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

October 2nd, 2017|

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

November 29th, 2016|

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

September 20th, 2016|

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

July 8th, 2016|

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 [...]

Montessori Congress 2017

June 2nd, 2016|

Pathway to Peace: Montessori Education for Social Change The next Montessori Congress will be in Prague, Czech Republic July 27-30. The Congress will demonstrate that Montessori is an educational approach guided by the natural laws of human development, which enables all human beings to become agents of positive social change, which in the long term can lead to a more harmonious and peaceful world. The Congress will inspire a universal effort. Through dialogue, solidarity and collaboration each participant will come away with practical tools to [...]

The Third Thing: The Meaning of Life

May 31st, 2016|

From The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax What’s the point of school? I ask. Why bother? To get into a good college—that’s the answer I most often hear from American high school students. So what’s the purpose of college? I ask.  To get a good job, to earn a living, the students answer. This dialogue is the basis for what I have come to call “the middle-class script.” The script reads as follows: Work hard in school so you can get into a good college. Get [...]

Parenting in the Age of Awfulness

April 4th, 2016|

The Wall Street Journal December 18, 2015 Dr. Leonard Sax Kyle was absorbed in a videogame on his cellphone, so I asked his mom, “How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?” Mom said, “I’m thinking it’s been about two days.” Then Kyle replied, “Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his videogame. Kyle is 10 years old. I have been a physician for 29 years. This sort of language and behavior [...]

Peace? In Our World? by Wendy Calise

December 10th, 2015|

Let me start this with a true confession. I have worked in a Montessori school for more than 25 years, was a Montessori student myself, but really have not spent much time reflecting on the notion of education and peace. But recent events and the opportunity to speak to the Grandparents of our students changed that. As we drift into the season of giving thanks, it is clear that we have so much to be thankful for here in America. Such great abundance. We live [...]

Nine Qualities of an Authentic Montessori School

November 17th, 2015|

1.  Teacher Training Authentic high quality Montessori schools have teachers who were trained by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) or the American Montessori Society (AMS). Do not be confused by other acronyms when looking at a teacher’s diploma.  2.  Teacher Tenure Montessori teachers who have found an authentic Montessori school to work in do not leave. Ask how long the teachers have taught in the school. A long tenure speaks to the school’s authenticity 3.  Length of class time Authentic Montessori schools have a long uninterrupted work [...]

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About a Montessori School…But Were Afraid to Ask

November 17th, 2015|

“Aunt Martha says Montessori is a cult? Is that true?” “Does Montessori allow kids to do anything they want? A laissez-faire approach?” “I’ve heard Montessori classrooms are so rigid and strict you can hear a pin drop. Is that true?” “My friend sends her child to a Montessori school and loves it, but she has warned me that not all Montessori schools are the same. How will I know if a school is an authentic Montessori school?” The answers to the questions respectively are no, [...]