds, water, wind.

Drawing on the back: Take turns drawing on each other's backs with a finger, so each of you can guess what's being outlined. Older kids can draw numbers, letters, or words.

Five senses report: At any moment, you can ask your child to catalogue what their five senses are conveying.

More Homeschooling

  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 Fun, Easy Ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • 6 tips to mitigate mental health risks for youth

    The surgeon general highlight the urgent need to address Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem. read more »
  • How to prevent cyberbullying with technology

    Who is at risk and what you can do

    Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent among children and teens, as young people now spend more time on phones, computers and digital devices. About 6 in 10 teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to Pew Research Center. read more »
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program

    Adventure Awaits Students Ages 6-9

    The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program for children ages 6-9 has quickly become one of the Nature Museum’s most beloved programs. Originally created out of the needs of families undertaking distance/learning, the program has proved so popular it has remained in place by demand. read more »
  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need exercise too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • World's No. 1 STEAM Program Launches New STEM/STEAM Book Series

    New Challenge Island chapter book series with a spectacular, hands-on STEM/STEAM twist!

    Challenge Island has been providing kids with award-winning STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning adventures for almost two decades. On National Stem Day (Nov. 8), the magic of the world's No. 1 STEAM program will combine with the magic of reading to launch the first book in the Challenge Island STEAM book series. read more »
  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • The Mama Bear Effect Launches New Resource to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

    Parents of young children and those with special education needs now have a free tool to educate children about their bodies and boundaries

    Parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists now have a new tool to educate the most vulnerable population of children, those who need specialized assistance with learning and communication. read more »
  • How to help high-achieving students manage stress

    Tips and insight for parents

    School administrators at Howard County Public Schools (HCPS) in Maryland were surprised to learn that high-achieving students wanted to get rid of class rank—a measure of student success that weighs higher-level classes differently when calculating grade point average. The class ranking system created an unnecessary burden, students said, and discouraged them from taking the classes they really wanted. read more »