Last summer I worked really hard to focus on Social Emotional Learning with my kids, instead of just academics. Here are some of the things we did:
- EQ versus IQ
- Showing genuine appreciation
- Gratitude Attitude
- Someone Else’s Shoes
- Be Nice to Your Sister/Brother Books
- Reverse Popcorn Jars
This summer I’ve got a new plan cooked up. I’m taking my inspiration from Romans chapter 12, but please don’t let that dissuade you. If religion isn’t your thing, you could choose a poem instead and use the same idea. (I’m Methodist and you’ll get no judgement from me.)
I chose this particular section of Romans because it hits upon some really BIG concepts in Emotional Intelligence. Recognizing and responding to the emotions of others in a socially appropriate way is HUGE.
Take a look for yourself. My game plan follows.
I sectioned off the passage on sentence strip paper, with one sentence on each strip. Each particular verse gets its own color. There are 25 strips of paper.
Every couple of days, I’m going to bring out a new strip. At the dinner table, our family will discuss what the verse means, and then review all previous strips.
There’s room for a lot of discussion. What does “Agree with one another,” mean for example? Should you always agree with people? Should you agree with somebody who is doing something hurtful?
Another good one is “Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right.” What if everyone is doing the wrong thing? What about slavery and the civil rights movement? What about peer pressure?
I think this activity is going to open us up to some juicy dinner-time conversation!
When possible, we’re also going to put the words into action. “Welcome others into your homes,” for example, might correspond with my son inviting a friend to sleep over.
This summer I’d like my family’s hearts refocused on what’s important. But I also want my kids to think deep thoughts and to be encouraged to ask questions.
And if my kids would get along 20% better? My prayers would be answered!