Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Strategies for a Successful School Year...

Here are some tips from the Gurian Institute for making it a great day - every day:

Sleep - Processing information and releasing toxins during sleep allows us to be attentive learners the next day. How much? TEN hours of sleep for elementary aged students, in bed no later than 8:30.

Eat Breakfast - Protein for breakfast allows energy to burn slowly and keeps hunger pains away. What kinds? Eggs, meat, peanut butter, yogurt.

Eat Together - A great opportunity to stay connected (teens consistently say this is an important time for them) and to discuss events, offer opinions, and "argue" - all ways for teens to discern who they are and what they value.

Read, Read, Read - Read with your children everyday, model good reading habits, explain to them when you read and why you read - recipes, maps, etc. 

 For more, visit the Gurian Institute More 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How Google's Larry Page became a responsible entrepreneur

The business world is taking a closer look at the benefits of the Montessori model in the workplace. This recent blog by business consultant, Carol Sanford, looks at the early-life influences of Google founder, Larry Page. She credits a big part of his company's success to the business model that he built from the Montessori classroom structure of his youth. She writes:
"An unconventional education was a second significant influence in Page’s life. Like his Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, Page attended Montessori schools until he entered high school. They both cite the educational method of Maria Montessori as the major influence in how they designed Google’s work systems.The Montessori Method believes that it has a “duty to undertake, in the school of the future, to revolutionize the individual.” Montessori’s ultimate goal of education was to create individuals who could improve society and were unafraid to take on seemingly impossible tasks. In fact, Montessori spoke at length about education for peace. “Everything that concerns education assumes today an importance of a general kind, and must represent a protection and a practical aid to the development of man; that is to say, it must aim at improving the individual in order to improve society”
Maria Montessori believed that the liberty of the child was of utmost importance. For her it was imperative that the school allow a child’s activities to freely develop. Without this freedom, children could not grow the personal agency that would allow them to serve a social purpose as adults. Thus, Page’s childhood education promoted independence. It encouraged students to grow at their own rate. They were allowed large chunks of uninterrupted time to work on projects they created themselves. Students were encouraged to take on small-scale but real-world challenges and to invent ways to solve them.
It’s easy to see how Google’s well-known policy of encouraging all engineers to dedicate 20% of work time to projects of personal interest grew directly out of this educational history. And why collaboration without supervision is core to Google’s work culture. And why Page repeatedly exhorts his colleagues to generate “10x returns” with regard to the social benefits they are striving to create. He is recreating the inspiring learning environment he had as a child, where the focus was on growing free people with the capacity to transform society."

If you would like to read Sanford's blog in its entirety, it can be found at:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Five Ways to Raise Kind Children

A recent Harvard study asked children about what their parents valued most in them. The results showed that 75% of those children felt that getting good grades was more important than being a caring community member. As a result of this and similar studies, Harvard has created the Making Caring Common Project to teach and encourage the teaching of moral education to children. They have come up with five ways to raise a kind child, which includes easy things to try at home to encourage thought about the needs and feelings of others.

And if you would like more information about the study or the Making Caring Common Project, here is a link to their website as well:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anne Frank's Montessori School

How interesting! Did you know that the Montessori school Anne Frank attended from 1934-1941 is still teaching children today? Read about one teacher's visit to the school in Amsterdam.