Here at Outschool, we take seriously our role in creating safe spaces for our kids to talk about stressful events and educating them on civics. We connect learners with others from around the world who are often of different races and religions, and provide a chance for them to share perspectives.
Diversity in learning, just as in life, is valuable and not to be feared.
We believe, too, that education and connection can go a long way to make the world a better place. Here at Outschool, we want to help. The more that we can connect learners from around the world to have positive learning together, the more empathy we build and the more we learn.
We become especially aware of the role we play and the responsibility we have in supporting teachers, learners and their families when stressful or scary situations happen on a national or global scale.
We want to offer parents and teachers tools, resources and best practices for supporting learners during stressful times. Whether you are addressing current events or explaining complexities of history, we know answering your child's questions is not easy. Here are some resources and tips on how to talk to kids about stressful events, as well as some past articles featuring Outschool teachers that address these topics.
To help your learner talk with kids of similar ages, hear new perspectives and deepen their curiosity, we encourage participation in Outschool civics classes that address topics such as current events, U.S. History, racial justice, social emotional learning and how our government works.
Learn tips from experts for navigating difficult conversations
- Teach your kids about the election with advice from Teacher Ed Hally, PhD - Outschool teacher Ed Hally offers tips on discussing divisive topics and offers his recommended list of civics resources for parents and kids.
- Use the PEARLS of wisdom approach to discussing challenging events - In this piece about talking about the breach at the U.S. Capitol, Motherly shares a helpful framework for parents called PEARLS (prepare, explain, answer, reassure, listen, safeguard).
- Teaching Tolerance’s “When Bad Things Happen” - This short guide, helpful for both teachers and parents, offers “a few suggestions for navigating a discussion with students as news unfolds.”
- Helping Kids Navigate Scary News Stories - From PBS, a father of four and professor of communications shares his personal experiences with and suggestions for telling your kids about scary news stories, and what to do when they ask questions.
Invite your child to join the conversation in these Outschool classes
If your learner is asking you about topics that you might not be an expert on, you can count on Outschool classes taught by our community of passionate, vetted teachers.
We know parents want learning experiences that provide kids with a safe space to exchange ideas led by teachers who welcome all children. You can trust that Outschool's experienced teachers are prepared to handle difficult questions and are creating an inclusive classroom experience following our EPIC principles. This framework expects teachers to “create an inclusive learning environment where learners are able to build relationships across a global community.”
Provide young learners with tools and strategies to process the difficult emotions that accompany stressful events.
- Everyday Mindfulness for Kids
- Calm Evening Yoga
- Less Worry, Anxiety, and Stress; More Calm and Happiness!
- Calming your Inner Sonic Hedgehog: Guided Relaxation
Offer your learner the opportunity to learn about life experiences and challenges of those different than themselves, and engage in important conversations about issues related to creating a more just world.
- Racism, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia: The 'Us Vs, Them' Mentality
- Experiencing & Understanding Our Social World, Culture, & Diversity for Teens
- More Love, Less Hate: Protest Art Club
- Weekly Feminism Club for Teens
Give young learners a foundational understanding of the responsibilities and rights of that come with citizenship.
- Fair News or Fake News: Identifying Media Bias
- You Decide: Was the First Amendment Right to Free Speech Violated?
- What's Fair? Your Rights Under the U.S. Constitution: A Civics Lesson
- Women and the Vote: The Suffragettes
Help kids place current events in context to similar time periods and events that have happened in past eras.
- Black History: Intersection of Race and the Law
- Howard Zinn: A Young People's History of The United States
- The Holocaust and Human Behavior
- Bold Women in Black History Series
We understand that not everyone in our community will view stressful events through the same lens; however, we know that everyone in this community wants only the best future possible for our children.
At Outschool, our goal is to stand for learners of all backgrounds and support them. We’ll do this together no matter what happens in the news. Take care of yourselves and your children.