Helping Kids Cope

Eight Priorities: Practical Encouragement and Support for Parents with Young Children One:  Eat Together Research has validated what many good parents know intuitively:  Nothing is more valuable to a child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and social health than a daily family meal.  Sit at a table, use napkins and utensils, turn the television and cell phonesContinue reading “Helping Kids Cope”

We Shall Overcome

The first years of my teaching career passed quickly in a Montessori classroom just outside Atlanta, Georgia.  The school was near of Emory University, the King Center for Social Justice, Georgia State University, The Centers for Disease Control, Eggleston Children’s Hospital, and Agnes Scott College.  Culturally and economically, it was an extraordinarily diverse population.  SomeContinue reading “We Shall Overcome”

A Healthy Appetite

Hana’s chubby cheeks were pink and dimpled, her freckled face framed in soft strawberry blond curls.  There were times when she sat on the floor of our classroom with her three-year-old friends, giggling until she fell over backwards. Before her mom arrived to pick her up every day, Hana would turn toward the door, justContinue reading “A Healthy Appetite”

Summer Reading

The year our daughter turned six, she celebrated the first day of summer with our neighbor.  It was a hot day, so they set the sprinkler in the sun, found last-year’s bathing suits, and ran the afternoon away; back and forth through the cold water, laughing.  When they finally stopped for popsicles, they decided theyContinue reading “Summer Reading”

Why Wait?

Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.–Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child Anna Many years ago I had a student who was an unintentional and most unlikely source of great inspiration.  Where Anna is now, I couldn’t say.  I suppose she is in the midst ofContinue reading “Why Wait?”

Montessori’s Second Period

No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.  It could not be otherwise for she is impelled to know that the seeds of value sown in her have been winnowed.  She never outgrows the burden of love, and to the end she carries the weight of hopeContinue reading “Montessori’s Second Period”

Skipping Stones

August Mornings in Maine August mornings in Maine are cool, perfect for hiking through the mountains that border the Atlantic Ocean.  Bears are still active near some forest trails, but we never saw one.  The solitude and beauty far outweigh the risk.  Our children are old enough now to climb and hike, still young enoughContinue reading “Skipping Stones”

Educationally, Nothing Compares to a Friend

We were two chapters into our second volume of Pippi Longstocking when Isabella entered our classroom for the first time.  “Don’t worry about it,” she said.  “I know who she is.”  Apologetic but reassured, we resumed reading where we had left off the day before. Pippi and her two best friends, along with Pippi’s monkeyContinue reading “Educationally, Nothing Compares to a Friend”

Building a Pond

A few summers ago, we built a pond. Our sons were then 16 and 12, and our daughter was 10. They grew up in Montessori classrooms that were beautiful, carefully prepared communities where they learned to concentrate, read, collaborate, and master difficult tasks. Their teachers instilled a deep reverence for the natural world. They wereContinue reading “Building a Pond”