Self Development Academy teaches mindfulness, empathy, and social and emotional learning (SEL) as a cornerstone for supporting a healthy and happy community. A well-rounded student needs more than study skills and curiosity. Social and emotional learning benefits students in the classroom and for a lifetime.


To read more about our approach, click here.


Social and emotional learning (SEL) includes:


Self-Awareness – The ability to recognize and label one’s feelings, motives, and desires.


Social Awareness – Showing empathy, considering other perspectives, and understanding social and ethical behavior norms.


Self-Regulation – Managing stress, regulating emotional responses, and motivating oneself.


Interpersonal Communication – The ability to exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal communication.


Conflict Resolution – Being able to find a peaceful, ethical solution to a disagreement based on consideration of shared feelings and goals.


To promote social and emotional learning at home, consider these tips:


Create an emotions chart.

When your child feels intense emotion — especially during a tantrum — pull out your chart and help them identify what they’re feeling. For children who can’t yet read or understand what “furious” means, use emojis for the emotions. Once they can easily recognize and label their emotions, they can take the next step and ask for what they need in those moments.


Spend time as a family volunteering.

Consider your family’s unique values and strengths, and find a way to serve other people in those areas. You could donate to a local homeless shelter. Or serve in the soup kitchen (once Covid-19 restrictions have lifted). Or financially support a local refugee organization. Also, consider ways your children can show empathy and helpfulness that don’t depend on you driving them or coordinating the effort. Your child can help a neighbor carry in and put away groceries, mow the grandparents’ lawn, or organize a garage sale to benefit a charity.


Never underestimate deep breaths.

Ignoring distractions, stilling your body, and breathing deeply helps your body regulate and feel grounded. It turns off the flight-or-fight stress response and lowers stress. Help your kids take deep breaths and learn to self regulate when they feel stressed out, but also as a practice throughout the day.


Play a game of fishbowl.

As a family, everyone writes down five familiar words or phrases on separate pieces of paper and folds them up, adding them to a fishbowl. Each person takes turns taking out a piece of paper and gets the rest of the people to guess what’s written down. The first round, everyone who picks a piece of paper can describe it with words but use no gestures and none of the words written down. Once every phrase has been taken out of the bowl, put them back in and start over. The next round, everyone may act each phrase out using no words. The last round, everyone may only say one word (not one that’s written down) with no gestures. This game helps children understand how to effectively communicate verbally and nonverbally. And it’s fun!


Don’t shy away from conflict.

Most parents are familiar with the old “work it out among yourselves” response when siblings start fighting. Sometimes that escalates things quickly to a living room wrestling match, and sometimes the strongest personality wins by default. While it’s valuable to teach our children to settle conflict on their own, they almost always can use some guidance from a third party. Help them take deep breaths and communicate the situation to you. Once they’ve verbalized their emotions, together think of options to resolve the conflict that include compromise, fairness, and kindness.


If you are looking for a charter school with a strong community that nurtures our students and teachers, contact us at (480) 641-2640 or (602) 274-1910 to get more information about our K-8 nationally awarded charter school of excellence with an advanced learning curriculum. In addition to online learning, we have campuses in Phoenix, Glendale, Gilbert, and Mesa.