For Families …

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April 1, 2020

Dear Families,

In response to COVID-19 school closings, we have compiled a variety of resources to help support parents and caregivers who are assisting their children with distance learning at home. At this uncertain time, nurturing students’ social-emotional learning is more important than ever.

Social-emotional learning, or SEL, is a framework for helping students develop critical skills for how they interact with others, manage their own emotions and behaviors, and develop into confident, productive, and empathetic individuals. Social-emotional skill building is often organized around five core standards: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

Here are some tips and tricks for parents and caregivers to help support SEL at home.

  • Develop a Routine: Work with your child(ren) to map a daily routine for when they do an SEL activity. These could be activities that your child(ren)’s teacher provides or activities you find on a website or social media. Setting aside a specific time every day to work with your child on social-emotional skill building establishes an expectation that SEL is an important part of everyday life.
  • Engage Together: Join your child(ren) when they are working on SEL activities. By engaging in the activities together, you build enthusiasm and demonstrate that SEL is important to you as a person.
  • Express Vulnerability: A key component of SEL is self-reflection, time to think about who we are, how we feel, and how we react to a given situation. To support your child(ren) in developing their SEL skills and coping with the current situation, it is important that you model how to express vulnerability. In doing this, you demonstrate to your child(ren) that their feelings are valid and important, including feelings of uncertainty about what the future holds.  When adults are vulnerable, we are showing that not only is expressing our emotions okay, but it is necessary to recognize our emotions in order to address them.
  • Look for Teachable Moments: Throughout your daily routine, consider opportunities for integrating SEL skills into what is happening in your home. The more we show how relevant SEL is, the more kids will value, appreciate, and use these tools to manage themselves and the situations they are in. Teachable moments include disagreements with siblings, anxiousness about COVID-19, challenges with distance learning, disappointment about missing friends, frustration about social distancing rules, sadness about canceled special events, and the inability to do what they typically do.

We invite you to check our Distance Learning page periodically for free resources related to social-emotional learning and empathy development.

 Stay safe, stay healthy, spread kindness.

Sam Drazin
Founder & Executive Director

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