Child Development

Connecting Children with Nature

Many parents and teachers today can remember hours spent in the great outdoors, called in only for dinner or when the last ray of summer light disappeared. Bookworm that I was, I can personally remember being told many days, “It’s a much too beautiful day to be inside. Go read that book in a tree!”

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10 Easy Ideas for Pre-Reading Activities

In Montessori, we are blessed with wonderful materials like the sandpaper letters, movable alphabet, and the Pink, Blue, and Green Series. But, it’s sometimes nice to to include some games and activities to encourage a pre-reader or emergent reader.

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Do Outlines & Blackline Masters Stifle Creativity?

I recently read an interesting article by Julia Volkman in the Jola Montessori newsletter Public Montessorian. In it, she talks about the creative limitations of having kids color outlines like those found in coloring books or blackline masters. In Montessori, blackline masters are black and white outlines of our nomenclature cards (see the Parts of […]

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Is Labeling Kids a Mistake?

It’s really, really easy to label kids. “She’s so artistic” or “He’s such a troublemaker” are phrases that fall from our lips without a second thought. The sad thing is, we come to expect from kids exactly what we’ve already decided they are, and they usually fall in line with our expectations. Some people see […]

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Children, Nutrition, and the China Study – Part 2

Hi! Thanks for your great responses to the first part of this series! If you haven’t read it yet, please take a moment to do so – it will set the stage for this second post. Here we go! For generations, parents have attempted to follow the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein and other […]

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Children, Nutrition, and the China Study – Part 1

I love browsing through vintage cookbooks. I like the retro illustrations and the funny, helpful advice for what to do when the electricity goes out, someone spills grape juice on the carpet or you find yourself having to balance your bridge club date with serving a formal dinner to 40 select guests. The situational comedy […]

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Is Dramatic Play the Best Way for Children to Learn?

A few days ago, I stumbled across a parent asking for information at Yahoo! Answers about the benefits of Montessori education. One of the replies they received echoes a concern Montessori teachers and parents are very familiar with: Children learn best through play and the Montessori method does not offer a chancefor dramatic play – […]

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Are Competitive Sports Essential to Survival in this World?

“I’m the fastest runner in my class.” “I can’t hit the ball as far as Jessica can.” “I always get picked last for kickball teams.” “I’m the worst in my P.E. class.” The outcome of most children’s sports, intended or not, is that kids discover their place in the pecking order of their peers. A […]

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Are Kids Harmed or Helped by Computers?

I sat down to research this topic with the hope of providing you with some concrete answers. Instead, I discovered a world of contrasting opinions on the effect computers have on young children. Doctors, scientists, teachers, and parents have published scores and scores of articles on this subject, but few of them seem to agree, […]

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Sleepless Kids in Serious Trouble

Modern medicine prescribes doses of daily sleep for children in increments along the following lines: Infants 0-12 months – 13-15 hours per day Children 1-5 years old – 12-15 hours per day Children 6-12 years old – 10 -12 hours per day Teenagers – 8 – 9.5 hours per day For infants and toddlers, some […]

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