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Exciting new SEL program

Stronger kids!

I wanted to take a moment to share something with you that I am extremely excited about. Many of you may already know we have been heavily involved over the last three years with the Hartland Schools developing their SEL program. With their teachers and staff, we have developed a cutting edge SEL program. We are now ready to bring this program to this dojo. Just think of this as the next step or progression of our current character development program. This program is designed to give your child the “edge” they need in school and life.

We will start the program on the week of September 9th. But, before then I need to prepare you for what is ahead. I am going to take the next three week to answer:

  • “What” – What is SEL?

  • “Why” – Why our children need it?

  • “How” – How does this all work?

If you have not heard of the term “SEL” yet you soon will. SEL stands for “Social Emotional Learning”. Educators are discovering children today are cognitively (intelligence) and physically (nutrition and medical advances) more advance that ever but are lacking in the important areas of emotional and social development.

First let’s start with – What is SEL? Broadly speaking, social and emotional learning (SEL) refers to the process through which individuals learn and apply a set of social, emotional, behavioral, and character skills required to succeed in schooling, the workplace, relationships, and citizenship.

More specifically, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as “the processes 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.” CASEL has identified five interrelated social and emotional competencies: self-management, self- awareness, social-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

The major SEL skills and behaviors can be further categorized into three primary categories (and 12 skills):

  1. Cognitive regulation

  2. Attention control

  3. Inhibitory control

  4. Working memory/planning

  5. Cognitive flexibility

  6. Emotional processes

  7. Emotion knowledge/expression

  8. Emotion/behavior regulation

  9. Empathy/perspective-taking

  10. Social/interpersonal skills

  11. Understanding social cues

  12. Conflict resolution/social problem-solving

  13. Prosocial skills

  14. Character(verbalizing opinions about right and wrong (e.g., making ethical judgments), being tolerant and accepting of differences in others, acting upon an appreciation for community and civic responsibility, trying hard and persevering in the face of difficulty, and following through on responsibilities. )

  15. Mindset(expressing confidence in oneself and one’s ability to improve (e.g., exhibiting a growth mindset), identifying positive attributes/strengths in oneself and others, and approaching challenging situations with a positive attitude. )

Okay, so what does all this fancy language mean? Most children today are underdeveloped and weak in the areas of emotional and social skills. The bottom line - This program is designed to make “stronger” children!

Stay tuned. In my next parent two emails I will cover: 1.) Why our children are not strong enough, and 2.) How this program works.

Yours for stronger kids,


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