Category Archive:
Great parenting tips

Talking to Teachers

talking to teachers

Walking in from lunch, you see a message that your child’s teacher has called. For most of us, we get a knot in our stomach because we aren’t expecting good news. Plus we’ve been conditioned for twelve or thirteen years that being talked to by the teacher or being sent to the principal’s office is–well, […]


What’s Scary About School?

what's scary about school bus

As the first day of preschool or kindergarten approaches, some children feel anticipation and excitement, while others are anxiety-filled. Here are situations that your child might find fearful about going to school. Separation. If your child enjoys new situations and adjusts quickly to unaccustomed people and places, going to school probably won’t be a scary […]


Letting Children Learn From Mistakes

letting children learn from mistakes

Warm summer days remind me of my first cooking experiences. The summer I was six I longed to make cookies. The neighbor girl had an Easybake oven, and we made unsatisfying miniscule cakes from baby boxes. I yearned to cook real food from a recipe. Dreaming of a fabulous from-scratch concoction I raided my mother’s […]


And They Call It Veggie Love

When do we learn to love vegetables? For most of us, it is usually before the age of seven. During the first six years of life children are in a sensitive period of learning that involves refining the senses, which includes, of course, taste and smell. Introduce new foods ten times. Presenting a variety of […]


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, […]