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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Parenting in the Age of Awfulness

2018-06-21T09:23:53+00:00April 4th, 2016|Categories: Parenting|Tags: , |

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

2018-06-21T09:26:37+00:00December 10th, 2015|Categories: Current|Tags: , |

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 [...]

The Story of the Magic Eraser

2018-06-21T09:27:56+00:00September 16th, 2015|Categories: Parenting|Tags: , |

Optimism and Grit in the Face of Adversity About a month ago, we experienced another round of vandalism as did our neighbors to the east and the public school behind us.  Black enamel spray paint was used to deface the Gaga Ball pit the students built, the east waiting station, and the school’s pickup truck.  The Gaga Ball pit was repaired, thanks to Jim, and this weekend, Gibson and I sanded off the graffiti from the cedar post in the waiting station, but we knew [...]

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

2016-11-01T15:28:37+00:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Primary|Tags: |

Young children of preschool age derive their security from order, routine and the consistency of the adults in their lives. When a child starts attending a new school, it is common for him to react to the transition, often with tears. Some children cry right away while others wait for a few weeks. If you are a parent of a child who is crying when you leave, have faith. All will be well. Keep in mind that we adults are key to how our children [...]

No Helicopters Please

2015-05-02T03:44:37+00:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Raintree|Tags: |

When we first started Raintree, Montessori was relatively new to the Lawrence community. The Raintree campus of today bears little resemblance to the ramshackle building and grounds of yesteryear, but we have fond memories of that time, just as we will have fond memories of this time in our lives in years to come. As our physical environments improved (a real parking lot replaced the mud and gravel and windows brought natural light into what had been dimly lit classrooms) and our students achieved success [...]