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Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?

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On a totally different end of the spectrum from my usual interests, my stepdaughter is now a new teacher in public school grades K-5 or so and trying to help kids from some rough backgrounds learn Spanish. However, as she has noticed, they likely need to be able to handle basic skills like attention regulation and self-calming in order to actually learn Spanish.

Anyone know of any good resources or references for this sort of thing that will fly in public school?

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/20/18 12:18 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I know there were some 'official' trials in the UK school system of introducing mindfulness practice. As far as I know, they all used a simplified/modified version of the standard MBSR course. Dug out a few details:

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Mindfulness-in-schools-pilot-study-2008.pdf

https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/11441/13%20Mindfulness%20in%20schools%20British%20Journal%20of%20Psychiatry.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/what-is-b/b-curriculum/

May be worth getting in touch with some of the authors to find out more.

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/20/18 1:16 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/20/18 2:38 PM as a reply to jonjohn.
+1 on Susan Kaiser Greenland --- I think she also presented at the last Buddhist Geeks.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003IGDD8E/

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/20/18 4:53 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Came across this one recently: https://mindup.org/thehawnfoundation/

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/20/18 9:49 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Probably not wholly suitable for the stated purpose but I quite this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Way-Radiance-Lar-C-Short/dp/1544997337

It's good for kids and adults alike!

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/21/18 12:54 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, just curious. Though you've mentioned that it's far from your usual interests, what is your opinion on introducing mindfulness to people at a very young age? Because, as far as my understanding, you are very critical of mindfulness now being used everywhere. Like you've written in your book -

".... those who are not willing to use insight practices
responsibly and intelligently should not use them, as it is too dangerous.
They cause too much trouble in the world to be of little if any benefit."

So, how much mindfulness would be safe mindfulness, for kids especially? Does it not increase their chances of running into DN territory unexpectedly, if not carefully monitored?
Can it still be taught to kids in a safer way?

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/21/18 10:34 AM as a reply to tamaha.
If I can offer my perspective as a music teacher...

I don't believe skills can really be learned effectively without the use of mindfulness practices of some kind. You need to generate awareness about what is working, what isn't working, and why it's not working. You need to understand what you have control over, and what you don't have control over. What is the alternative?

I believe there is a danger in that when you start to realize certain things, you then have to face the "fact" that you aren't performing the way you "know" you are capable of, and this can be extremely discouraging (I have gone through this many times myself). I think the way to lessen the impact of this is to encourage focus on "solutions I'm trying to use which actually haven't been working the way I thought they should work, but which have been causing some pain anyway", rather than a focus on "what I want to accomplish." The latter can often lead to a sense of despair and apathy regarding what you care about. The former can lead to a sense of ease as you realize you don't have to keep doing something which never had a good chance of working anyway.

It should go without saying that the teacher should be encouraging the students to observe without judgment and with a sense of playfulness, rather than doing all the things that led to the problem in the first place (punishing the students for mistakes, lack of empathy and acceptance, etc.)

Although meant for teenagers, this book might be worth checking out:

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Mind-Into-Life-Teens/dp/1608821935

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/22/18 1:38 PM as a reply to spatial.
Thanks for offering these resource links. I will point my stepdaughter to this thread and see what she finds useful.

Daniel

RE: Resources for very basic mindfulness for young kids?
Answer
5/23/18 12:37 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I met a woman that seemed so super chill, I felt she must have a giant contemplative practice.  I told her what I saw and that I wondered how she got that way.  She said that when she was young her family had corn fields to harvest every year. The whole family spent long days walking behind a machine, plucking and throwing corn into moving hoppers. If your mind wandered and you were slow at your job you messed up the whole crew. She said that the simplicity and drudgery of the task coupled with the peer pressure of the situation taught her to 'just be' with the way things were, and that practice gave her a mindset that has well served her ever since.

I've been thinking about how to teach my son (now 6) things. So far, telling him stuff as a way of teaching is about 1/10th as effective as showing him. But if he knows I'm trying to teach him something by showing it, and he is not into it himself, then he'll refuse to watch. So my best bet to teach him stuff is to contrive circumstances wherein he sees something that works, and then he just sees it and copies it when appropriate.

One monk I know said just give a kid a sibling and that will be worth a 10k hours of meditation.

Not sure how the above can be applied by a teacher.

I'm taking a class with a learning scientist, Dr. Kieran O'Mahony, he has been having great results with troublesome kids using a short list of heuristics:

One of them is that when a kid is having a hard time in the classroom, you coach them through making up a little story book about the problem with pictures, simple examples of a couple options for handling the situation. Like "when I'm mad, go to my desk, or get a drink, or go talk to the teacher". Apparently this is not very much work for the teacher to do with the kid and it immediately saves tons of time in the classroom.

Another is to teach a thing cognitively first, then do cognitive rehearsal, then finally go into the experiential, hands on, really try to do it phase. Apparently this sequence is the most rapid way to change myelination, which is what learning is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myelin#/media/File:Saltatory_Conduction.gif

None of this is exactly on point, but it seems like good information for a teacher.