When it comes to picking a school: Choose Happy

It’s a miserable life.

Nasty, brutish and short. And childhood means school and that means drudgery. And the sooner kids experience that the better off they will be. It’s the real world folks. Better get used to it now. And sorry, no recess – you have to prepare for the test. And hurry up – no time to be wasted on the arts.

Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.

Those lines from the melancholy Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It suggest school as drudgery is not a new phenomenon.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Learning, deep engagement, hard work and happiness are not incompatible. Imaginative play is the work of the child. Creative thinking equals cognitive growth.

Make a different choice

When it comes to choosing the right school here’s how to do it: The right program for your child is one where he or she will be happy.

We don’t have to accept that school is a place of drudgery and misery.

PDS students are happy at school, and we know that happiness is essential to learning. The National Association of Independent Schools recently shared this article about research that correlates happiness to academic success. AT PDS we intentionally seek to create a happy place to learn. Here are some of the ways we do that. In no particular order these are features of our school program that build a strong foundation for future learning and academic success.

  1. Buddies, friendships, connections and collaborative work
  2. Choice time, electives, clubs and opportunities to exercise discretion
  3. The Arts
  4. A safe place to take risks, try something new and learn by trial and error
  5. Meaning, purpose, service and caring for others
  6. Time for play, exercise, recess, athletics and team sports
  7. Lots of new things to learn and new ways to learn them
  8. Teachers who know, challenge and care for every child
  9. Time to think, room to try, and people to help you along the way.
  10. It’s OK to make mistakes, do your best and then need to do it again. The aim is not perfection but to do reach as far as you can.
  11. Mutual respect for who we are, where we came from, our diverse talents and the myriad ways we learn
  12. Stretch: Intellectual, social and physical challenge

Why settle for less?

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