How To SEL Program Outline

Program Outline

Each month, you will receive 3 video lessons and one activity for children, all of which have been selected because they can be easily modified for multiple ages.

Two of the videos feature Caroline Maguire actually coaching a child using a strategy from her book  Why Will No One Play With Me? and the third video is a Master Class with Scarlett Lewis exploring strategies and techniques to help adults cope with the topic of that month.

There is no right or wrong way to “practice” this program; it was intentionally designed to be flexible. We encourage you to complete the monthly lessons and activity at whatever pace you feel best works for your child/children/students, keeping in mind that there are a variety of ways to apply the lessons (watch it with child, or without, etc) and a variety of circumstances during which a lesson concept could be discussed or reinforced.

There are times when you may think that you are the only family struggling to get it right. Many parents sacrifice their hobbies and free time to manage homework, plan meals and taxi their children while our children exhibit higher levels of anxiety than ever before in history.

This month we tackle how to be aware of our own and others’ feelings. Highly emotionally intelligent people do this all the time. This critical life skill can be developed at any age.

  • Video Lesson 1: The Impression You Create in the World p. 125-126
  • Video Lesson 2: Comfort Zone p. 105-106
  • Master Class: Courage & First Impressions
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/Activity: Be A Super Hero

Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only family struggling to get it right. This month we tackle how to be aware of our own and others’ feelings. Highly emotionally intelligent people do this all the time. This critical life skill can be developed at any age.

  • Lesson 1: How Worried Should I  Really Be? p. 263-265
  • Lesson 2: Thinking Me, Reactive Me p. 252-254
  • Master Class: Conquering Overwhelm
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity: Create A Coping Skills Castle

Unpleasant thoughts can get “stuck” in our minds, and if allowed to grow and fester, they can become distressing. We may feel powerless if we worry about them excessively. This month we explore strategies to recognize their signals, reduce sensitivity to these thoughts, and react in a thoughtful and healthy manner.

  • Lesson 1: Sticky Brain p. 147-147
  • Lesson 2: Pinpointing How You Feel Across the Day p. 262-263
  • Master Class: How To Manage Repetitive Thoughts
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity: Empathy Pebble Jars

The ability to “read a room” plays a significant role in building confidence. Comparing our behaviors, interactions and dialog to others’ is a critical life skill. To join a game or conversation in progress, and then to be accepted into the group, requires the ability to observe and adapt. This month we’ll learn how to “spy” – discretely and respectfully – in order to gather data on how other children/people interact. 

  • Lesson 1: Social Spy p. 117–119
  • Lesson 2: Spy on Places I Know p.163-164
  • Master Class: Knowing Thyself (The Power of Presence/Self-Awareness to increase confidence, belonging and connection)
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

Every environment and situation has its own set of unspoken social rules – subtle and nuanced ways of how you are expected to behave – that dictate what behavior is appropriate. The more we can learn about how people behave, the easier it is for us to feel comfortable around them.  It is important to pause and think through the expectations of a social situation. 

This month we show you how to help a child pause and interpret facial expressions, body language, mental states, etc; discuss both of your observations. creating an image of positive interaction and adjust behavior to meet those expectations.

  • Lesson 1: Hot & Cold Bear Hunt, p. 171-172
  • Lesson 2: Unspoken Rules – p. 120, 121
  • Master Class: Relationship Challenges: How to communicate effectively and peacefully
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

Listening and responding are important social skills. To communicate effectively, we need to understand the message. Communication can break down and the sender of the message can become frustrated or irritated if the message wasn’t correctly delivered.

This month we show you how to help a child actively listen, look like they are listening, not “over-talk” the other person and demonstrate the skill of what really listening looks like.

  • Lesson 1: Listening Looks p.192-194
  • Lesson 2: Tell a Tight Story p. 197-198
  • Bonus: Drawing a Martian p. 200
  • Master Class: Engaging Others
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

This month we examine how to tune into the subtleties of mood and reading another’s energy level. Energy tells us so much about another person’s mood. People’s voice, what they say, and their body language can alert you to their energy.

This month we show you how to help a child consider and interpret the energy of the person they are speaking to, interpret others’ mood and how it affects the conversation and adapt their approach to match the others’ energy.

  • Lesson 1: Reading The Mood p 169-171
  • Lesson 2: Reading the Energy p. 172-173
  • Master Class: Getting the Vibe
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

Mental flexibility involves the ability to adapt and shift the course of thought or action depending on the situation. It requires willingness to move forward in less regimented ways.

 This month we show you how to help a child develop a more flexible mindset. adjust to daily tasks, roles and responsibilities and reduce daily stress.

  • Lesson 1: Pile of Choices p. 153-154
  • Lesson 2: Building the Tower with No Rules p. 209, 210 
  • Master Class: Compromise & Collaborate 
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

Empathy is a social emotional learning skill that needs to be taught. Research has shown that people who cannot imagine another person’s inner emotional life, who cannot manage their emotions and who cannot read the room, struggle in the workplace and are less successful than people who have critical social emotional skills.

The child or adult who lacks empathy can be seen as uninteresting, selfish, boring and self-absorbed. Parents and teachers can teach empathy. This training can actually save this child from years of pain and isolation. Remember Empathy is related to Compassion, and who doesn’t need more of that?

  • Lesson 1: Learning to Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes p.139
  • Lesson 2: Walking in the Shoes of People You Know Best p.226-227
  • Master Class: Empathy/Sympathy/Compassion
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

Perspective taking involves considering the mental states of others (motivations, intentions, desires, knowledge, beliefs) and is exercised in almost every human connection.  When we are able to consider a situation from someone else’s point of view and imagine how they might feel, think, or act, we can develop empathy.

This month we show you how to help a child point out the emotions of others, as well as their own, consider the audience and anticipate others’ motives.

  • Lesson 1: Who Is Your Audience? p. 179-181
  • Lesson 2: Anticipating People’s Motives- Who Are They and What will they do? P.183-185
  • Master Class: Caring to Connect
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity


How effectively we can monitor and manage our energy, emotions, stressors, thoughts, and behaviors is directly related to self-regulation skills. The ability to remain calm – even during big emotions – in order to adapt and respond appropriately will allow children to do well in school, with friends, and at home.

This month we show you  how to help a child respond to a range of emotions in socially appropriate ways,  remain sufficiently flexible and delay spontaneous reactions in order to engender positive well-being, loving relationships, and healthy learning environments.

  • Lesson 1: Silly Goofy Scale p. 244-245
  • Lesson 2: Good Winner, Good Loser p. 240-242
  • Bonus: Calming Strategies p. 141-142
  • Master Class: Setting an Example (Grace)
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

Filtering information and topics enables us to tune into what is relevant and to delete what is inappropriate.

This month we show you how to help a child focus on the other person, their thoughts and feelings; pay attention to non-verbal messages and listen for the speaker’s thoughts, ideas and meaning.

  • Lesson 1: Topics to Be Filtered p. 176
  • Lesson 2: Filtering Information p. 175-176
  • Bonus: Signs of Interest p.142
  • Master Class: The KEY lesson: Learning to grow and be strengthened by difficulties and translate the wisdom into help others 
  • Choose Love Monthly Challenge/ Activity

You will receive access to Month 1 content via email immediately upon registration; consecutive months will become available through your Digital Library every 30 days.  You will receive a notification by email each time a new month is available.