Stimulating social and emotional learning at home
Posted by Karabo Kgophane on 21 October 2021 11:55 AM SAST
Providing families of students in preschool to the 7th grade with strategies to bolter skills can also strengthen family bonds.
Social and emotional learning happens everywhere. In the classroom, on the bus, at the kitchen table, on the playground, at a neighborhood barbecue and families are core to a child’s social and emotional development. Supporting social and emotional growth at home impacts not only the children but the entire family. When children and their grown-ups have the tools to navigate stressors, challenges, changes, and really big emotions, we build more emotionally resilient families and communities.
Educators have worked hard to build closer bonds with families during the pandemic and maintaining and deepening family engagement is top of mind. Social and emotional learning is at the intersection of home and school, and supporting social and emotional development at home should be a critical aspect of any SEL initiative. Building a common language at school that’s reinforced at home allows all of us to recognize the diverse and sometimes big emotions we have, express them in healthy ways, manage them appropriately, and hold one another accountable to do the same.
Here are three ways that educators can empower families to reinforce SEL at home.
1. HELP FAMILIES UNDERSTAND WHAT SEL MEANS
Educators may have a clear understanding of “social and emotional learning,” but families may not be as familiar with the definition or how it’s referenced in education. Provide resources to families that will help them understand what SEL is and build awareness for their children’s social and emotional development.
2. PROVIDE LISTS OF RECOMMENDED BOOKS
There are endless benefits to encouraging families to read together at home. Educators can help families build their home library with books that highlight SEL skills in action. Providing additional discussion questions can help families more deeply engage with their learners and strengthen specific social and emotional competencies.
3. PROMOTE FAMILY BONDING WITH INTERVIEW ACTIVITIES
Another great way to promote SEL at home is to invite conversations about emotions. Educators can send home questions that invite young learners to speak with the adults in their families to learn about how they experience emotions.
Engaging families in SEL means giving families the resources to foster social and emotional experiences at home and the tools to reflect on those experiences together. When families reinforce key social and emotional skills and language at home, the impact ripples beyond the walls of a classroom. Now more than ever, educators play a key role in supporting social and emotional development at home.
By Sara Hayne