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Tips From the Toddler Whisperer

In the past few months, Zach's picked up a few bad habits due to a lack of awareness and consistency on my part. His amazing Montessori guide - a veritable toddler whisperer - gave me some suggestions to minimize our struggles and support Zachary's development. I thought I'd share them with you, in case you find yourself in the same boat...

1. Make it fun

As some of you already know, bedtime is the toughest part of the day for us. Zach is tired and I'm beyond exhausted. I want to get him ready...

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Not Knowing

Feeling stressed out about answering your children's questions? My newest post on MariaMontessori.com might be the answer you're looking for!

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On Making Mistakes...

We've all heard that we should allow children to make mistakes, let them learn from their errors, etc. etc. However, I recently came across an interesting article by Alfie Kohn. He argues that letting children make mistakes without providing a supportive environment is not only not helpful, but can actually be detrimental. Here are a few highlights:
Maybe the problem is that the educational environment [in traditional schools] emphasizeshow wellstudents are doing rather thanwhatthey're doing:...

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Choosing a Montessori School: Uninterrupted work period

Imagine you arrive at work at 8am, energized and ready to work on a fun but challenging project that will require several hours of your time. You know that to really get the project on solid footing and make sense of its complexity, you need several hours of uninterrupted focus. You sit down at your desk, fire up your computer, and start organizing your thoughts. Suddenly, a reminder pops up on your computer screen:

Mandatory staff meeting @ 8:45am.

Now, answer this question truthfully:...

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Montessori Nuggets: When Your Child Knows Better Than You

This morning, while browsing through my Montessori books, I came across a short speech that Dr. Montessori gave in England, ca. 1930. I have taken the liberty of transcribing it to this blog from the book "The Child, Society, and the World". As you read this speech, it's important to remember that the Montessori approach is an entire philosophy, with each principle dependent on the presence of many others to function properly. Therefore, when Dr. Montessori talks about giving children...

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How School Should Be

I must admit I have mixed feelings about Trevor Eissler's newest video. I find the first half a little harsh and melodramatic (and hey, I'm clearly not a fan of traditional education). Some public and private schools are making an effort to think outside the box and buck the testing trend, and they're having some success.

I also don't understand the title of the video. Seems a bit over-the-top, as if saying that Montessori children are somehow "better" than children educated by other method....

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Biology for all ages

The new Michael Olaf newsletter has fascinating information on exposing children of all ages to the wonders of Mother Nature. In Montessori, subjects generally taught in high school, such as biology, are made accessible to even the youngest children. We identify the child's "sensitive periods" (windows of opportunity in which the child is driven to develop certain psychological/cognitive characteristics) and "teach to the sensitive periods" by providing aspects of each subject that will...

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