Compassionate Education

Several years ago, in the hurried hour before a young family in our community left for school, a parent accidentally tipped her large, scalding mug of green tea down her four-year-old daughter’s back.  They spent the next two days in the hospital, treating a painful third degree burn that would eventually heal without scarring. WhenContinue reading “Compassionate Education”

There is Always Time

Our neighbor Joe used to visit several times a week. Joe was eight years old, polite and respectful, happy, bright-eyed, a popular kid in our neighborhood.  When he stepped onto our front porch, he was usually looking for someone to play with.  Sometimes, his mother sent him to fetch his sister. Joe knew how toContinue reading “There is Always Time”

Concentration: A Montessori Life Lesson

Ari was one of our best students.  He was very smart, but not precocious; athletic but not the star of his soccer team.  Ari had several good buddies, but he was not the most popular boy in the elementary class.  His area of greatest strength was his ability to concentrate.  Almost every day, Ari fullyContinue reading “Concentration: A Montessori Life Lesson”

Why Teach?

Five-year-old Mindy and I had many opportunities to talk each day, because she was usually by my side, always within arm’s reach.  Preciously intelligent, she was enthusiastic, energetic, and lovingly connected to her peers and to our environment. She was also impulsive, easily distracted, disruptive, and prone to flights of fancy and aggressive imaginative play. Continue reading “Why Teach?”

Consider The Audience

The benefits of reading aloud to young children are well documented.  The only controversial question on the topic is boring. Teachers usually ask the question in the shrill, exasperated voice that unfortunately fits our stereotype:  Why are there still so many parents who don’t read to their children? Many parents do, of course, carve outContinue reading “Consider The Audience”

The Spiritual Life of a Child

We know how in well-led Montessori classes the children often have a remarkable susceptibility to holy and divine things. . . .we often find ourselves with unexpected revelations.                                                             –Maria Montessori, God and the Child, 10 Sami had just finished reading the introduction to our Parts of the Frog booklet.  DefinitionContinue reading “The Spiritual Life of a Child”

What Would Montessori Do?

Because we are opinionated and sentimental, my family subscribes to both the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.  I grew up with the Tribune and we remain Chicago sports fans, but the paper is in decline, a thin relic of its former self.  We subscribe to the Times because the quality of the writingContinue reading “What Would Montessori Do?”