SEL Starts at Home: Getting Families Involved This Summer

Families are critical partners in developing the social and emotional skills of their children. Getting families involved in the process of teaching social and emotional skills is one of the best ways to promote SEL instruction and support the development of these skills throughout the year. So, before the last bell rings to release students for summer break, take some time to create a plan for how you and other school staff can encourage families to continue Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) at home during summer break. Here are some ideas on how to increase parent/family involvement in the SEL process: 1. CASEL, a leading thought leader in SEL, has a wealth of resources available for parents and caregivers. Click here for a few ideas on how to encourage family involvement. Included are 10 activities parents can do at home and 10 activities parents can do with the school. You’ll find ideas like preparing food in a homeless shelter or helping out elderly neighbors the teach children how they can make a difference in the lives of others. 2. Edutopia has compiled an extensive list of resources to help families promote social and emotional skills with their kids. Included are blogs, presentations, and videos about the importance of SEL and ways to teach these skills to children through daily activities. You’ll find ideas about how to raise kind kids and the importance of teaching empathy to boys. 3. One of the best ways to help parents understand and measure their children’s social and emotional skills is with the DESSA and DESSA-mini. Designed for parents, caregivers, teachers and after-school program staff to complete, these assessments provide a comprehensive, integrated approach to support children’s healthy social and emotional development. The DESSA was designed to incorporate parental involvement, and this feature builds bridges between teachers and families. With information flowing between the classroom and the home, the effectiveness of your school’s SEL program will be greatly strengthened. There are many ways to get families engaged in teaching social and emotional skills to their kids. With a little guidance, you can help parents continue developing their kids’ SEL skills over the summer break and throughout the coming school year. Together, school staff and families can help drive student success!

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