BOOK | Understanding Montessori: A Guide For Parents

Understanding Montessori Second Edition

What is Montessori Education? Montessori education more than anything is about understanding and aiding the natural process of child growth and learning. The principles, methods, and materials used in Montessori education for over a hundred years are scientifically supported, researched and time-tested, plus based on common sense. Understanding Montessori: A Guide for Parents seeks to […]


Practicing Freedom

practicing freedom

Freedom is a tenuous situation at best. The ability to freely do something interconnects with several attributes that include critical thinking and the courage to act or not act, as the case may be. Gullible folks lend themselves to the idea that there is a sucker born every minute, while a proverb tells say a […]


The Breakfast Pledge

The Breakfast Pledge

Last year in my For School Leaders newsletters I focused on teaching civility. With this series on teaching civility, I drew heavily from Christine Porath’s book, Mastering Civility: A manifesto for the workplace, as well as other sources. Teaching civility, the grace and courtesy lessons we offer in our Montessori classrooms find renewed importance. Who do I want to […]


When to Ask, When to Tell

when to ask when to tell

Fostering cooperation in our children can be a blood-pressure-altering event. With so many chores that need to be done during the day, we can feel like a drill sergeant, police officer and the Wicked Witch of the West, all rolled into one. To avoid appearing to our children as the triumvirate of meanness and control, […]


Helping Young Children Learn About Money

helping young children learn about money

A few years ago I discovered that the six-year-olds in my class couldn’t differentiate between a nickel, dime or quarter, much less a half-dollar. They did recognize a one-, five- and ten-dollar bill, along with a penny. With parents using debit and credit cards for most purchases, children have few experiences with cash. With further […]


Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

There is magnetism with a 2 1/2- to 3-year-old and their ability to blurt out observations in public. These comments can make us understand, that, yes, we are paying for our raising. One teaching principle that I’ve found helpful to alleviate mortifying moments is the idea of indirect preparation. If you know it’s coming, prepare. […]


BOOK REVIEW: The Donnie Learns Series

Cover Donnie Learns To Make A Friend

This spring I was introduced to a series of books that I think are important. The series? The Donnie Learns Series by Terrence Tullgren. Tullgren initially designed these books to be coloring books with a message for children. The black and white pencil illustrations feel retro and, for me, made me think of my own […]


Think

think

Thomas Watson of IBM fame posted one-word notices around IBM factories and offices. THINK, read the signs. When a book about IBM and Tom Watson appeared, it was no surprise that the title was Think. Think. That seems to be a word that we, too, could post around our homes, schools and office to great […]


Strong Families Create Success

strong families create success

In Betty Smith’s classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, she tells the story of a young girl Francie Nolan in the early 1900’s, living with her family in the tenements. There wasn’t enough food. Her father drank up his paycheck, and her school rolled in chaos and neglect. Francie’s family owned two books: The Bible and The […]


21st Century Skills

21st century skills

The latest educational push is for 21st century skills that include analysis, critical thinking and cooperative learning. I don’t think we can protest that these skills aren’t worthy of developing. But skills also require knowledge based on experiences that allow accurate and timely feedback. For example, let’s say we have a recipe for chocolate chip […]