On Social Media

2016-11-29T10:08:10-05:00November 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

2018-06-21T09:23:53-05:00April 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

2018-06-21T09:26:37-05:00December 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

2018-06-21T09:27:56-05:00September 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

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00May 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

2015-05-02T03:44:37-05:00May 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 [...]

A Letter to Elementary and Soon-To-Be Elementary Parents

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Elementary|Tags: , |

Dear Parents, Welcome to our elementary community and to your new role as the parent of an elementary-age child. You did it! You successfully nurtured your child through the crucial first six years of life, giving them a solid Montessori foundation on which they will now begin to build a healthy childhood as the foundation for a healthy adolescence. It wasn’t easy at times, and there was so much to learn about your child and yourself as a parent, so many surprises, so much to [...]

Given The Right Conditions

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00May 1st, 2015|Categories: Raintree|Tags: |

“I never teacher my pupils; I only give them the optimum conditions in which to learn.” —Einstein This simple statement by Einstein also applies to parenting; children are learning all the time, not just at school. Children literally construct themselves from the moment they enter this world. Throughout Montessori’s writings she uses the term “self-construction,” driving home the point that it is the raw material they are exposed to which shapes the adult they will become. Some people, mostly men, don’t finish this process until [...]

Coming to the Office

2015-06-24T11:13:46-05:00April 24th, 2015|Categories: Raintree|Tags: , |

I don’t get many children “sent to the office” for misbehavior. Maybe a dozen in a school year. Pretty remarkable considering the size of our student body. To find out why, the article Given The Right Conditions in the April newsletter. Does that mean children behave perfectly all the time at Raintree? No, of course not. But what happens if they are sent to the office? It depends on the age of the child, of course, andthe issue. For some it is simply a place to cool down. My method is benign neglect [...]