What is FocusedKids™?
FocusedKids™ is a program started by Kathy Hegberg, M.A., in 2013 in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado. It is a simple curriculum of exercises for use in the classroom and at home, developed for ages 3-8.
Children, parents, and teachers learn about the brain using puppets to represent three parts, a brain chart, and a brain model. Following the brain lesson, they learn simple mindful exercises that support the development of executive function, including skills of self-regulation. Current research is finding that these are foundational skills essential to developing other abilities such as “prosocial” behavior, academic habits, and general life skills.
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.
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.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Hemera Foundation we are excited to share our curriculum at no cost on this website.
Before you go further into the site, we strongly suggest that you get a quick overview of the key concepts of the “Brain Lesson” and the “Calm Down Basket” by watching the following 13 minute video of an actual training. Everything about FocusedKids™ builds on these concepts and will place the rest of the information on the site in clearer context.