How is it going? Are you finding your rhythm? Are you learning more about yourself and your children as we find ourselves three weeks into homeschooling this year? I find it fascinating how much can be uncovered about ourselves and each other as we teach and learn. Suddenly, we have insight into all the parts of ourselves and our children that play into the big picture of schooling. It goes far beyond the curriculum we choose, classes we sign the children up for, extracurriculars, and academics. Suddenly a whole picture comes into perspective involving emotions, thoughts, and mindsets. The relevance of that bigger picture is important to pay attention to. It is important to recognize the value of social and emotional learning in the interest of a complete education.

One of the five guiding principles of our school focuses on “The Whole Learner.” We believe that each student has unlimited growth potential. We understand that achieving and surpassing academic standards requires addressing the needs of each student as a whole learner. We nurture social, emotional, and physical wellness, in addition to academic excellence, to maximize your child’s holistic growth and future success. Research shows that SEL (social emotional learning) not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011).

Social-emotional learning and mindsets may sound like buzzwords, but when implemented in education, they prove tremendously beneficial and are not just words at all. Schools across the nation are seeing value in offering and utilizing tools and resources to support emotional wellness and growth. We have developed an excellent program called S.E.L.F. which stands for Social Emotional Learning Foundations. You’ve seen a SELF newsletter arrive in your inbox on Mondays with events and resources available to you. We hope you will take the time to read those newsletters and take advantage of the opportunities available. We also have SEL resources in the Lending Library that can be checked out, and a Calm Corner to explore additional resources.

We are here to support your whole family as whole learners and whole teachers, and we value your individuality, as we expressed last week. We appreciate the unique and special needs emotionally, physically and academically of each and every student and family at our school. We see the seeds of love, care and learning you are planting, and we love partnering with you in the growth of your children.

Kara Parkins, Parent Support Advisor