The One Question Every Parent Should Quit Asking

2018-06-28T12:42:48+00:00June 28th, 2018|Categories: Parenting|Tags: , |

By Scott Dannemiller “It’s like she’s not even practicing.” Audrey’s piano teacher was standing in front of me, giving her honest assessment. Her eyes were kind, and her voice soft, but my parental guilt turned her statement into a question. One I couldn’t answer. So I just faked a diarrhea attack and ran to the restroom. Once we got home, I was determined to show Miss Amanda that my daughter could be the next Liberace, only more bedazzled than the original. So we opened her [...]

7 Key Phrases Montessori Teachers Use and Why We Should Use Them, Too

2018-06-21T09:17:03+00:00June 20th, 2018|Categories: Parenting|Tags: , , , , , , |

By Christina Clemer Montessori can be hard to sum up in just a few words —it is a philosophy on education and child development that runs deep. It’s a way of seeing the world. I think one of the easiest ways to get an idea for what Montessori means is to listen to the language that Montessori teachers use. Montessori teachers use language that respects the child and provides consistent expectations. Words are chosen carefully to encourage children to be independent, intrinsically motivated critical thinkers. [...]

Nation’s First Center Dedicated to Montessori Education Research

2018-06-20T14:53:58+00:00April 20th, 2018|Categories: Montessori|Tags: , , |

Photo by Laura Kingston Conference participants get a hands-on example of Montessori education in action at the 2017 National Council on Measurement in Education at KU. (Those are Kathy Klocke’s hands and Dayle’s bowl!) LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has announced the foundation of the KU Center for Montessori Research, the nation’s first university-based center dedicated to research on Montessori education. The center will carry out studies specific to Montessori environments and examine the potential influence of Montessori principles on education and human development [...]

Guns vs. Children

2018-06-21T09:19:25+00:00March 21st, 2018|Categories: Current|

It makes me angry that I live in a country where some people love their guns more than they love their children.  The massacre of seventeen innocent children and teachers in Parkland, Florida has sparked a debate which has found children standing up to elected officials and the gun lobby, demanding gun safety and reform.  One of the most absurd ideas is arming teachers.  That teachers, in addition to all their other responsibilities, must worry about keeping their students safe from intruders with guns by [...]

Barbara Kingsolver On Montessori: “You Can Do Hard Things”

2018-06-21T09:10:08+00:00February 21st, 2018|Categories: Montessori|Tags: , , , |

Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Flight Behavior, among many others) does a wide-ranging interview in Sun Magazine touching on writing, climate change, food, and more. The interviewer asks about perseverance: How do you nurture people to work hard enough to move all that dirt? How do you do that with your own children? And all of a sudden there’s this: “There’s something I have said so often to my children that now they chant it back to me: ‘You can do hard things.’ " “I [...]

The Fear Factor

2018-06-20T14:51:37+00:00January 6th, 2018|Categories: Parenting|

We were lucky. When Heather and Saasha were small, we didn’t have time to worry. Oh, we had the usual clash with grandparents over parenting issues such as not potty-training them before they were 12 months old, or the fact we chose to move into a vacant church to start Raintree and live in two Sunday school rooms. “You are going to do what?” my parents said. “That’s the craziest thing we’ve ever heard!” But honestly, we were so busy creating Raintree we didn’t have [...]

Encouragement for Jackson Bezzant: Don’t let bullies define you

2017-10-02T14:51:10+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Categories: Parenting|Tags: |

By Leonard Pitts, Jr. Dear Jackson Bezzant: Hi, my name is Leonard. I read your dad's Facebook post about you and wanted to share some thoughts. When I was your age, I was a shy, skinny kid with thick glasses, couldn't play kickball to save my life, always had my head in a book, lived alone in my own little world. All of this drew bullies to me like moths to a porch light. I got punched a lot. I had my glasses broken more than once. I [...]

On Social Media

2016-11-29T10:08:10+00:00November 29th, 2016|Categories: Parenting|Tags: , , |

An excerpt from The Collapse of Parenting by Dr. Leonard Sax Many of the problems we see with North American kids today— the defiance, the disrespect, the disconnection from the real world— can be traced to the lack of a strong attachment between parents and their kids. As Dr. Gordon Neufeld writes, “the waning of adult authority is directly related to the weakening of attachments with adults and their displacement by peer attachments.” Consider an acorn. Its strong shell prevents it from growing until the [...]

Teaching the Soft Skills: The Lessons of Grace and Courtesy

2016-11-01T15:28:29+00:00September 20th, 2016|Categories: Raintree|Tags: , , |

From Forbes magazine and the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post and the New York Times, we find articles on the importance of the “soft skills”. You can blame my generation for throwing out some of them with the bathwater of conventions in the 60s, and now in the Digital Age where we spend most of our time in front of a screen, we have moved farther and farther away from simple courtesies such as listening when another person speaks and saying thank you. [...]

The Community

2016-11-29T10:29:03+00:00July 8th, 2016|Categories: Raintree|Tags: , |

An excerpt from Montessori Madness by Trevor Eissler Montessori education is infused with the idea of community. One experience has given me a singular perspective on the importance of community. It was a plane crash. My own. Shortly after college, I drove to Alaska looking for a job flying airplanes and some adventure. There was plenty of both there, and I found myself flying a small single-engine Cessna up and down the Bering Sea coast of western Alaska. My job was to fly a load [...]