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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Dec 01, 2021 - 3 min read

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Easy ways to foster your child’s social-emotional development

Social-emotional learning (SEL) teaches essential personal & interpersonal skills. Learn how to foster your child’s social-emotional development at a young age.

We tend to think about education in terms of academics -- reading, writing, arithmetic -- but to be truly successful in school, work, and life, children also need to develop social and emotional skills. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children develop essential personal and interpersonal skills. 

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning has identified five core competencies that make up social-emotional learning: Self-awareness, understanding one's own feelings and thoughts; self-management, managing and regulating one’s own emotions and behaviors; social awareness, feeling and showing empathy for others with similar or differing backgrounds and cultures; relationship skills, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision making, using one’s knowledge to make constructive, thought-out choices. 

Social-emotional skills are classified as one of the top five skills by employers around the world, and research shows that 79% of employers say SEL skills are the most important qualities for job success. 

Children with social-emotional skills are better equipped to cope with emotions, persevere through adversities, have healthier attitudes, work well with others, resolve conflicts, feel and show empathy, set and achieve goals, feel good about themselves (and help others do the same), communicate effectively, and so much more. Who wouldn’t want that for their children?

Here are 3 ways to foster social-emotional development in your child:

Social-emotional learning needs to happen outside of school just as much as it does in school. It’s important that parents and other adults in a child’s life support and reinforce SEL development at home and in the community.

  • Read books with SEL components - Stories are a great way to teach children important, and sometimes complex concepts. Read a variety of SEL books with your child to help them further develop skills like self-management, social awareness, regulating emotions, etc. During and after reading, discuss the key concepts and lessons that each book addresses. (Additional resources)
  • Practice calm-down strategies - Regulating physical and emotional responses can be difficult for children. Teaching kids calm-down strategies and mindfulness activities helps them learn to self-regulate when they’re feeling a lot of big emotions.
  • Make plans and set goals - Work with your child to craft daily routines and plans, and teach them the importance of sticking to their plans. Help them set a few small personal goals each week, and, as they become more comfortable, try setting long-term goals and family goals, too.

How the Encantos app can help foster social-emotional development:

Storyworlds such as Canticos, La Petite Petra, Skeletina, Wally the Worried Walrus, Ella Bella Bingo, and Alpha Squad are great for furthering childrens’ social-emotional development. They teach skills like mindfulness, overcoming fears & anxieties, problem solving, empathy, and self-confidence through a variety of games, activities, videos, songs, and stories.

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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?