Giving Compass' Take:

• Getting Smart examines the practice of social-emotional learning (SEL) and how it may have its limits in the classroom: That's where parents and guardians can pick up the slack.

• Families are crucial partners in the SEL experience, from positive reinforcement to creating listening spaces. How can those in the education sector support more growth and awareness in this area?

• For starters, here are three ways to help educators develop social emotional skills.

Though the addition of social-emotional learning to the standard set of curricula offerings has marked benefits for developing the whole child, social-emotional skills cannot be learned in the vacuum of school alone. In schools, students are usually grouped with peers of the same age and similar ability levels. There is a baseline expectation of a common set of school rules. There is often a safety net of teacher intervention that creates artificial constraints on social interactions. Overall, there are a limited set of experiences that the school can use to anchor social-emotional instruction.

Extending this kind of learning into the home broadens the array of real-world experiences for students to learn and practice social-emotional skills. Engaging families as partners in that learning can also add greater meaning and relevance to the lessons happening at school. Social-emotional learning outside of school can be dynamic and responsive, growing and changing depending on what EACH child needs. Furthermore, extending SEL conversations into the home allows for instruction that is mutually reinforcing with what is happening in the classroom.

SEL in the home means that families can use moments that happen organically to grow students’ SEL skills. Trips to the grocery store, playing a board game, responding to a family experience, opportunities to meet new and different people while out and about, and other experiences that happen every day add breadth and depth to social-emotional learning instruction and practice. In short, homes and their surrounding communities are ripe with opportunities for social-emotional learning growth.

Read the full article about extending social-emotional learning at home by Kristen Thorson at Getting Smart.