Ever struggle with the best way to communicate with parents about small group counseling? I know I have… for years. I facilitate many small counseling groups throughout the year as part of my comprehensive school counseling plan. I send permission slips home to families, with an outline and a couple examples of what we might do during group. Despite this, I often have caregivers, at some point in the year, asking “Yes, but what exactly do you do in group?”
This is tricky to answer. All of my counseling groups are different, based on group dynamics and student need. I usually give an explanation about identifying feelings, managing emotions, and a brief discussion of the counseling component or topics might be a part of that particular group (e.g. family structures, conflict resolution, types of bullying, etc.). But this conversation never feels like it does counseling groups justice…and I’m really lucky. I get to work with families who want to know what I do, and how they can support and reinforce group ideas at home with their children.
So behold… the parent mini flip book!
I found the template for the double-side mini flip book on Teachers Pay Teachers. It was created by Learning in Wonderland and it’s amazing. It’s big enough to include a lot of information, different enough to gain attention from families and caregivers, and small enough that I don’t feel overwhelmed creating it.
I thought about what I wanted families to know, and I decided to share the general structure of my groups. I also include a few examples of what students did while in group so that parents can see what we did in counseling group. I also try to add in some resources for the parents, or information about the materials used in group in case they’d like to check them out.
The feedback from sending the mini flip books home has been great! A first grader told me once that her mom really liked the book I sent home about “Changing Families” group, and that her mom liked seeing examples of the activities that we did. I tend to send communication home to parents using Astrobrights paper so that the papers stand out for attention. I had sent those home a couple months before she told me this, so I know it made an impression when a 6 year old retains that information for that long!
What’s your favorite way to communicate with families? Comment below!