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SEL Development, Part 5: When Home, School, and Community Play Together

We previously posted in Embedding Play Develops SEL Competencies about the report released on March 12th by the Aspen Institute called The Practice Base For How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. In this fifth of a five part series, we look at each section of the report, and show how Play-Based Communication is the key to building a thriving Home - School community in a social - emotional learning culture. The Report goes on to stress that school culture must reach and immerse the family and the Community.

Premise 5) Playful Home, School, and Community Partnerships strengthen SEL competencies From the report:

[SEL] programs can take place in partnership with other organizations and in community venues that attract parents and families who may not have had positive school experiences.

Creating healthy relationships with parents is typically on the top of every school’s wish list but on Parent-Teacher Night many parents still don’t show up. It’s a challenge to engage and motivate single and working parents and even harder still to help them become a willing and able part of the learning culture at home.

Unfortunately, too many parents avoid entering the school because of the baggage of negative fears and feelings they carry from childhood. This antipathy represents a huge impediment to creating trust and receptivity in parents and in the community at large.

As shown in previous segments, a learning culture based in Play and Communication can help disintegrate the walls, heal, attract, and generate energy on the part of parents and community members who, despite their resistances, still want to make a difference. Showing parents how to succeed at home through play builds confidence and enthusiastic involvement. By providing parents with the tools and strategies, along with encouraging feedback from the teacher, schools can effectively strengthen the relationship.

Properly understood, the parent, of course, is the child’s first teacher, and Play, as the brain’s own invention, evolved to help parents bond with their young in a happy and healthy way. Bringing Play into conflict resolution, story time, and using it to help win cooperation from kids through communication is more fruitful than reacting with parental anger and frustration.

By sharing this pathway to play, parents and teachers can team up to help get kids more in touch with their creative and intellectual power, and to use thinking more like Einstein than Frankenstein. The use of play-based media effectively empowers kids of all ages to have a hand in making learning time and space in their own image. This is how we can transform our public schools into places that private school educators would marvel at.

If we truly want our young to nourish their own imaginations, we need to access creative pathways in and around the factory trappings that distract kids and teachers from using their own powers. Play media, the conceptual and practical innovation of Play Tectonics, works on an extraordinary physical wavelength that can reach into and permeate the culture with Play Energy. If scientists at a brain symposium in Copenhagen could listen to me sing the praises of paper, ‘brain­-connected’ tools, then maybe it’s time for parents to begin appreciating “the nicest thing that [Mother] Nature ever gave us” to help their play-propelled kids love to learn – for life. Next up — Does Learning Culture Contribute to Teen Suicide

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