High-quality child care produces a stimulating, secure and loving atmosphere for the little one.

Focusing on children's wellbeing and ecological exposures in child care centers is Essential for several reasons: Since they display exploratory behaviors that put them in direct contact with contaminated surfaces, they're more likely to be vulnerable to some contaminants found. They're also less developed immunologically, physiologically, and neurologically and are more prone to the negative effects of toxins and chemicals. Children spend a whole lot of time in child care settings. Many babies and young children spend as many as 50 hours each week, in child care.

Nationally, 13 million children, or 65 percent of U.S. kids, spend some part of the afternoon in child care and at California alone, roughly 1.1 million children five decades or younger attend child care. In this exact same condition, many adults might also be subjected as roughly 146,000 employees work 40 hours or more a week child care centers. Child care environments include substances which may be harmful for kids. Recent studies suggest that lots of child care environments might contain pesticides, allergens, volatile organic compounds from cleaning agents and sanitizers, and other contaminants which may be toxic to children's wellbeing.

Nevertheless, little is understood about what environmental and chemical exposures they might be getting in these configurations. To fill this gap, we quantified. Outcomes of the study were reported on the California Air Resources Board. Our findings help inform policies to lower accidents to children, encourage training and workshops to educate child care providers about methods to lower children's environmental exposures (ex. Using integrated pest management to decrease pesticide usage ), and search for future research.

Washing Your Baby’s Clothes
Washing Your Baby’s Clothes
Washing Your Baby’s Clothes – How to do it Rightly
Washing Dishes
Washing Dishes
Cleaning up after oneself is an important life skill
Make a Bed
Make a Bed
It might be a dying art, but learning how to make a bed is a valuable skill.
Sweep a Floor
Sweep a Floor
Give a kid a broom, and you are likely to see dirt flipping everywhere except in a pile.
Mop a Floor
Mop a Floor
Be sure to give them instructions on how to mop different floor types you may have in your home.

Tools For Life & Socioemotional Development

Episode #152 – Socio-emotional development in early learning builds the foundation for emotional awareness and communication. In this episode, we chat with Allen Croxall and Dr. Regina Rees about Tools...

The post Tools For Life & Socioemotional Development appeared first on HiMama Blog - Resources for Daycare Centers.


Episode #152 – Socio-emotional development in early learning builds the foundation for emotional awareness and communication. In this episode, we chat with Allen Croxall and Dr. Regina Rees about Tools...

The post Tools For Life & Socioemotional Development appeared first on HiMama Blog - Resources for Daycare Centers.

Episode #152 – Socio-emotional development in early learning builds the foundation for emotional awareness and communication. In this episode, we chat with Allen Croxall and Dr. Regina Rees about Tools For Life, a resource that was developed to teach children how to process their feelings and better get along with each other. They share their passion for the approach and the benefit of having a common language to talk about emotions and work through disagreements for both adults and young children.

Resources:

  • Tools For Life
  • Tools For Life Facebook Group

Episode Transcript

Regina REES:

Self-regulation, getting along with others, examining their own strengths and weaknesses. And these are really important skills for everybody to know. And we realize that kids don’t come with that. They don’t come with that knowledge.

Ron SPREEUWENBERG:

Allen and Regina, welcome to the Preschool Podcast!

Regina REES and Allen CROXALL:

Thank you!

SPREEUWENBERG:

So today we’ve got two guests on the show at once, so we’re double lucky. We have Allen Croxall – he is the president of Tools For Life – and Dr. Regina Rees, she’s the director of training at Tools For Life. Both Allen and Regina have many years of experience in early-childhood education and deep knowledge on social-emotional learning, which we’re going to learn a lot about today. Welcome both to the show.

Let’s start off learning a little bit more about Tools For Life. Let’s hear from you, Allen: What’s the background of Tools For Life? What’s it all about?

CROXALL:

Well, thank you very much for having us. We’re very, very pleased to be here, Ron. Tools For Life is a social-emotional learning resource program that really seeks to help children and adults come to some sense of relationship building. So it’s a solution to a lot of the issues that many folks are feeling where they don’t have strong relationships.

Tools For Life was founded by a mental health agency working with families about 20 years ago. And over the course of time we have taken this program to build it into what it is now from early learning up to the end of Grade Eight, including the transition into grade 9.

So the early learning program of Tools For Life is really focused on how we can help the children and the teachers come to some sense of relationships, dealing with others, dealing with their feelings and the feelings of others, handling aggression, handling the aggression of others etc.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And Allen, why did you decide to focus your career and your time on this?

CROXALL:

Well, my background is in education – I’m a special education specialist and former professor of theology for a while. But my concern basically is that we have a lot of young children and older children who are hurting themselves and others and who are killing themselves and others. There has to be some way that we can help the children understand that they have aggression but there are ways to cope with that aggression. And so we focus our whole programmatics on that context so that we can help children come to some sense of solution, as opposed to living in constant anger and constant fighting mode.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And we’re keen to dive deeper into that. Before we do: Regina, why did you get involved with Tools For Life? And maybe tell our audience a little bit about your background.

REES:

Okay, well, my background is in K-12 education for many, many years. And then I went back to school and got my doctoral degree and then finished up my career as a professor in the College of Education at Youngstown State University. And I was in pre-service education, so I taught the people who wanted to be teachers.

And I got involved with social and emotional learning through a federal grant that our dean got for the College of Education. And we learned all about social and emotional learning and how to teach our future teachers how to include it into the curriculum. And then later on I met Allen and we hooked up with our ideas and here we are today. So that’s how I got involved in it.

And, like Allen, I had seen all the years of teaching kids just not getting along with each other and having a difficult time growing up from the younger grades. And then I saw the results in high school and I taught the high school grades. And I just thought there has to be a way to help these kids through life and see that life can be a wonderful thing, instead of such a torment.

And so I’m really happy to be with Tools For Life. It’s a passion of ours now and now it’s just something that encompasses Allen and me day after day, all day long. It’s basically what we talk about with each other.

SPREEUWENBERG:

So that gives us a really good sense, conceptually, of what Tools For Life is all about. Let’s change gears and talk a little bit about the practicality: What is Tools For Life? How is it used in a classroom or in a educational environment?

REES:

Well, first of all our slogan is, “All Day, Every Day”. So Tools For Life – as the title suggests – we have eight tools. We also have strategies. We have strategies and tools that we teach the students. But we don’t want it to be a lesson from 9:00 to 9:30, “We’re going to learn how to identify our feelings,” and then, “Okay, now it’s time for math,” and, “Now it’s time for recess.” We don’t want that. We want this to be a continuum, all day, every day.

And the lessons are personalized and they spill into all the rest of the curriculum. So it starts off as a basic lesson but it ends up being infused completely into the curriculum. Go ahead, Allen, you can add your own piece.

CROXALL:

And I think the other thing that we really need to mention with regards to Tools For Life is that it is basically a starting point for the early-childhood educator. The early-childhood educator can take the concepts that are in the program for Tools For Life and they can implement them throughout the day. But there’s a carryover that we have.

And our vision is, if we can have the same set of contexts being allowed from the classroom into the home then the parents become a partner in what is happening learning the different social-emotional learning strategies and then ultimately the eight tools. We commonly call the eight tools that we have a common language because it becomes the way that the child and the parent – or the child and other children, etc. – can start to solve some of their own problems.

So focusing on that, what Tools For Life tries to do during the course of the day is to allow the child to accept the fact, for instance, that they’re having some feelings. They’re having… everybody has feelings and they’re all valid and they’re all valuable. But it’s how you deal with those feelings. It’s not appropriate to go out and to slap someone or punch someone because you’re not getting your way. There are other ways for you to be able to control yourself and to learn to live with each other in a gentle way.

So it’s always about building these relationships so the relationships become very powerful and strong. There are relationships with the early-childhood educator; there are relationships with the other children. And then when they get home there is this idea of, “How can we build these relationships at home?” And that’s the reason why Tools For Life has products that fit in the classroom environment and also within the home environment.

REES:

Because we need to see that language carry on throughout the entire day so everybody is talking the same talk and walking the same walk. And that’s how it is, it’s a total buy-in. And that’s the beauty of Tools For Life because it’s a very simple concept. We’re just teaching children and adults how to get along.

And it’s resilience, it’s social-emotional learning, it’s just all the practical things that we want them to learn how to do and implement into their lives: self-regulation, getting along with others, examining their own strengths and weaknesses. And these are really important skills for everybody to know. And we realize that kids don’t come with that. They don’t come with that knowledge.

And if the teacher says, “Okay, boys and girls, we want you to sit down and behave yourself.” What does that mean? We have to explain what does that mean because in one person’s house behaving yourself means one thing and in another person’s house it might mean something completely different. And so we have to have that common language to bring them all together and they’re all on the same page.

CROXALL:

And for instance, sometimes an educator will say, “Now sit still, Regina.” Well, what does “Sit still” mean? Regina doesn’t understand what “Sit still” means. So what are ways around that so that we can have the child understand that there is a way for them to be more attentive and listening?

So we have a portion, and one of our strategies is called “Paying Attention”. And paying attention means that you don’t have to sit necessarily and stare at somebody to be listening to them. You could be lying down, you could be leaning, you could be walking around. But it’s the idea of focusing on the speaker so that when someone is speaking to you – and that could be the parent, or it could be an instructor – what’s happening basically is my brain is listening, my ears are listening, my eyes are listening because I’m paying attention to that person but I’m doing it in my own way.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And Allen, you mentioned that there’s eight tools that contribute to this common language. For audience to bring it to life a little bit can you give maybe one or two real life examples of what those tools are?

CROXALL:

Okay, so maybe what I’ll do first of all is I’ll mention the eight tools and then Regina and I can both give some examples, if that would work. Okay?

SPREEUWENBERG:

Perfect.

CROXALL:

So the eight tools for problem solving are talking about Ignoring, Walking Away, Apologize, Sharing and Taking Turns, Taking a Chance, Compromise and Asking For Help. And these four terms become options that the children quite often realize they’ve never had before. And when we say Walk Away that doesn’t mean you’re being a chicken. What it means is that you’re walking away from a situation so that you can actually have the opportunity not to make a poor choice, or your friends may be doing something that’s not right. Well, you have the chance to walk away to some sense of safety.

REES:

Yes, you’re walking away to safety.

CROXALL:

Yes, exactly. And then I’ll just mention one other one, Regina, and then you can run with it. The whole idea of taking a chance is kind of important because you have a bunch of kids, and how do we decide who’s going to go first? Well, we can do Rock, Paper, Scissors. We can vote. There are all kinds of things. We can pick a colour. We can do all kinds of different things so that everybody gets a chance. So the opportunity to take this chance then gives everyone the opportunity to bloom at that point. Regina?

REES:

Okay, and I’m thinking about Apologizing because this is something that is kind of a difficult thing to do, even for adults, especially for adults to say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake.” And so we teach the children how to apologize and how to accept an apology and not just, “Sorry.” “Well, if you were that sorry you wouldn’t have done it,” that could be their reply. So, “I am sorry that I took the crayon away from you. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” Okay, and the other person could say, “Well, you did hurt my feelings,” and they could talk it out for a little bit and then they would come to an agreement.

So I also just mentioned another tool: Talking It Out. Oftentimes these tools go hand-in-hand, that you have to work together. So Talking It Out means just that – we’re not going to shout it out, we’re not going to call each other names. And so we have to teach the children, “How can you talk things out? How will you solve this problem between the two of you?” And believe it or not, the little ones could do it as well as the older students. You can teach the little ones how to talk things out and not be mean when they talk to each other and to solve their problems.

CROXALL:

And I think one other thing that we should mention this is that the last one we emphasize… and we all wear a lanyard, and the lanyard has these little cards and on these little cards are these eight tools so the children get to know that they can come up to somebody wearing this lanyard to try to figure out which one – or ones – of these tools they need to be using.

And we ask them to look at Asking For Help as the last one because fundamentally what Tools For Life is about is trying to teach these children that all along they can have and make the choice to solve the issues that they are working with. But at the very end if they’re having real difficulty with another person or even with themselves trying to figure out what they’re going to do, that would be the time that they would ask for help. But the interesting thing is they can ask for help from each other – it’s not just an adult. But, they can then go to the adult to do that.

So all the tools kind of revolve around a thing we call the Problem Solving Light, which is like a traffic light. It has a red, an amber and a green light. And the red light means that we ask the child to first of all stop and to say, “So, how am I feeling right now? Well, I am really angry right now, and that’s okay.” It’s okay to be angry. It’s how you deal with that anger. So what we’re doing is, that child is angry and now we have them go through the yellow light where they think about the tools.

So, “I’m angry because Regina wouldn’t share the ball with me because I wanted to play with it.” So then all of a sudden I have this opportunity to think really carefully about the tools and say, “Well, how am I going to do that? Am I going to talk it out with her? I could do that. Am I going to ignore her? No, that’s going to make it worse. Can I walk away? I could, but that’s not solving the problem. I can apologize because maybe I did hurt her feelings. I could do Share and Take Turns, which seems to be the obvious one because it’s a ball in question. I could take chance – that doesn’t really work so well. I could Compromise? I could do Compromise because that word Promise is in the middle of the word Compromise.”

REES:

We could compromise and I could say, “I’ll play with the ball for five minutes because I just want to finish a little thing that I’m doing with the ball. I just want to practice dribbling and then I’ll give the ball to you. And I promise I will in five minutes.

CROXALL:

So what happens then, basically, is the child has solved the problem instead of asking the adult for a solution or tattletaling. “Oh, Regina won’t give me the ball!” And one of the things that Tools For Life does – and we’ve heard this time and time again in our kindergarten and early-childhood classrooms – within two weeks tattletaling has stopped. That’s an amazing thing to discover.

REES:

It really is, because the students then realize they are empowered and they don’t have to tattle because they can solve the problems themselves, even if they have to go and ask for help about it. And then once again, that is also taught the difference between asking for help, the difference between tattling and reporting because we say, “You do have to go tell an adult if there is some danger. If you see someone in danger – someone who is doing something that will harm themselves or that they are in trouble – then you must tell.”

But that’s different than tattling and then that definitely stops. And to me, as an educator, if all tattling would stop tomorrow I would say there would be so many more happy teachers because that is a big part of the day.

CROXALL:

And happy children.

REES:

And happy children because they wouldn’t have to worry about that threat: “I’m telling the teacher!” Well, now there’s no need for that. And that’s the beauty of Tools For Life, is this is so proactive. You don’t wait until someone has done something wrong. You keep it upfront.

CROXALL:

If I could give an example: in one of our communities that uses Tools For Life, they decided to take our parent program – because we have a Tools For Life home-start program, which is for youth in the homes, and it mirrors what happens in the classroom – and what this school district decided to do with pre-kindergarten children was to have them come in for five weeks over the course of the summer. They come in every morning for two-and-a-half hours.

And over the course of the two-and-a-half hours they invited the parents because each parent was given one of these home kits, so they would bring that into the classroom. And over the course of two-and-a-half hours for five weeks the children were taught these different kinds of skill sets. They were taught how to recognize these issues, how to start using our strategies and fundamentally the tools.

And what was fascinating was at the end of the summer when the children went into kindergarten for the first year of the kindergarten teachers and all said the same thing: “What did you do to these kids? They’re not the same children. We’re not dealing with these same issues when they’re coming and filled with aggression and all of these different kinds of issues.”

So Tools For Life is what we call a “trauma-informed program”. So we teach the teachers to look out for the kinds of trauma that these kids are coming into your programs with. So they’re coming into their early-childhood classroom in the morning – there may have been a fight around the breakfast table; they could have been bullied on the way into their into the school; they could be hungry because there’s no food at home; they could have been molested. There could have been all of these different kinds of issues.

These traumas, these children carry this heavy baggage with them into a classroom. And if they come into a room and they have this baggage it’s very, very difficult for them to focus away from that so that they can actually be learning the skill sets that the educators [are] trying so hard to teach.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And Allen, one of the words that’s come up a lot – or phrases – is “common language”. And certainly I would think that if children are learning through Tools For Life in terms of how to do problem solving – and I think those two things actually really go hand in hand because problem solving is a really key tool for life. So I like how that goes together. And also the parents are involved in the program as well, whether that be through the tome start program or are just informed on what their children are doing with Tools For Life. What does that mean for those families, in terms of having that common language both at school and at home?

REES:

If I may just interject [for] one second: In the teacher’s manuals for Tools For Life there are weekly letters that go along with every lesson that’s being taught. So the teacher can send home a letter – they could change it, add to it, do whatever they want with it – and it explains to the parents what the students are learning. And in it includes that language. And so now the parents can be informed. That is key. That is the key to having that continuum of “all day, every day.”

CROXALL:

And just to push that a step further, in the manual we have – at the back in the resource section – we have copies of all of the posters that we use. And each of the posters represents one of the strategies. So we invite the educator to photocopy that, and on the back of that poster to put the discussion questions for parents.

And it’s very important because what happens typically is we would say things like, “Today your child learned about being a good listener. Please take this opportunity to discuss what your child learned through the following questions.” For example, “What is a listening body? How do I pay attention to someone?”

So what happens is, the parents are included immediately in that and they can then stick this poster onto the fridge. So during the course of a week or two weeks or whatever the child constantly sees “Paying Attention”. And the parents can refresh several times these different kinds of questions and ask them in different ways.

Regina, do you want to point to the context of literacy, since literacy is one of your areas of expertise?

REES:

Absolutely. With that poster and the information that goes home with the parents, this way the parents can make a link with what’s going on. They might say, as the week went, “I noticed you really were paying attention when I explained how to do such and such.” And it will keep reminding the students that they are doing a good job.

And as far as literacy, I really hope that parents are secure with reading stories to their children. And oftentimes parents will say, “I don’t like to read out loud because I’m not a very good reader.” Well, guess what? Your preschooler is a non-reader, so anything sounds good. The important thing here is that the children get to hear the sound of the language. And it’s a bonding – when you put that child on your lap or next to you and you open that book and you share a story, that is just a magical moment. That is worth millions. There could be no price on it.

And so you read the story and you talk to the child and you ask questions as the story goes on. And at the end, “Well, what did you like best about this story? And did you notice that the little boy in the story was happy when someone did something nice for him? I wonder, did somebody do nice something nice for you? Did you feel happy, and why?” That type of thing.

And you have that discussion, a little book talk with the child. And it’s that private, that wonderful moment between the parent and the child. And that child will feel a part of the family. They will feel strong. They will feel that they are empowered to be a member of the family and that they are worth something. And right then and there, that whole act of reading is a social and emotional skill, that beautiful moment when you share a story with the kids.

And even if you feel that you are not a good reader, it doesn’t matter. Just read or just look at the pictures together and ask what you think is going on and tell the story yourself. Read the story to the kids and then have them tell it back to you by looking at the pictures. There’s nothing more important than that between parent and child.

CROXALL:

That whole comprehension thing is so important because the child starts to put together, with the parent’s voice or the guardian’s voice, puts together rather quickly the idea of what the word sounds. Like they may not be able to read the word but then they start to understand what the word means. And then there’s this quizzing: “So what are you like when you’re happy?” “Oh, I do this.” Or, “What do you feel like when you’re sad?” So the child starts to tell that story.

And this typically happens: There are some story books that children love and they take those story books and they want to hear that story over and over and over and over. And it’s an opportunity for you then to say that the child, as you open that page, “So tell me what you’re seeing. Tell me what you remember.” And they might embellish or change the story, and that’s okay. The point is you’ve taken the time. And it’s that social emotional learning thing.

Now, what happens with that is that child will start listening to other people all of a sudden. That child will start chatting with other people on a different kind of level in the plane. So what happens typically is this relationship building that has occurred becomes something way personal but also way public and sharable. “And I want to start doing that with the different kinds of friends that I have. Even my special friends, etc.”

REES:

Absolutely. And that act of reading to each other, of the parent reading to the child, it builds those critical thinking skills because the child is listening and they’re figuring things out. And the mom will stop and say, “Oh, look at the look on the little bear’s face. How do you think he looks? “Well, he looks kind of surprised.” “Why was he surprised?” And they’ll understand, they’ll start to understand feelings. They’ll start to understand body language by looking at the pictures of the characters in the book. And they can apply that to their own lives. And once again that is the beginning of critical thinking skills and that is so important.

CROXALL:

If you extend that even a little bit further, a little walk in the park, all of a sudden you can start talking about things that you’re seeing. Natural things: the grass, the flowers, the dandelions, the bumblebee or whatever, or a butterfly or other children playing. And it’s an opportunity to sit there and have the child tell the story about that. “What do you think those kids are saying over there?” Well, they could be making up stuff. It’s an opportunity for them to start very early to look at things, to examine things, to share things and to want to talk about things.

And that’s why Tools For Life has what we call “Inquiry Led”, and it’s play-based. So the inquiry-led portion of it is, you set out little opportunities so that the child can start to question and ask about things and start to look into things. And then it’s play-based because that learning is reinforced by a game that you make up where the child makes up.

So Tools For Life is that kind of starting point in the classroom so that the teacher can get all fired up about getting the children all fired up. And that’s really what happens during the course of the day.

REES:

And the beautiful thing about Tools For Life, it is very low-tech. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on games and toys and technology. You just use what you have in your house. When you go off for a walk maybe you might want to take a little, give each of your children a little brown bag to carry because they might find cool things along the way. They might find a pretty leaf or a little stone or some pinecones or something and they might want to carry that with them.

And then when they come home, then you could say, “Well, let’s remember what we did on our walk today.” Maybe they can make a little project with the pinecones and the stones and whatever. And that way it’s an exploration type of thing. They might even want to have a little display in their room. “Here’s what I found on my walk on Monday,” and they have a little collection of things.

Why not? It’s something that… children are so curious anyway. Some parents say, “Oh, don’t pick up that rock, that looks dirty.” But let them pick it up, you could wash it when you get home and let them play with it and look at the colours on the rock and which rock was bigger which was smaller. Look at, “Is it bumpy? Is it smooth?” All of those little things.

And it helps them to be curious. And what that does, it sets them up to be lifelong learners. And as an educator when I got compliments from parents, the best compliment and the most frequent compliments I got – and I appreciated them the most – was when the parent told me that what I had done for their child was to make them curious about learning and making them want to learn more. I had one mom tell me, “My kid never even would open up a dictionary or a book or anything. Now all he wants to do is find out more, more, more.” And I said, “That’s it, lifelong learning.”

And that’s what you want to start with your children when they’re small. Give them that joy of learning and that quest for knowledge. And they’re right on their way then – you won’t have any problems.

CROXALL:

So, Regina, if I could just add to that, if we just pull that out and back into the relationship situation and perhaps in a classroom environment, for instance: One of the things that we’ve learned very, very quickly with Tools For Life is that it gives the child and the teacher, the educator gets the opportunity to do something that I first learned when I got a cat years and years and years ago, and that is that we need to correct, but then you immediately caress.

So the correction is seen as part of the caressing process, as opposed to constantly barking at the child not to do something. You correct that child but then you caress that child so that they know that they’re still loved. They understand that even though they didn’t do something exactly right at that point there’s still an opportunity to try that later. So you’re not giving up, if you like, on the child.

So this whole context of “Correcting and Caressing” is very important because that starts to extenuate over into the other children into the room, or other people, other adults. Or if [the children] go to Grandma’s house and Grandma has a certain way of doing things that are different than at the house, correcting and caressing is just a very important thing for the child to realize. And we constantly call this “the Constant Teaching of Social Issues”. Regina, did you want to comment a bit on that?

REES:

Well, too, when you call a student that, when you call a child out and they hear their name, “Okay, come on, Barney stop doing this. Smarten up, Barney,” and they just keep hearing “Barney, Barney, Barney,” what does that do? That makes them feel inferior. But what does it do for the rest of the children in the classroom or the family? Because they hear the teacher or the parent calling that kid out all the time, they think it’s okay. So they will start treating that child the same way: “Oh, yeah, So-and-so is always late. Yeah, well, it’s okay, it’s just So-and-so. It’s just Barney, we can do that to him because we see the teacher do it, we see Mom do it.”

And so that is not… so that’s something you want to avoid and that’s what that Correct and Caress will do for you. Because now you’re not calling anybody out for any particular reason, you’re just calling attention to what you would like them to do. And that’s what Tools For Life is all about – we’re not hollering, screaming, no drama. It’s all about no drama. It’s just getting along and it’s just helping the children understand things that they don’t understand.

Just as if you have to teach them their colours, their alphabet, you have to teach them how to get along with each other. You have to teach them that they have feelings and how to deal with them, and that’s what it’s all about.

And I keep thinking, the main ingredient here is you have to give them your time. This all takes time. They’re not going to get it the first day. They have to just practice over and over again, just like they’re practicing the piano or tennis or whatever they’re doing. So that relationship is just such a beautiful thing as it evolves. And you just see these little people just grow and grow and they become so resilient and they become empowered.

I always think about… I’m sure everybody’s familiar with the movie The Wizard of Oz. And at the end when Glinda tells Dorothy, “Just click your heels together three times and you can go home,” and [Dorothy] says, “That’s it?” [Glinda] says, “Well, you had the power to go home any time you wanted. You just didn’t realize it.” So we have to do that with our children. We have to empower them to let them know, “Yes, you can do these things, you have this power. You just have to realize how to go about it and to feel secure to do it.”

CROXALL:

And I think I’m going to just add one thing to that, if you don’t mind, Regina: I think it’s a beautiful image to bring to bear here, because throughout the curricula in Tools For Life we have these continual literacy references to fabulous book for the children to read and the parents to read to the children. And even in the home product we give an exhaustive list of materials that the children would love to hear as stories. We give the ISBN numbers, etc., if they want to order them.

And we also give the information for parents and for adults who are working with children like this. So there are constant references made to the resources and materials that may help the educating staff get the stories, tell the stories, embellish the stories and beautiful picture books that they can point to, etc. So this constant referencing that we have to literacy – and also to numeracy – throughout Tools For Life is giving basal skills to the children so that they can start building on top of those things, and then the structure doesn’t topple.

SPREEUWENBERG:

Wow, so many amazing things to take in there from both Allen and Regina. And both [have] so much expertise and experience in social emotional learning through Tools For Life and otherwise. We could probably go on for hours talking about this really deep and important topic, unfortunately running out of time. So we’re going to have to wrap things up.

But before we do I just wanted to ask you if there’s any resources that you could direct our listeners to if they want to learn more about Tools For Life or possibly even just social-emotional learning generally?

CROXALL:

Sure, we have a lot of things. I guess the first place we should invite you to would be to our webpage, which is under construction, we’re rebuilding it. But it has a ton of material and resources that I think are very important. And that web page is www.ToolsForLifeResources.com.

We also have a pretty good Facebook page with a lot of folks coming to it because we offer a lot of details that people can kind of look at ideas and suggestions. And that Facebook page is www.facebook.com/TFLRelationships. And that has a lot of information and people share a lot of information on that page. So it’s an interesting place for folks to go to.

We also have on our webpage at www.ToolsForLifeResources.com/Music, we have music there for you to utilize with the children. So we actually have the tunes so that you can listen to the tunes. We also have the lyrics in the event that you’d like to teach the songs to the children. And we also even have sheet music for all of the music so that if you happen to play piano or something you can add to that if you choose to do that.

So there are a lot of resources with Tools For Life. We also offer very, very solid training, hence Regina’s title as Director of Training. We offer very specialized training for one-day courses, for what we call “Frontline Folks”. And then we also offer training to agencies or groups so that they can have the resources internally so that they can train their own staff. And that would be two or three days of solid training for those folks. Does that help, Ron?

SPREEUWENBERG:

That is phenomenal. And I can also just say that I personally have heard so many amazing things about Tools For Life and the impact that it can have. And I can tell you that Allen and Regina are very, very passionate about this and they care deeply about the results that it has. And I can tell you that from everything that I’ve heard the results can be very, very impactful. And in particular in communities where there are particular challenges and the results can be phenomenal. So at a minimum go check out Tools For Life websites. Allen, Regina, so great to have you on the show. Thank you so much for joining us.

REES:

Thank you, thank you so much. It was so much fun. Thanks.

CROXALL:

It was, thank you.

The post Tools For Life & Socioemotional Development appeared first on HiMama Blog - Resources for Daycare Centers.


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