What Is FocusedKids?
FocusedKids™ is a simple curriculum of exercises developed for ages 3-8 that teaches kids, parents, and teachers about their brains, and the skills for self-regulation. The unique thing about the FocusedKids approach is that we use puppets to represent three parts of the brain. Children learn what each one does, and how to help them work together. This delights, intrigues, and empowers kids to obtain mastery over their behavior and emotions. The other concept that sets the program apart, is the use of the “calm down basket” both in the classroom and at home. The basket holds tools that help children calm down and focus their attention any time they need it, without distracting others. This supports the development of the crucial skills of self-regulation. We strongly suggest that before you go further into the site that you get a quick overview of the key concepts of the “Brain Lesson” and the “Calm Down Basket” by watching this 13 minute video of an actual training. Everything about FocusedKids builds on these 13 minutes and will place the rest of the information on the site in clearer context. Video
We Have Three Goals:
1. Children learn three parts of their brain, the role each plays, and how to be in charge of those parts.
2. Children learn calming and focusing techniques that will help them manage those parts of the brain responsible for feelings and behavior.
3. Parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone working with young children learn these exercises as well and make them a part of their daily routine with kids.
One of the most important developmental jobs in early childhood is to learn self-regulation: the ability to manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively. When kids do this, it’s easier for them to learn, feel happy, and enjoy healthy relationships. Self-regulation is a foundation for kindergarten readiness, yet the video-based, non-stop stimulation world we live in makes it more and more difficult for kids to learn these essential skills.
What we know from current research in child development is that children need repeated, carefully selected experiences to develop healthy behaviors. The less socialized world we live in today makes it difficult to provide the same opportunities for this to occur as it used to. FocusedKids provides a framework for “focusing” on this learning.
FocusedKids was piloted in a very special mobile preschool program. Operated by the Valley Settlement Project, El Busesito is a classroom on wheels that reaches children who would not otherwise be able to access preschool. El Busesito not only prepares kids but also sees them graduate kindergarten in the top 10% of their class. For more information on this exceptional program see their website at www.valleysettlementproject.org.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Hemera Foundation we are excited to share our curriculum at no cost on this website.