Why Social Emotional Learning Matters for Kids

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When social, emotional and academic learning (SEL) take center stage in schools, the result is increased school engagement and academic achievement as well as decreased discipline problems.

The emphasis on academics alone results in kids who are less prepared for social and emotional challenges that come their way.

Social Emotional Learning Is Key to Success

Social, emotional and academic learning – often referred to as social-emotional learning or SEL – means making social and emotional development a priority alongside reading, writing, math and science education. According to a report from Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), soft skills are critical to student success. Several other reports found that social emotional development may actually influence academic achievement more than academics themselves. Kids’ emotional wellbeing, resilience, and sense of self makes it possible to do well in their regular academic work by setting the foundational that makes focus, growth mindset, and a positive attitude possible.

Rather than prioritizing only academics make sure that all areas of a kid’s life are addressed equally. As part of social-emotional learning, students build skills they need in order to achieve their full potential. Practice social emotional skills just like physical skills in gym class.

Social-emotional learning means making social and emotional skills as important as academic achievement; this is why social-emotional learning should be the norm. Practice developing good habits around communication, setting boundaries, and taking someone else’s perspective. Kids deserve a chance to practice this skills and have them reinforced at home.

How to Incorporate Emotional Wellbeing Everyday

HeyKiddo™ Huddle helps schools, parents, and homeschooling families make social, emotional, and leadership skill-building a regular part of a student’s day. Sharing a vocabulary of emotional wellness normalizes the importance of these skills early so that when life’s stressors start to affect kids in a major way, red flags can be addressed right away.

Kids’ social emotional skills are their first line of defense against challenges that can derail their academic success. Social emotional skills are the hard-to-measure, but vital abilities to problem solve, communicate effectively, manage emotions and relationships, be resilient, adapt to change, and direct attention toward meaningful work where distractions are pushed aside. Without social emotional skills children become distracted by worry or anger or they lack motivation because they feel inadequate at school. These feelings lead to lower grades which eventually lead to decreased social confidence which leads to even worse grades…all because social emotional skills aren’t being taught early enough.

Kids need social emotional support every day. But that doesn’t mean long, drawn out lessons or simple worksheets. Using an SEL curriculum like HeyKiddo™ Huddle means no prep for teachers, an easy way to assess and measure progress, and offline conversations and activities that can be adapted to every learning. Whether formal SEL content is delivered on its own or blended into traditional learning (like growth mindset practice during a difficult math lesson!), there’s an easy way to help kids succeed in and out of the classroom.


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