There is academic pressure among students as early as kindergarten. As children continue their education, elementary school students are faced with an unprecedented amount of stress and anxiety. Twenty five percent of elementary school students will experience an anxiety disorder according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. There have been many challenges from the past year that have required students to cope with a range of external stressors; mainly having to be physically distanced while enduring academic disruptions from the pandemic. For example, elementary school students are finding it hard to take things one day at a time, focus on school, and move forward with a positive mindset. Some students need online tutoring or in-home tutoring to help cope with this stress of school work.
Introducing students to effective mindfulness strategies are vital to helping elementary school students increase their performance in school and help them manage stress and anxiety. In regard to this, mindfulness can also bring elementary school students increased focus and self regulation, and improved sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, early stress levels can negatively impact learning, memory, behavior, and both physical and mental health.
In addition, a 2015 study by Schonert-Reichl looked at the effectiveness of a twelve week social and emotional learning (SEL) program that included mindfulness training. Ninety nine 4th and 5th graders were divided into two groups: one received a weekly SEL curriculum and the other a social responsibility program. The analyzing measures included behavioral assessments, cortisol levels, feedback from their peers regarding sociability, as well as academic scores of math grades. The results revealed huge differences. Compared to the elementary school students who learned the social responsibility program, elementary school students who trained in mindfulness scored higher in math, had twenty four percent more points in social behaviors, and were twenty percent less aggressive.
To help elementary school children relieve themselves of stress, belly breathing techniques can be a useful tool to help students cope with tiredness and anxiety. Breathing patterns alter in pattern and rhythm at different times of the day and in different emotional states. For example, sighing in despair, gasping with exhaustion, and holding breath in fear can affect a student’s breathing patterns. Usually breathing occurs naturally, without us ever thinking about it, however elementary school children can learn to alter their breathing pattern at will. This is important because of the unique relationship between their thinking and bodily processes. Ultimately, breathing patterns can play an important role in how much elementary school students are affected by stress. Breathing is one of the most sensitive indicators or warning signs of stress, because it is such a vital link between our minds and bodies.
By consciously increasing elementary school students’ awareness about breathing and by having them practice breathing techniques, it is possible for them to:
- Improve their overall sense of well-being
- Decrease their levels of stress
- Help to bring about interconnectedness between their minds and bodies
Afterwards, they should feel that their hands and belly button are coming back to their normal position. Guide the elementary school child to do 4 to 5 breaths like this and then to breathe normally.
When it comes to incorporating mindfulness techniques into everyday routine, it is important to note that we breathe in two different ways: Chest breathing and Abdominal breathing (or diaphragmatic) breathing. Elementary school children usually chest breathe when they are exercising as you can see their chest moving upwards and outwards. But if elementary school students constantly use chest breathing, it can make their body tense, as if it is under stress. This is because their upper chest muscles can increase feelings of anxiety.
When elementary school children breathe in – their diaphragm contracts, flattens and moves downwards, filling air into their lungs. As their diaphragm moves down, it pushes their abdominal muscles down, which forces their abdominal wall outwards. When elementary school students breathe out (exhalation) their diaphragm relaxes and air passes out of their lungs. The abdominal wall then moves upwards helping the air to flow out of their lungs.
Belly breathing for self-regulation and relieving anxiety:
- Let an elementary school child sit on a supportive seat and encourage them to sit up as straight as they can.
- Guide them to put both their hands on their tummy. Then keep their mouth closed and take a slow breath in through their nose.
- Have them imagine, as they breathe in, that there is a balloon in their belly and they are trying to fill it up with air.
- Encourage them to keep breathing in until they think the balloon in their belly has enough air inside. Don’t encourage them to breathe in too much as they may then find it hard to stay relaxed. They should be feeling their hands on their belly as it’s moving outwards – point this out to them.
- When the elementary school child feels their belly is full of air, encourage them to imagine they have let go of the balloon and the air is rushing out. Guide them to breathe out slowly through their mouth.
The benefits of belly breathing for elementary school children:
- Increases awareness of children’s breath and its effect on their body. When elementary school children take deeper breaths, their breathing and heart rate will become slower and this in turn will help them calm down. This is a great skill to learn at a young age as it becomes harder to coordinate this movement as we get older.
- Teaches the skill of relaxation. It is never too early for elementary school children to become more aware of how their body feels when they are relaxed for a while. When children relax they often find it easier to think. Encouraging elementary school children to think back on their day will also help them relax. Reflection and thinking time is great for learning and also promotes the development of an imaginative and creative mind. Elementary school children will start to think about not only “what is” but “what if?”
Jump Start Tutors are committed to finding trending topics and offering you free and effective educational resources. Resources are always a great tool for supplementation and for enhancing your child’s learning strategy.
However, elementary school students who are struggling to adjust with virtual learning may be behind and finding it harder to stay on track. As such, this may be an especially daunting and stressful time in their education.
Building important study strategies and mindfulness techniques play a key role in determining grades, and subsequently affecting elementary school student’s performance and placement in more advanced classes.
We understand the unique challenges students face when learning online. That is why all of our online tutors are top-tier college level graduates who score in the top 5% for every subject they tutor, so our elementary school students can be confident taking advice from them.
With Jump Start’s tutoring services, finding a friendly and helpful elementary school tutor that will work with your elementary school student one-on-one with a customized approach is easy!
Choosing our private one-on-one and small group tutoring services provides all elementary school students with a blueprint customized to ensure their maximum success in their academics. Our tutors will provide mindfulness tips and motivation to help students adjust to new and beneficial academic habits.
Disruptions to learning can have long term consequences on elementary school students’ knowledge and skills, achievement, path to college and career, and lifetime goals. Taking into consideration a long overdue investment of resources and unplanned interferences, elementary school students who were already at an educational disadvantage will lag even further behind their peers who had access to education during this time.
Elementary school students struggling to adjust to virtual learning can expect an academic edge by receiving help navigating their online courses with a hands-on learning experience in-home or online; as they discover their learning style and prepare for exams in reading, writing, math, science, history, test prep, study skills and much more!
We focus on creating a plan for students in elementary school to receive the necessary guidance and tools to score at the top.
Choosing our online one-on-one and small group tutoring services includes interactive whiteboards, screen sharing, document sharing and video tools to make online learning more personalized and fun.
Give your child the gift of education by signing up for our in home or online tutoring services today!
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