• Social Emotional Learning

    Mental Health Resources for Schools

    What is Social Emotional Learning?
    According to CASEL(link is external), “Social and Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

    Benefits of Mindfulness for Kids

    Studies show that the benefits of mindfulness for kids may include:

    1. Increased focus, attention, self-control, classroom participation, compassion.
      2. Improvedacademic performance, ability to resolve conflict, overall well-being.
      3. Decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, disruptive behavior.

    What is Mindfulness?

    Mindfulness is essentially noticing yourself, nature, the people and world around you.  I encourage you to pause for a moment and notice something simple each day.  Stop and concentrate for 30 seconds on your breathing, then continue on your day.  Notice if there is a change in your outlook after you concentrate on your breathing. Repeat as many times as needed throughout the day and take note of what you notice each time you stop to breath. 

    As parents we’ve heard the quote, “Mind over matter.”  Now we know that our breath controls the mind.  If we harness our breath and practice controlling it as we feel emotional (nervous, anxious, sad, etc.) we can take control of our mind and thoughts as we feel any number of emotions.  Breath allows the brain to go from an unsettled state to a calm state of mind.  A calm state of mind that allows us to think clearly and make rational decisions. Today, studies show that breathing exercises can actually improve cognitive function, encourage positive thought processes, and reduce symptoms of anxiety. 

    As a parent, how can I use this process at home?

    Devote Time Each Day:
    Take time each day for 5-10 minutes to practice mindfulness.  This can include breathing, journaling about the day, and talking about how each family member is feeling.  Just listen to each other without judgement or correction.  It’s important to feel heard by your family members. Exercising, meditation and yoga are also practices that families can do together.  All of these help in the process of understanding ourselves and each other.

    5 Mindful Breath Practices for Children

    Breathing Exercises by Headspace

    A Kindness Practice for Families 
    Write thank you notes to a family member
    Color or paint a picture for a family member or neighbor

    Journaling/Drawing Ideas for Families: 

    30 Journaling Topics for Families  
    Joyful Moments – Journal as a family each day. This could be at the end of each day as you are getting ready for bed.  Have each family member share what brought joy for each person.  Take turns recording a joyful moment from each person each day.  On tough days, revisit your family’s list of the joyful moments that have been shared. 


    Grateful Exercises:
    Grateful Walks
    *As you walk around your home, outside, down the hall at school or work begin to notice things that you are grateful for that day and that moment.   
     A few grateful ideas:
    The sunshine and warmth you feel on your skin. The fresh air blowing through the window. A neighbor waving as they drive by your home. The ability to hear the birds sing and the leaves rustle in the wind.
    Grateful Fill-Up
    *As you are driving or getting ready for the day, have each family member think of one thing he/she is grateful for that day.
    Ideas: Woke up on time.  Woke up late but had help from a sibling to get back on time. Had breakfast with family.  Stood for a moment to taste the first sip of hot coffee for the day. 

    Mindful Practice 

    Yoga Practice

    Yoga for Kids by Adriene
    Free Yoga Videos by Adriene
    Awake and Mindful – Yoga for kids

    Need Support? 
    Topics ranging from A-Z from Childmind.org are helpful tips for parents as they are trying to help their children.   

    Digital Resources For Parents
        Free emails with updates, quotes, free parent guides for families
        Free Mindfulness Guide from Mindful.org

    *Calm App
       This app assists with breathing practices, guided meditations, sleep stories, train your brain with LaBron James

    *Mindful Living
    Mindful Living offers free and payable courses for adults.  Several 8-9 week courses for adults are offered to increase mindfulness and compassion.  Free emails weekly for tips for self care and family activities. 

    Pass It On Quote and Idea of the Day – sign up for free emails.  These quotes are great conversation starters for families. 

    Need Motivation?
    John Maxwell’s ‘Minute with Maxwell’ is excellent!!  In one minute, a quote or story is presented and a lesson for the day is given.  Again, this is a great conversation starter as well as a daily dose of motivation for you and your family each day.

    Random Acts of Kindness
    When we give to others, we also benefit.  Need an idea of what to do as a random act of kindness?  This site has you covered.  There are many thoughtful ideas that are simple and provide kindness to others.  Kindness isn’t complicated.

    Self-Care Ted Talks
    As parents, we need to care of ourselves so we are better equipped to take care of our families. 


    Indiana SEL Competencies
    What are appropriate SEL behaviors by grade band? The links below are created by the Indiana Department of Education.  Each grade level band is split into 7 areas.  Those areas are mindset, critical thinking, insight, sensory-motor integration, regulation, connection, and collaboration.  The IDOE has given a description of the competency as well as strategies that correspond to the competency.  By all means, these areas can be used at home as well as in school.  Daily practice of the IDOE Social Emotional Competencies will take place within our buildings throughout the school year.