In the first few days of school, we have already settled into some of the routines we will use all year. One of the most important routines is the way we gently and mindfully enter each day.
Recently, there seems to be a spate of articles and research showing the benefits of teaching mindfulness to young children. I've been doing some form of this for several years now, and can tell you first hand the difference it has made to my teaching and to my students.
* Reduces stress. We think of childhood as a carefree time, and in many ways it is. However, children feel stress just as we do. Mindfulness reduces stress by slowing down the breath.
* Improved sleep. When children get enough sleep, it is reflected in the way the act and interact with others.
* Increases focus. This is the number one benefit that I personally see as their teacher. I can tell the difference on days that we do not take time to sit in mindfulness - children are much more wiggly and unable to focus in academics.
In short, it helps all kids thrive in school, regardless of age, attention issues, or other physiological issues.
Yesterday, the children got to select 4 pebbles from a basket. These four pebbles represent mountain, still water, space, and a flower. They can be used doing a special type of guided meditation called, simply, pebble meditation.
We also finished sewing our pebble pouches. This is a great beginner sewing project, and - besides being rather meditative in its own right - sewing these pouches taught skills that will be used next week in a larger sewing project. Children were taught two types of useful stitches - the whip stitch and the blanket stitch. Many thanks to Leland's mom, Ianna, for helping me keep ahead of the needle threading!
Are you curious about doing mindfulness with children? Do you have about 7 minutes after drop-off to spend in a sweet, quiet, and loving space with your child? Please consider joining us in the morning (Tuesday - Friday) for this special time.
Many thanks to the parents who have already joined us! If YOU show that it is important, your child with think so too.