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”

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”

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”

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”

Screen Time and Childhood

Years ago the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement addressing children’s screen time that created a media hubbub.  The statement was weak and ineffective. The ruckus was in grand disproportion to the Academy’s ho-hum recommendation that parents “avoid television for children under the age of two years”  (Brown 2011).  It generated no positiveContinue reading “Screen Time and Childhood”