Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rabbit vs. Turtle

This week we added something new to our school routine. I found this great curriculum by Stress Free Kids which helps kids learn how to reduce stress, anxiety and anger by using visualization and relaxation techniques.

In addition to the lesson outlines, the kit comes with three CDs: one is relaxing instrumental music, and the other two each have four stories on them.  The stories on both CDs have similar themes, but one CD is for 4-9 year old and the other is for 6-12 year olds. There are four lessons, and each lesson can be used with one story from the younger CD and one story from the older CD. We're starting with the younger CD and once we've done all four of those stories, we will switch to the older CD and do all of those stories.

We will be doing the lessons once a week, on Tuesdays, and will probably spend a month on each lesson. They don't take a month to do; we'll just repeat the lessons every week so things really have a chance to sink in. We started this week with the first lesson, which is on visualization, and and uses the story "A Boy and a Turtle". Part of the lesson was spent running and jumping around like rabbits and then moving around slowly like turtles.  We talked a little bit about how different they felt, and how different energies could be more appropriate at different times.

The curriculum also comes with coloring pages that you can copy and use, but we don't really use coloring pages. Instead, while the girls colored in their main lesson books today, we talked about energetic (rabbit) colors and calm (turtle) colors. Interestingly, while coloring, Lissie, who is pretty much ALLRABBITENERGYALLTHETIME! kept referring to rabbit energy as "bad" energy and turtle energy as "good" energy. I suppose that comes from us often constantly telling her to calm down. I will have to make sure that as we are doing the lesson we talk about how neither energy is bad or good, just that certain energies are more appropriate in certain situations.

You can see where she made four boxes on the page. She said she was going to color turtle energy in two boxes, and rabbit energy in the other two. The bottom two started out with green in one box and blue in the other. She told me those were her turtle energy boxes and the top two had rabbit energy. The next time I saw it she had colored "rabbit energy" all over the page, and I would not have expected anything less.

Then Lissie ran around the house like a maniac rabbit while I wasted another hour of my life on the phone listening to AT&T's shitty hold music. I made the girls eggs for dinner and we put them to bed early. I know kids like Lissie just need outlets for their energy, but I got four hours of sleep last night.  I have enough trouble keeping up with her on a normal day.

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