Sunday, October 2, 2016

Vacation Plan: Emotional Skills

This month is a school vacation period for the three Js. One area of focus this month will be on emotional intelligence skills.

Component Skills

We found a nice overview on Psych Central. We talked through the first four with J1 and J2 to start the month:
  1. Self-awareness: (a) recognize your own emotions and their effects, (b) sureness about your self-worth and capabilities
  2. Self-regulation: using a number of techniques to alleviate negative emotions
  3. Motivation: tools to manage motivation to achieve goals.
  4. Empathy: discerning the feelings behind others’ signals
The article also includes Social Skills as a category, but these seem separate to us.

Around the discussion of empathy, J1 asked how it differs from sympathy. We think that a difference is understanding how other people feel and their perspective (empathy) vs sharing their feeling (sympathy). I admitted that I do not have much sympathy.

A vocabulary list
Underlying many of these skills is a vocabulary of emotions. We found two nice resources for this:
  • Emotions color wheel: this is a great visual for the kids. 
  • Vocabulary list for greater shading: the idea is to move beyond the standards, happy, sad, angry, to get more shading and nuance. Another hope is that, in the moment of analyzing the emotion and comparing with the vocabulary, it will help their self-awareness and provide a point of detachment from the emotion.
Our Focus
J1 chose to focus on skills relating to empathy and sympathy.
J2 chose to focus on skills related to self-regulation.

Daily Schedule

Supporting this skill development and general household organization, we are posted this schedule for the month. You can probably tell that the boys helped write the schedule:

Things to do everyday:

  1. 3 pages of Beast Academy and discussion with J0
  2. 10 minutes of spelling with P
  3. Vocabulary: writing a sentence and 5x words (5 words/ day for J1, 3 words/day for J2) 

07:00 Wake up
          put dirty nightclothes in basket
          get dressed

08:00 prepare breakfast
          eat breakfast
          brush teeth

12:00 help with lunch
          eat lunch
          clear table from lunch

17:00 help with dinner
          eat dinner
18:30 clear table from dinner
          practice music
          put dirty clothes in basket
          brush teeth

20:00 get in bed
          listen to story
20:30 lights out