2020 has provided us with so many opportunities to grow and learn new things.
Not only us adults, but the children in our homes and communities have endured a lot of change and uncertainty. Our job as adults, parents, and educators, is to do our very best to help guide them through these challenges with ways to properly express their emotions. Even though in our generation's history, we have never been through such challenging situations, we have to find ways to cope and grow our social and emotional intelligence.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) starts at home.
Home is the environment in which children grow and learn self-awareness, relationship skills, self-management, and many more important aspects of development. It's where they get the love and attention that they require to fill their most basic needs. Parents this fall have another obstacle to overcome...how to nurture their child’s social and emotional learning skills they typically develop in the classroom. SEL is important because it helps build vocabulary and language skills, as well as support children need to handle everyday situations in a healthy way. Self-managing emotions and situations will help them solve conflicts and build healthy relationships.
Many students have gone from being on an “extended spring break”, to summer break, to returning to school remotely or returning to class in limited capacity on a hybrid schedule. Each day we are learning to nurture and guide students in new and creative ways. As educators, we can help parents build important social emotional skills together. Continuing to build on a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset will help you and your students.
Below is a great Growth Mindset Activity for Kids that they can easily do at home!
Community organizations that partner with schools are trying to find new ways to help students practice SEL skills at home and in a reduced size classroom. A few examples are:
- Organizing opportunities to join webinars to discuss SEL topics
- Sending parents SEL online and printable resources
- Encouraging open communication between families and inviting them to participate
There are many books available for parents to read to help them understand ways to encourage Social Emotional Learning. Here are the Top 10 Books for Parents from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
There are a variety of resources that parents can access in order to support their children as they learn to manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. It all involves the five core competencies of SEL: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
This resource can be very useful to send to parents and the community to encourage enhancing social and emotional learning at home:
It is important as educators to communicate along this new journey together with the caregivers in each student’s life. Providing resources will help increase academic achievement, improve behavior, and create more opportunities for self-improvement within each student.