“The first question is, what would you most like for your children? The answer that most parents give is, ‘We want them to be happy. We want them to have good relationships, we want them to be healthy,’ and so on… . The second question is, what do children learn at school? And the answers are reading, writing, arithmetic … there’s almost no overlap between the two.”
Those questions, from Tal Ben-Shahar, an expert in the field of positive psychology, guide the philosophy of the Centner Academy, which will start serving kids between the ages of 2 and a half and 6 in Miami this fall (Ben-Shahar is consulting on the project). Instead of a strictly academic curriculum, the school also offers lessons in what it considers the five aspects of well-being: spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational, and emotional.
“Whether we’re talking 4-year-olds or 14-year-olds, we know how to help children become happier,” says Ben-Shahar. The school will soon prove whether that’s true or not.