Wonderful homeschoolers of children! Parents, teachers, aunties, uncles, guardians, playmates of children! And any adults who might like to hear a story written specifically to support with pandemic anxiety.
Niniti and the Storm is a free online story, 15 mins long, aimed at anyone aged 6yrs+.
It is written to support emotional wellbeing AND educates about how orcas live in Western Iceland. Nearly 1000 people have heard it and feedback so far has been positive. Read more about how the story came about here https://orcaguardians.org/niniti-and-the-storm/
I am currently drafting a resource for homeschoolers/parents with ideas for how to actively use it with children.
Here are some ideas below – offered as a conversation starter, rather than a prescriptive list.
LISTENING TO THE STORY WITH CHILDREN
(please adapt and use according to what is best for you)
– As you listen, notice the bits about breathing (particularly breathing out long and slow), singing favourite songs together and gentle soothing touch. You could stop the recording and join in doing these with your child or listen again with the aim of joining in those bits. Or simply add any ideas which resonate into your bedtime routine or in anxious moments. These ideas are included specifically with the hope of supporting the nervous system to ease off from the ‘alarm’ state that we often find ourselves in and I hope will benefit adults as well as children. – ask questions about how Niniti and her family feel. Also ask how your child feels at different moments in the story and share how you feel too. If you want more words for different feelings, here is a list
– Notice how orcas live – how they eat, socialise, spend their time, structure their families. What is similar to how human societies and families live? What is different?
– Use the story as a springboard for your collective creativity and FUN (that could also meet school curriculum needs?)
a) draw/paint Niniti and her family at different stages of the story. Or what about drawing the world from Niniti’s eyes? Underwater, at the surface of the water..
b) Set a research project about orcas marine conservation – what can we humans do to protect orcas in the wild? This is actually a great question to consider as orcas are apex predators – anything we do to protect their habitat generally benefits the whole ocean ecosystem.
c) What adventures could Niniti have next? You could write your own short story or blog or record it on your phone. If there are more than one of you, you could take on roles and ‘interview’ Niniti and her family about their experiences.
d) add your own creative ideas!!
(If you do any of these, I would seriously love to hear about them and see/hear any creative projects!)
– Does your child have questions about orcas or about the story? Or ideas to share about future stories? Feel free to email them to me – email@example.com. If there is enough interest I can set up a Zoom Q and A…. with some singing and breathing together of course
*If you have more teaching ideas I could include in the resource document for other homeschooling parents, please send me them, I’d be grateful.*
– you could listen before bedtime or when you want a quiet moment during the day. It could be nice to lie down, with cushions, blankets, anything that feels cosy. Perhaps set an alarm and tell yourself that it doesn’t matter if you fall asleep.
– Ask yourself what soothes your body, mind and heart during this time? How can I dedicate time to this every day? Do I need to reach out for more love and support or can I offer more love and support to others?
– Ask what helps you to come alive… is there something, however small, I can do every day to nourish seeds of fearlessness, joy, creativity?
Any questions or comments, anything, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me if you have my number.
I appreciate what you are all doing to wrap children in love and care at this time.
All my love