Elementary


ELEMENTARY GRADE LEVEL

Elementary School children are usually between 5 and 8 years old. Your child may be eager to take on new challenges and may be learning to better express themselves. During these formative early years, your child is developing crucial learning pathways in the brain that will lay the groundwork for their future academic success. Children at this age are learning to speak and communicate in new ways, and beginning to explore books and other written materials. Their discovery of math will start with an understanding of how numbers work.

Young children will be learning to understand and discuss information from a range of sources and they will also begin learning to express their selves effectively in writing. They will continue to build upon the math skills they learned in 1st & 2nd.  grades.

Tips and advice on the BFF website include both general and specific suggestions for how best to provide support as your child progresses through school. The tips for parents offer grade-appropriate ideas for ways in which you can assist your children at home with what they are learning in the classroom.

Elementary-Age Children

Can develop and grow significantly with the BFF comprehensive educational programs and therapeutic treatment to address their needs. Federal educational law known as IDEA law requires all schools to provide an appropriate education, at no cost parents, to eligible children with disabilities, from the age of 3. This means that a child with Special Needs may be entitled to receive the specialized education supports and services that they might need to learn and develop. These policies reflect the importance of providing education and support services to help a young child at every developmental stage, and address the special needs of the child that arise from his or her disability.

There is a process in which families and Better Focused Friendships can develop an Individual Education Program for your child. Assessments are done to discover the needs of the child and determine if the child is eligible for special education. If the answer is YES, goals are written to support the child in learning what other children of the same age are learning. Services and supports are provided to help the child meet their goals. The process can be initiated for any child of elementary school age.

Individual Therapy with Children

Meeting with children individually gives them an opportunity to present their difficulties—as well as the family’s challenges—from their perspective. Children, though, usually do not choose to begin therapy, most often, it is parents, relatives, teachers, etc., that have identified this need. The child’s motivation and interest is created through the development of the therapeutic relationship – rapport, trust, and safety are crucial, necessary elements for progress, growth, and healing. The challenge is engaging children so that therapy is not a boring, uncomfortable chore, but rather, can become a place of comfort and acceptance, or a place where exciting and vital adventures in self-discovery can happen.

Working with children differs greatly from the traditional adult “talk therapy” session. It is important to have an understanding of child development and to work with each child at his or her own level. Children (even very bright, verbally sophisticated children) often do not know how to identify or explain the causes for their sadness, fears, or behaviors. Sometimes, it is embarrassment, shame, or traumatic experiences that are an obstacles to direct verbal expression. Part of the work with children is to help them find images, symbols, gestures, and words, instead of symptomatic behaviors, to express themselves, and to start again on their path of healthy development.

Group Therapy with Children

Group Therapy focuses on building fundamental social skills and is geared towards children on the spectrum, as well as children who struggle with skills related to communication, emotional regulation, and social interactions. While group activities vary depending on the ages and makeup of the group, some core areas that are addressed include developing an interest in others, building friendships and relationships, developing flexibility within play, increasing engagement and expanding conversation skills, developing perspective taking abilities, learning how to be appropriately assertive and mastering appropriate conflict resolution skills.  A blend of structured and unstructured activities allow for teachable moments to occur in a way that is both organic and meaningful. Group leaders will work on both scaffolding new skills and developing existing abilities, while enhancing the ability to generalize skills across different settings.

ELEMENTARY

During these early elementary years, when children are in a formal school setting, they’re interacting with more peers and adults. This increased exposure to others begins to broaden their understanding of the world. Children at this age are developing the ability to identify their feelings and what causes them. They are also learning how to manage their emotions and behave appropriately. You can help your child develop their social and emotional skills. The concepts that BFF focuses on are based on the five sets of competencies developed by the collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. Keep in mind every child develops at his/her own pace. If you have concerns about your child’s development, please contact your healthcare provider or your child’s teacher or school counselor, or email us at: info@betterfocusedfriendships.com

BFF ELEMENTARY INDIVIDUAL LESSONS PLANS

1. Lesson Topic: Behavior

BFF firmly believes when dealing with Behavior there is no magic formula that will work in all situations. It’s helpful to understand the kinds of issues that impact a child’s behavior. In our Behavior lessons, children will understand these issues and know what to expect at different developmental stages, their reactions will be wiser and it will be easier to create an environment that supports and nurtures your child. BFF’s goal is to help children learn how to care for themselves, and give children doable tasks and be supportive when children experience failure as well as success. This also will give children real and meaningful work to do, which will help young children learn to be good citizens and have high hopes for our children.

2. Lesson Topic: Social Skills

BFF believes that there is no question that children with better Social Skills have a significant advantage in life. They not only experience the rewards of positive relationships, but they do better in school, have a better self-image, and in general, are much more resilient as they face life’s inevitable challenges. The category of Social Skills can also be expanded to facets of self-control such as appropriate behavior. For many children, Social Skills are learned by observing how others in their environment handle social situations. Our Social Skills lesson will teach children how to imitate desirable responses such as turn taking because little thought is given to how the young child became so adept at playing board games, cards, or other activities that require a child to wait for others.

3. Lesson Topic: Friendships

BFF believes that at any age, having friends provides support and promotes mental health and wellbeing. Children’s Friendships are also very important for their social and emotional development.  Our Friendship lesson will teach children through Friendships how they can learn how to relate with others. They develop social skills as they teach each other how to be good friends. Children who have friends are more likely to be self-confident and perform better academically at school than those without friends. When children have difficulty in making friends or in keeping them, it often leads to feeling lonely and unhappy with themselves. Feeling rejected by others may lead to significant distress. Learning positive Friendship skills can help children socially so they feel happier and more confident.

4. Lesson Topic: Academics

Our Academics lesson will focus on the development of a child’s character, confidence, motivation and personal responsibility for all their schoolwork, all of which contribute to the child’s academic and personal wellbeing. A child who is academically motivated wants to learn, likes learning related activities, and believes school is very important. Our Academics lesson will help children develop a desire to do well in school because our children that believe learning is important and rewarding in their lives will go far in their future.

5. Lesson Topic: Bullying

Our Bullying lesson will help children understand the extent, seriousness, and dynamics of Bullying. Children will be able to recognize and respond early and effectively to behaviors that can lead to bullying along with learn about new effective strategies for controlling bullying. This will prepare your child to recognize and respond effectively to early Bullying behavior. BFF will empower your child to actively intervene to prevent and stop Bullying.

6. Lesson Topic: Responsibility

BFF firmly believes that Responsibility is a value children learn from their parents, schools, peers, and society. It is a lifelong skill that helps children be successful throughout life. Children grow into responsible adults when they are taught and guided to act responsibly. Teaching children Responsibility can begin when they are young. In this Responsibility lesson, BFF will find ways to teach children a sense of Responsibility is one of the best characteristics you can develop in your child. Responsibility is a lifelong skill that you can teach to your young children, beginning now!

Your child can become better armed at making decisions, learn control and grow as you want them to, as a person who does tasks without whining or constant direction.

7. Lesson Topic: Self Sufficiently

BFF believes that teaching your children Self-Sufficiency enables them to develop the skills necessary to survive in an unpredictable world. Children who have a sense of independence and Self-Sufficiency are more likely to handle the challenges of growing up, are more likely to perform better at school and in other areas of life, and they are likely to grow into successful adults. In Self Sufficiently lesson, teaching your child to be Self-Sufficient and instilling in them a sense of personal responsibility are two of the most difficult challenges of parenting. What’s happening too often is that our kids have no idea how to self-manage. In some extreme cases, completely normal, competent children are reluctant to do for themselves things that are age-appropriate, such as sleeping alone, solving problems with their friends, and the big one, doing their homework without parental aid.

8. Lesson Topic: Family

BFF believes we are all part of a Family. Families are configured in different ways with many factors affecting them: divorce, adoption, remarriage, ethnic diversity, grandparents as primary care givers, single parents, foster care, etc.  In this Family lesson, children will learn that there are different kinds of families and no one structure is better than another. They discover that all types of Families love and care for each other. The children will discuss their Family structures. They will become familiar with the Family diversity of their peers and others in the world and learn about Family habits, history, and values.

9. Lesson Topic: Wellness & Nutrition

BFF believes healthy eating and physical activity habits are important for your child’s wellbeing. The purpose of Wellness and Nutrition is to enhance opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for children by implementing strong and comprehensive eating and wellness activities for our children.  This lesson includes goals for nutrition education and promotion, physical activity, and other home-based activities that promote children wellness. This lesson provides positive messages that help children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits. It also provides an opportunity to practice these healthy habits. Our Health and Wellness lesson includes the opportunity to make personal choices from healthy food options in the school, dining area and throughout the school, the opportunity to eat in pleasant and comfortable surroundings, and the opportunity for physical activity that is fun. By providing these messages and opportunities, lifestyle choices are being taught in different environments.

10. Lesson Topic: Parental Control

BFF believes in creating safe and accessible environments for children and young people wherever they are, at home, at school, or in public facilities such as libraries or Internet cafés. Our Parental Control lesson will help create these environments, so that all children and young people can enjoy, and harness the positive aspects of modern technology. This BFF lesson focuses teaching children about different forms of media technology, discuss the purposes, safety and uses of media devices.

11. Lesson Topic: How to conduct a play date

BFF believes that children learn through playing with other children, so it is important that they get plenty of opportunities to do so. A Play Date is a great way to help children to grow socially, intellectually and physically.  In our how to conduct a Playdate lesson, children will learn how to interact, cooperate and collaborate to plan together, to agree on things, and what to do when they disagree. They gain the knowledge how to share, take turns, and be polite and respectful. Children learn to think about what another child wants or needs. These help them to learn about empathy, the foundation of tolerance. The empathy, which is the antidote for bullying. Children get also a chance to learn new games, in different setting, with the toys that they don’t have at home. And of course while doing some projects they master fine motor skills or burn off their energy while mastering a monkey bar. There is something unusual about a play date, unstructured, unfettered, unencumbered play. It gives children the opportunity to imagine, pretend, play silly and be proud of their own abilities.

12. Lesson Topic: Perspective Taking

BFF believes the common misconception is that life skills are picked up by children as they go through life. Although this may be the case for some life skills, sometimes it is necessary for us to take specific measures to ensure that our children learn these skills and learn them well. For instance, children generally develop Perspective Taking as they grow older but some children are better at it than others. In this Perspective Taking lesson, in a nutshell, it is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand what they are thinking and feeling. Individuals who are adept at Perspective Taking are capable of correctly interpreting what others are thinking, and what they mean from what they say and do. There are numerous benefits of Perspective Taking.

13. Lesson Topic: Problem Solving

BFF believes that Problem Solving in children is a critical survival skill. Problem Solving skills are necessary to resolve conflicts that arise on almost every day. In our Problem Solving lesson, children will learn that Problem Solving skills are necessary to solve children’s own problems, which eventually will assist them to build self-composure, as well as self-esteem and self-confidence. Problem Solving skills assist children solve their own problems, big or small, with a sense of immense confidence. Whether your children are already attending their school today or whether they are still at home, teaching Problem Solving skills will help them develop a dynamic personality and smart mind. When your children know to how to solve problems, they can flourish very well in their classroom by scoring better grades and marks. Furthermore, problem solving skills also help your children confront any type of problems or obstacles that they come across in the society.

The early Years of Your Child’s Development

Child development refers to the changes that occur as a child grows and develops in relation to being physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally sound, socially competent and ready to learn.

The first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.

Recent research confirms that the first five years are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain, and the first three years are the most critical in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Early experiences provide the base for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life. They have a direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities.

Elementary-age children can develop and grow significantly with comprehensible educational programs with therapeutic treatment to address their needs. Some children seem to be socially adept from birth, while others struggle with various challenges of social acceptance. Some children make friends easily; others are loners. Some children have self-control, and others have quick tempers. Some are natural leaders, while others are withdrawn.