Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Diving into Summer with SEL

Warmer weather, ice cream, swimming, playing with friends outside, laughter and outdoor barbeques are signs and activities of summer. As virtual learning and school routines now take a break, learning, to include social emotional learning, continues through the activities of summer. Social emotional learning is embedded in all activities we experience. Being intentional with a SEL toolbox can spark learning, curiosity, creativity and kindness and can continue to build their social emotional toolbox proficiency this summer! 

Social emotional learning tools build up self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. The toolbox the students continue to use and strengthen will be there and be ready to use when faced with a stressor or challenge. They will be well equipped when they have regular practice of their strategies from their toolboxes.

Some SEL considerations for the summer:
  • Make a Family Bucket Filling List to accomplish together over the summer. 
    • How can you spread kindness within your family and to others?
    • Display your bucket and family ideas as a visual reminder. 
    • Here is a list of 104 bucket filling ideas for some inspiration! 
  • Create a Summer Goal
    • Set achievable goals
    • Have appropriate timelines for accomplishing
    • Help your child track their progress
  • Make a Summer Journal 
    • Encourage your kids to include gratitude
    • Drawing or writing in the journal helps to express thoughts and feelings
  • Create a Calming Area to help manage strong emotions
  • Continue to check in daily with your child’s feelings
    • This helps them identify and label their feelings 
    • It also demonstrates that what they are feeling matters
  • Practice a Growth Mindset
  • Practice Healthy Communication
    • Practice a bug and a wish, this is a healthy way for kids to express what is bothering them and express what they need
    • Having a wand and a toy bug can serve as a visual reminder for younger siblings to work out conflict peacefully 
    • Older kids can practice I messages which encourages a healthy way to communicate
  • Continue Family Fun Night with board games
    • Discuss each other's strengths and how it helped during the game.
    • What is a weakness that made it more challenging and how did you cope?

    As we embrace the warmer weather, ice cream, family and friend gatherings, being mindful of social emotional opportunities will continue to strengthen the tools in our children’s toolboxes. These skills will foster and continue to develop, grow and maintain healthy relationships with self and others across a lifetime. 

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