Oak Grove Counseling Services

  • Oak Grove Elementary -- Distance Learning Information for Parents on Counseling Resources 
    Social-Emotional Counseling 
    Ms. Julia is available for social-emotional counseling check-ins by phone for now, although a zoom option may become available in the future.  If your child normally meets with Ms. Julia, you will receive an email asking if you and/or your child would like to do a check-in. Any parent may request counseling by emailing Ms. Julia at jglanz@ogusd.org. She will respond to set up an appointment time with you. She is more than happy to check in with children as well as parents and families. 

    Watch Ms. Julia’s video as a reminder that even when we are not physically together, we are still here for each other. 
    Please click here to watch all of Ms. Julia's Daily Videos

    Info About COVID-19
    There is a LOT of information out there on the news and online about COVID-19. Here is a good video resource you can trust. It is kid-friendly, but it is always wise to view a video yourself before sharing it with your children. 

    Coping with Stress and Anxiety 
    You might be feeling overwhelmed and anxious right now with all of the information and changes that are happening. There are many ways to help with those feelings, including:

    Apps for Relaxation and Mindfulness 
    Parents, feel free to consider and preview the apps below. Most are geared more toward adults and older children but may also work for younger ones. Stop, Breathe and Think Kids is specifically intended for children ages 5 - 10.

  • Hear and Now 
    Here and Now
    Hear and Now measures your body stress by taking the pulse in your finger through your phone's camera. You can set daily reminders for deep breathing exercises. Though other apps have guided breathing, Hear and Now's guided breathing is my favorite. You can set the number of breaths you take, and they have suggestions as well.

    Stop, Breathe and Think Kids
    Stop and Breath
    Check in with how you are feeling and choose one of our missions to help create your very own forcefield of calm. Videos feature audio that guides children through meditations and silly, sweetly animated animals. Children can reflect on their feelings and then choose an appropriate mission. For children ages 5 - 10. .https://www.stopbreathethink.com/kids/

    Calm is the #1 app for mindfulness and meditation for folks. Even if you have never done any meditation before, Calm's guided meditations will walk you through it. They also have breathing programs, relaxing music, and sleep stories. Recommended by top psychologists.https://www.calm.com/

    Aura walks you through 3-minute meditations to help you calm and destress. You let Aura know how you're feeling, and the app chooses the best meditation for you. Aura also offers mood tracking and daily reminders for breathing exercises. https://www.aurahealth.io/

  • Limiting Time on Social Media & Screens 
    Studies have shown that a lot of time on social media and looking at screens can increase anxiety and stress levels. Try these activities instead:

    1. Play board games as a family
    2. Go for a walk/hike outside while practicing social distancing
    3. Go for a bike ride while practicing social distancing
    4. Bake/cook for fun (baking recipes: https://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/easy-baking
    5. Read a book or listen to one - there are free Audible memberships while schools are closed stories.audible.com
    6. Write in a journal - Writing prompts for elementary students
    7. Write stories
    8. Make a card or write a letter and mail it to a friend or family member 
    9. Create experiments with supplies found around the house 
    10. Practice an instrument 
    11. Create art or print out coloring pages: https://www.crayola.com/featured/free-coloring-pages/
    12. Make your own music videos to your favorite songs 
    13. Choreograph your own dances 

    Websites To Help You Cope With Stress and Anxiety 
    Parents, please read/try the ideas below to help reduce your own stress and anxiety as well as to help your children. The guided breathing/meditation exercises are kid-appropriate, although you may need to help children with some of the vocabulary. 

    Academic Extras
    Even though you’re not on campus, it is important to continue with a daily routine and keep up with your schoolwork. If you want to keep learning but want to take a little break from assigned classwork, check out these cool sites:

    Learning journeys - new ones every week :) 
    Virtual Field Trips (explore places like Mars, zoos, and aquariums) 
    Need to Get Outside? These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home (Video)
    13 Museums You Can Visit Online During Your Quarantine
    Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Web Cams

    Tips for parents on setting up a workspace at home:

    1. Choose a quiet location. Work spots don’t always need to be at a desk or table. Lap desks and comfortable floors, nooks, and cozy couches with pillows are possibly good options, so long as there aren’t things to distract or impede learning. 
    2. Routines matter.  Your children are used to a routine so creating a daily schedule can be very helpful. Even if you aren’t leaving the house, having a predictable routine will help your children  feel more focused and calm.  
    3. Bust the clutter.  Having a clean area free of distractions will help everyone stay less stressed and more focused.  
    4. Figure out what supplies your children need to function.   Please reach out to us at school if there is something that you need and we will do our best to help. It’s easier to be productive when your supplies are within reach. Put your pencils/pens, crayons, books, and other supplies nearby when you work. You might be surprised at how having a fidget tool, exercise ball and/or timer can help your children work.  
    5. If your child has a cell phone, make sure they turn it off when doing their school work.   Having the constant buzzing of messaging can be very distracting. Taking a break from screens and devices when studying definitely helps young learners stay focused. 

    As always, if you are having a serious crisis, text “GO” to 741741 or if you are feeling suicidal call 911. You can also call: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

    Most importantly, know that we at Oak Grove are here for you. We have weathered our share of crises together, but we remain connected and strong. Watch Ms. Julia’s video as a reminder that even when we are not physically together, we are still here for each other. Ms. Julia reads All the World