Peace of Mind is a mindfulness-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program. The Peace of Mind Program includes a weekly curriculum for grades 1-5, and directions for how to integrate mindfulness, and social and emotional skills such as kindness, compassion, inclusion, and peaceful conflict resolution throughout the life of a school.
We believe that teaching mindfulness and SEL together helps children more than teaching either one on its own, based on current research on our own deep experience in the classroom. Mindfulness helps children become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions so that they can actually use the SEL skills they are learning when they are angry, anxious or feeling stressed.
Peace of Mind supports academic learning as well as social and emotional growth. Peace of Mind is not religious, and it is not therapy. Peace of Mind does not tell children what or how to think, but rather to notice what they are feeling and thinking, and helps them to pause and consider before acting on those feelings and thoughts.
The Peace of Mind Curriculum teaches students basic mindfulness practices such as deep breathing, “Take Five” breathing and counting breaths in order to manage big emotions such as excitement, anxiety, stress, anger, and sadness. Students also learn related brain science, including the roles of the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
Peace of Mind class offers opportunities to learn about and practice kindness and empathy every week. Once students have established their personal mindfulness practices and explored the value of kindness and empathy, they begin to learn skills to solve conflicts peacefully.
The ultimate goal is to give students the ability to notice and manage their emotions in order to build healthy relationships with others and with themselves. This helps create more positive and inclusive school climates.
A 2016 study by Minds Inc of the impact of Peace of Mind at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington DC confirmed positive perceived impact by the majority of students and parents surveyed. We conducted a similar survey for students and parents in 2018; analysis of results is underway.
We are in the process of analyzing results of pre- and post-pilot impact surveys of students and teachers at four pilot schools in Washington DC with wide variation in student population. Qualitative responses from teachers, students and parents are promising.
We honor parents as the first and most important teacher of their children. Peace of Mind hopes to partner with you to give your children the tools they need to face the social, emotional, academic and practical challenges ahead. You might think of this as helping them to develop life skills.
We are developing communication tools for your children’s teachers so that they can keep you up to date on what your children are learning. We also hope that this website will provide you insight into the language and practices your child might be bringing home, and ways you can use these new skills at home.
Some books you might enjoy: The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland; The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students by Daniel Rechstaffsen; Emotional Intelligence (and other books) by Daniel Goleman.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social and emotional learning (SEL) is defined as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” The Peace of Mind Curriculum is aligned with CASEL standards.
Here is a great list of SEL resources for parents compiled by CASEL and the University of Illinois-Chicago: Social and Emotional Learning Resources for Parents.
If you have any further questions, please do contact us or leave a comment below. Thank you!