This unfortunate topic is at the top of my mind as I cope with the loss of a dear friend. At our age, I never would have thought that I would lose a friend to suicide. But this tragedy knows no age or educational achievements. Teacher-friends and homeschool mamas, please open up the floor to talk about this with your students. Allow them to ask any questions they want and answer truthfully, yet age accordingly.
Until this hit our family, my fourth grader was blissfully unaware of such things. Her main question has been “why”. That’s my question too. For now, we just talk about how my friend was sad, but that he hid it from those who loved him so greatly. We’ve talked about the importance of sharing your feelings with family and friends. And how sometimes, you need to seek counsel from a trained practitioner.
For older students (7th grade and up), I created this free resource to help guide teachers through the difficult subject.
I have created this in the same style of my “Themes of My Life” journal notebook project for middle/high school students. There’s over 50 themes with a combined 240+ prompts. It will help your students to creatively express who they are and have a safe space to discuss what they believe.
Encourage your students to be who they are. If my friend would have been more comfortable with who he was, we’d still have him today.