Category Archive:
Great parenting tips

Declaring Independence

declaring independence

As the Fourth of July nears each year, I read the Declaration of Independence to remind me how life under a tyrant might be. This reading helps me appreciate how precious our Constitution and Bill of Rights are to my life. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, thought and wrote extensively on […]


Asking For Assistance

asking assistance

Can you help me, please? These five words seem to be hard for many people to say. In airport check-in lines, at fast food restaurants, or in grocery stores, we may react negatively when someone neglects to ask, “May I help you, please?” But at those times when we feel that no one is trying […]


Rethinking Homework

possessive instinct

Parents, imagine no homework to supervise and therefore no forgotten assignments. Teachers, consider having no homework to assign, grade, record and monitor. Alfie Kohn in his book, The Homework Myth, advocates abolishing homework based on a survey of educational research that shows there is no connection between homework and academic success. For the past twenty […]


Writing A Thank-You Note

writing a thank you note

During a visit with a group of ladies in their late seventies, I discovered that they each had notes tucked away, written by their children and grandchildren. Not every note from every child, but ”treasures” from letters, notes and cards received over the years. I’m imagining that a piece of paper that someone’s held onto […]


Drawing With Children

teaching children drawing

Betty Edwards in her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, explains that around age ten our logical “left-brain” style of thinking begins to dominate and overrides our creative “right-brain” type of thinking. Our left-brain thinking criticizes our work, and out of our mouth comes words like: That doesn’t look like a bird. You can’t draw […]


Leave It Ready For The Next Person

montessori newsletter

Sustainability seems to be a current buzzword. Product labels proclaim sustainability. Clothing is sustainable. Tuna is sustainable. New construction is sustainable. Marketing types seem to be playing upon our ecological concerns of making sure we don’t run out of resources, that we aren’t unwittingly spending our grandchildren’s inheritance. When I opened my first Montessori classroom, […]


Who Owns the Problem?

who owns the problem

Five-year-old Samantha leaves her lunchbox at home at least once a week. Her mother, Lori, makes a special trip to school to bring Samantha’s lunch–a thirty-minute disruption to Lori’s day. Who owns the problem of getting Samantha’s lunch to school? Samantha or her mother? Some parents feel that they own all their children’s problems. When […]


The Compliment Game

compliment game

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11 Our daughter, Dana, came home from her freshman year of college and suggested that we play the Dana Game. ”I’ve taught all my friends at school how to play it.” ”How do we play?” I asked. ”We’ll go around in […]


Parents Are the Real Thing

parent thank you

”Humans would degenerate without the child to help him rise. If the adult does not waken little by little, a hard crust will form around him and make him insensible.” ~Dr. Maria Montessori Being in the city is interesting, to say the least. Surrounded by world-class restaurants with scores of ethnicities, shops, theatres, museums, galleries […]


Modeling Behavior

modeling behavior

The telephone rang as we sat down for dinner. I excused myself to answer the call. “Good evening. Is Mrs. Schmidt in, please?” I recognized the voice immediately. It was a telemarketer from a local non-profit organization where I had ordered five-year guaranteed light bulbs. For months the same two ladies had informed me of […]