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Tomorrow’s Child May 2010

$6.00 Vol. 18, No. 4

A Publication of The Montessori Foundation

Highlights Montessori & The International Baccalaureate Bullying: What Parents Need to Know Testing the Test Parenting ... Graduates ... Book Reviews ... and more!

The International Magazine for Montessori Families In collaboration with

Tomorrow’s Child May 2010

Vol. 18 No. 4

Highlights 5 6 10 10 Send all correspondence to:

The Montessori Foundation


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Phone: 941-729-9565/1-800-655-5843 Fax: 941-745-3111

Tomorrow’s Child (ISSN 10716246), published five times a year, is the official magazine of The Montessori Foundation, a non-profit organization. The opinions expressed in Tomorrow’s Child editorials, columns, and features are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the magazine or The Montessori Foundation. Acceptance of advertising does not represent the Foundation’s endorsement of any product or service. It is the policy of The Montessori Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to encourage support for the organization by discounting the sale of bulk-order shipments of Tomorrow’s Child in order that schools may make the magazine available to their families. The Montessori Foundation does NOT grant permission to reprint material from Tomorrow’s Child in any other form (e.g., book, newsletter, journal). Copies of this issue or back issues are available for purchase through our online Bookstore: www. For Standing Bulk Orders call 800-655-5843 (toll free), use the order form on page 30, or place your order at www. The Montessori Foundation does not provide refunds for cancelled standing bulk orders.

Conferences & Workshops, IMC – Margot Garfield-Anderson: Phone: 941-309-3961/Toll Free: 800632-4121/Fax: 941-359-8166 email: Past Issues, Books & CD Orders For immediate service, use our secure online bookstore at For questions regarding an order, email: michaelanderson@ or phone 941-3093961/Toll Free: 800-632-4121 Subscriptions & Bookkeeping Kate Bell: Phone: 941-729-9565/1-800-655-5843 Fax: 941-745-3111 Classified & Display Advertising - Chelsea Howe: Phone: 410-505-3872/Fax: 941-745-3111 or Parenting Center Lorna McGrath: Phone: 941-729-9565/800-655-5843 Fax: 941-745-3111

Cover Photo by Larry Canner at Westwood Montessori School (TX) ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

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Montessori & The International Baccalaureate Tim Seldin Anne Frank’s Montessori Legacy Tim Seldin The ‘We’ Principle Suzanne Voldman Testing the Test Paul Epstein, Ph.D. Montessori Charades Patty Sobelman TV Free Clover Bell-Devaney Bullying Chelsea Howe Looking Back: A Tribute Betsy Hoke Grace & Courtesy Margot Garfield-Anderson

& more ... 20

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Calendar Dear Cathie: Year-Round Montessori Greenways for Home & School: Earth Tips Montessori Graduates: Where Are They Now? Montessori Reads Tomorrow’s Child Order Form


Joyce St. Giermaine Tim Seldin Lorna McGrath Margot Garfield-Anderson Kate Bell Michael Anderson InterPrint Note: InterPrint is now FSC, SFI and PEFC Chain-of-Custody Tri-Certified. Chain-of-custody certification offers paper that has been harvested from responsibly managed forests, then verifiably traced through all stages of print production. 3


Save the dates November 4-7, 2010 The Montessori Foundation’s 14th Annual International Conference Nurturing & Sustaining Community Hyatt Resort, Sarasota, Florida You’re invited to attend a November 4-7, 2010 weekend of inspiring workshops, keynotes, entertainment, exhibitors, and, of course, the beautiful Hyatt Sarasota, Florida waterfront resort.

Despite the fact that our printing and distribution costs have skyrocketed this past year, The Montessori Foundation has found a creative way to reduce our costs to publish Tomorrow’s Child, and we’re passing the savings on to our standing bulk order schools. Every Montessori school needs the validation and information that Tomorrow’s Child provides to their families — now more than ever.

Our Keynote Speakers include: Larry Schaefer Harvey Hallenberg Wendy LaRue and Tim Seldin ... along with 34 incredibly talented and distinguished workshop presenters with a wealth of experiences and information to share with the community that will leave you inspired and ready to hit the ground running with new ideas upon your return to the classroom. Of course, IMC members receive a generous discount on registration, so if you are not yet a member, join now through the website. Then continue to watch our homepage as we develop the schedule and publish a complete conference brochure. IMC school members who bring six or more staff receive an even bigger discount! Plan now. Book flights while many airlines are running specials, and look for the Hyatt booking code soon. See you there!

In Memory The Montessori Foundation would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Dottie Feldman for the loss of her beloved husband, Bob, this February. Many of us in the Montessori community knew Bob, who traveled with Dottie to many of the conferences around the country. We delighted in seeing him and sneaking him chocolates when Dottie wasn’t looking or just watching the love that went both ways between them.

ly, we all had the same memory. It was at the Clearwater Beach Peace Academy back in 2005. We had a raised dance floor set up for a performance, and the band music at a wedding going on in the hotel was coming through the airwalls. Bob led Dottie up to the dance floor, and the two of them danced as if they were the only two people in the world. It made such a lasting impression for those of us who were present to share in this special moment.

When remembering Bob with some colleagues recent-

Dr. Sheryl Sweet was so moved that when she learned


Keeping Tomorrow’s Child Affordable for Families – Price for Standing Bulk Orders Remains the same for the 2010/11 School Year

of Bob’s untimely passing, she penned this incredibly lovely poem and tribute. We share this with the Montessori community as well as Dottie and hope she knows how incredibly loved and treasured she is. For Dottie and Bob: Two souls dancing love Shining light on all of us Knowing them is pure joy. And now.... The one dances love But only on this life plane The Dance of Love is eternal Love is all there is.

Instead of publishing the magazine five times per year, we will be reducing the number of publications to four times per year; however, instead of producing five 32-page issues, we will now produce four 40-page editions, eliminating the May issue, which many schools found to come at a time when (North American) families tend to be focused on the coming summer vacation. We save money on the cost of producing and mailing the extra issue, and schools benefit from the additional pages of content in each issue, which amounts to the same number of pages as in previous years. For more information, go to page 29. We’ve also extended our Early Bird Discount until May 31, 2010, a month longer than our usual April 30th deadline, to give administrators more time to adjust their budgets for the next school year. It is our mission to provide the best information about Montessori education to as many Montessori parents as possible. Together, we’ll get through this recession. This is our way to help! If you have any questions after reviewing the new production schedule and pricing, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-6555843/941-729-9565 or by email at

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Montessori and The International Baccalaureate by Tim Seldin President, The Montessori Foundation

Editor’s Note: The cover photo and the photos in this article were taken at The Westwood School in Dallas, Texas. Westwood is an authorized International Baccalaureate World School offering the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) (grades 7-10) and the IB Diploma Program (DP) (grades 11-12).


espite widespread efforts to change public perception, most Americans still have the impression that Montessori ends after age five. Even though Montessori schools have spread all over the world, in the United States, many end after kindergarten or only run a small elementary program. Secondary Montessori schools are still rare, with perhaps three hundred Montessori middle school programs and fewer than fifty Montessori high schools in the US. As many Montessori schools open elementary classes, and with more and more developing middle or high school programs, this is slowly beginning to change. With such a fine reputation at the early childhood level, why has Montessori’s growth been so slow to catch on at the elementary and secondary levels? In my mind, the answer is clear: to a large degree, we have found it difficult to convince nervous parents that our academic program is strong enough at the elementary level and beyond. As a result, it is common to see half or more of all students who reach age six leave Montessori for free public or more traditionally structured private schools. As friends leave, or talk about leaving, those parents who might otherwise stay for elementary are confronted with a second concern that their children will not have enough friends. It is ironic and frustrating that most Montessori schools still find it difficult to sell the majority of their families on Montessori’s continuing effectiveness as their children grow older, especially when you take a closer look at our students. Most Montessori students are enthusiastic learners, love school, and tend to think for themselves. They think about things deeply, and they almost always think outside the box. By age ten, most Montessori students are very well-educated, self-disciplined, and self-motivated, which pays off when they get to college and for the rest of their lives. Montessori literally helps students learn how to learn. So what would it take to make the case to the average parent? The answer in my mind is to develop exceptionally strong programs at the middle and high school years, and everything else will take care of itself!

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As a result, we’ve been caught in a situation where we could not imagine bringing together the resources needed to establish Montessori secondary programs, and the absence of strong Montessori high schools has colored the public’s perception about how seriously Montessori is to be taken. I believe that there is a solution: the development of MontessoriInternational Baccalaureate middle and high school programs. I’ll explain what I mean in a moment, but first, let’s take a brief look back at the history of Montessori programs for adolescents. The Development of Secondary Montessori Programs

Why? It’s simple. In the US, as with most of the world, when we think about education, most of us place the greatest weight on the secondary years, not the years of early childhood and lower elementary. Rightly or wrongly, parents, educators, and decisionmakers tend to look at the secondary years as being the direct preparation for college. They place great emphasis on the high schools that they attended, not realizing that the foundation for their child’s character and success was laid in the years of infancy, early childhood, and elementary education. People tend to look for evidence that a school or educational approach is effective in limited areas: preparation for college; college admissions; and success at the undergraduate and graduate level of university studies. Traditionally, Montessori educators have felt that establishing secondary programs was so far out of their reach as to be only a pipe dream. They could not imagine what a Montessori high school would look like, how they would organize one, where they would find the teachers, and how they would ever get enough enrollment to pay the bills. In part, this has been caused by a tendency to think in the old familiar terms of the traditional public or private high school. These educational models are, indeed, out of the reach of most Montessori schools. They require large enrollments, large staffs, and large facilities. 6

The first secondary schools organized along Montessori principles were founded in Europe in the 1930s. Anne Frank, the young girl made famous by her poignant diaries, was a student in one of the first Montessori high schools in Amsterdam until, being Jewish, she was forbidden by the Nazis to attend classes with Christian children. At last count, there were eight large, highly regarded Montessori high schools in the Netherlands.

Anne Frank’s Montessori Legacy

Secondary Montessori programs developed sporadically in North America. A number of schools in the US developed secondary programs that were Montessori influenced, but which were not officially recognized as ‘Montessori’ programs. They included the upper-school program opened in the early 1970s at Ravens Hill College in Philadelphia, the early-adolescent program begun in 1978 at Near North Montessori in Chicago, and the Montessori Farm School in Half Moon Bay, California. I graduated from another in 1963: the Barrie School in Washington, DC. Barrie was founded by my family in 1932 and opened its upper school in the 1950s. After college, I returned to teach at Barrie’s upper school (grades 7-12) and later served as its headmaster for 22 years. In 1982, Barrie was officially recognized by the American Montessori Society (AMS) as the first pilot Montessori high school in the US. That same year, Paul Epstein, Harvey Hallenberg, and I organized the first AMS-accredited secondary Montessori teacher training program at Barrie’s Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies; another program was opened in Dallas shortly afterward by Dr. James Paulik. (After I left Barrie to lead The Montessori Foundation, Barrie’s board and new headmaster decided to turn its Montessori upper school into a traditional academic program, and the Institute for Advanced

Montessori children have minds of their own, and they are not afraid to express themselves. Any child can raise a fuss. What makes Montessori children such a challenge and joy is that they rarely act out. Instead they tend to assume that their opinion matters, and they challenge us when our logic is flawed or we are being inconsistent. Sometimes, it would be much easier to just send them to their room! As parents of a Montessori child, we have to be willing to ignore snide comments and endless questions from our family and friends about why we continue to keep our children in this “oddball” sort of school, when local public schools are free, and far more prestigious private schools are available.

Only parents who are very self-confident tend to choose Montessori schools for their children ...

Otto and Edith Frank faced this same challenge when their daughter Anne was old enough to start school at age three. For them, Montessori was the answer. As we all know, their daughter became a worldfamous author. Even today, The Diary of Anne Frank is widely read around the world.

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Montessori Studies no longer offers secondary Montessori training.) Today, the secondary Montessori movement continues to spread in both the public and private sectors. There are a number of MACTE-accredited secondary Montessori teacher education programs, and the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association offers an annual seminar in adolescent Montessori education. However, as of this time, no one model of secondary Montessori has become the norm, and many schools struggle to design a program from scratch. There is another model which, when refined, could allow Montessori schools to develop strong secondary programs extending through the 12th grade, blending the essential principles of Montessori secondary education, while also meeting the accreditation standards of the International Baccalaureate Organization. In the model I propose, interested Montessori schools could offer relatively small Montessori middle and high school programs, serving between fifty and two hundred students. These small secondary programs, which I think of as ‘boutique’ high schools, would offer something quite different from what most Americans normally have in mind, yet I believe they would have substantial appeal and academic integrity.

Introducing The International Baccalaureate (IB) The International Baccalaureate (or IB) offers high quality programs of international education to a worldwide community of schools. Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Organization currently works with 2,870 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programs to over 794,000 students, aged 3 to 19 years: ■

The Primary Years Program, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside.

The Middle Years, for students aged 11 to 16 (the equivalent of US grades 6 through 10), provides a framework of academic challenges and life skills, achieved through embracing and transcending traditional school subjects.

The Diploma Program, for students aged 16 to 19 (the equivalent of US grades 11 and 12), is a demanding two-year curriculum leading to final examinations and a qualification that is highly regarded by leading universities around the world.

In May of 1934, Anne began to attend Montessori. Her father, Otto Frank, later wrote: “Anne was a demanding character. She continually asked questions... When we had visitors, it was difficult to free yourself from her, because everyone and everything interested her. It was good that Anne went to a Montessori school, where each pupil gets a lot of individual attention.”

Anne is the poster child for Montessori, because she is such a powerful example of what makes Montessori schools around the world so different. Our children grow up just as strong-willed, curious, creative, compassionate, and eager to make a difference in the world as Anne. They make us proud!

Anne Frank first attended the 6th Montessori School of Amsterdam from age 3 to 11 and then spent a year at the Montessori Lyceum (high school) until the occupying German authorities forbade it.

All over the world there are schools that bear the name Anne Frank. ‘For the children of these schools, invoking Anne Frank’s name has special meaning. For example, the Anne Frank Elementary School in Leiden, Holland writes: “This a name to be proud of and a name that has meaning for children. As an elementary school, we strive to relate certain themes, such as prejudice and discrimination to Anne Frank.”

Anne Frank was the typical Montessori child: bright, eager, and opinionated. She loved to play Monopoly™. She dreamed of becoming an actress or world-famous ice skater. And, of course, she was an incredibly articulate writer. Her diary gives us a glimpse not only of those terrible years, but of the bright spark of humanity, compassion, and maturity that are so often seen among Montessori students.

Anne Frank Schools

Schools bearing the name Anne Frank can interpret their connection to her in various ways. The most obvious are, of course, lessons or projects about themes that correlate with Anne’s diary and the

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Each program includes a curriculum framework and approach that is very compatible with Montessori, a scheme for student assessment, a program of professional development, and a process of school recognition. A number of Montessori schools have either completed, or are in the process of earning, their IB accreditation for the Middle Years and/or Diploma Programs. This includes: The Westwood School and St. Alcuin Montessori, both in Dallas, Texas; The High School at University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio; and Toronto Montessori in Canada. A few are looking into the Primary Years Program, but initial consensus seems to be that the IB is most useful at the secondary level. The International Baccalaureate Program was developed to provide an international standard for students preparing for university admission, while remaining flexible enough to accommodate students from different countries whose families are typically diplomats or part of the international business community. The IB was designed to accommodate a wide range of college-bound students and different school programs, so long as they meet the essential IB standards. In developing the IB program, careful attention was paid to best practices in edcontinued on page 8

fact that, as a Jewish girl, she was a victim of the Holocaust. As a Montessori school, there is a special connection between their school and Anne’s own Montessori school, which continues to thrive in Amsterdam. On the front of Anne’s alma mater, The 6th Montessori School of Amsterdam, is a text from Anne’s diary in her handwriting. In the hall there is a plaque with the names of the 130 Jewish students who became victims of the persecution of the Jews. Anne Frank is a good starting point for lessons about war and peace, human dignity, and basic human rights, for any child, as students can easily identify with somebody of their own age. Anne Frank’s life story continues to evoke great interest and compassion. Go to for more information. “Becoming an Anne Frank School is not without obligations,” emphasizes the Anne Frank Schule in Eschwegen. “A school bearing the name Anne Frank obliges itself to stand up for freedom, justice, tolerance and human dignity and to resolutely turn against any form continued on page 8 7

ucation drawn from around the world. As a result, the IB strongly encourages schools to teach in ways that are, theoretically, very similar to the Montessori approach. This is one of the factors that makes the IB potentially such a good match for Montessori schools. Unfortunately, in the US, most schools offering the International Baccalaureate are public programs serving only exceptionally gifted and talented students. Rather than following the very flexible approach that the IB encourages, most follow a very tightly structured and fiercely competitive model that is more typical of American college-prep programs. In most, teachers tend to lecture and follow a highly instructor-centered approach. Courses are commonly divided into separate subjects, rather than organized to integrate the curriculum whenever possible to show the connections across subject lines. The result is still an exceptional academic program, but we believe that a Montessori approach to implementing the IB will yield similar results with a much more empowering student-centered classroom.

Anne Frank continued from page 7 of aggression, discrimination, racism, political extremism and excessive nationalism.” In the US, we are aware of one Montessori school that bears Anne’s name, the Anne Frank Montessori School of Rockville Center, Long Island, New York. Any Montessori school could, if it wishes, adopt the name Anne Frank Montessori School and join the international network of Anne Frank Schools. Likewise, without changing its name, any Montessori school could commit itself to acting as an Anne Frank School. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam coordinates the network of Anne Frank Schools. It involves schools in activities linked to international projects and consults with them when developing educational material and activities. Besides this, there are special projects for Anne Frank Schools. Examples of these are an exhibition touring the Dutch Anne Frank Schools and students of Anne Frank Schools 8

Accreditation from the International Baccalaureate provides several benefits to Montessori schools:

A Montessori-International Baccalaureate Approach In a Montessori-International Baccalaureate approach, teachers encourage students to collaborate, explore, discuss, and discover from hands-on experience. As in all Montessori programs, teachers tend to play a role that facilitates learning and encourages student independence and initiative. While lecture and direct instruction will be found, learning is normally more relaxed, interesting, and relevant. There is a balance among academic expectations and students’ needs and interests, with choice continuing to play an important role in the daily program. Programs are typically divided into two or more environments serving the educational and emotional needs of students ages 12-15 (US grades 7 to 9) and 15-18 (US grades 10 to 12), or into three two-year age groups: ages 12 to 14 (US grades 7 and 8); ages 14 to 16 (US grades 9 and 10); and ages 16-18 (US grades 11 and 12). Most Montessori IB schools are fairly small, and we imagine and recommend that schools seek teachers who are exceptionally well educated and interested in teaching two or more subjects at a high intellectual and academic level for each age group. from all over the world making diary pages around themes such as ‘ideals’ and ‘freedom,’ themes of mutual respect, personal identity, diversity and social abilities. In secondary schools more emphasis can be placed on the Second World War and the Holocaust.

While there is a great deal of philosophical overlap between Montessori and the International Baccalaureate, the IB should not be thought of as serving as a new curriculum and structure of the school to replace Montessori. The IB is a diploma recognized by colleges and universities around the world. Students can earn it by passing a sophisticated five-day-long series of written exams that measure depth of thinking and learning.

The IB is also an organization through which schools, offering many different approaches, can earn international recognition and accreditation. This can level the playing field for small schools (like most Montessori programs), giving them a level of credibility that inspires confidence among parents and students who would otherwise be likely to leave.

While the International Baccalaureate recommends best practices in teaching and curriculum design, with the exception of two specific IB courses taught in grades 11 and 12, it is not an external curriculum that schools simply adopt. Instead, each develops its own course of study that is consistent with its educational philosophy and applicable state and national standards. Specifically, for Montessori middle and high schools, there is no danger of losing our Montessori identity and curricular themes to earn IB accreditation.

At the same time, the structure of the process to gain IB accreditation is beneficial to emerging Montessori middle and high school programs, without imposing an external curriculum.

The International Baccalaureate is the gold standard in pre-collegiate education. It enjoys a worldwide reputation for high-quality education.

The IB is widely available and transferable worldwide. With more than 2,300 IB schools in more than 129 countries, students would have the option of continuing in the IB should they have to move.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is recognized by the

Applying to Become an Anne Frank School Your school can apply by using the contact form (select the subject ‘Collection’) Upon receipt of your application, the Anne Frank House will send you a package containing books, posters and the Anne Frank Journal. Besides this, they will give you information about the use of pictures of Anne Frank and quotations.

— by Tim Seldin Permission was granted for use of photos and quotes by the Anne Frank House © AFF Basel CG/AFS, Amsterdam, NL.

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

world’s leading universities. Studies show that IB students tend to be highly successful in their post-secondary studies, and most colleges and universities give special attention to graduates of IB programs, often granting incoming students a year or more of credit toward graduation. Ways to Implement the Montessori-IB Program The program is designed to continue Montessori education through 12th grade, and to add the International Baccalaureate Diploma program as the curriculum capstone during the students’ junior and senior years. The case for the Montessori International Baccalaureate High School, therefore, is to implement an authentic continuation of Montessori education through the 12th grade, using the IB curriculum as a steadying content stream between the middle school and the university and as a touchstone, or common curriculum reference, between Montes-sori high school programs. The focus of the Montessori IB high school is to address the developmental needs of adolescents: providing an environment that allows for movement and community; providing opportunities for experiential hands-on learning, field stud-

ies, and internships; preparing students for new steps into adult roles (on and off the campus), and supporting students in new roles in the school community; providing resources, direction, and access to knowledge; allowing and celebrating creativity, discovery, expertise and invention; immersing students in an optimistic view of the world and humanity; and supporting students’ engagement in the world as active agents through peace education and curriculum focused on the environment. The key element in adolescent Montessori education is the creation of a protected social laboratory in which students can clarify their values, build strong interpersonal relationships, and learn to communicate their thoughts and feelings articulately and maturely to one another. They should make major strides in demonstrating personal integrity, compassion, and trustworthiness. Montessori called this the process of “valorizing the personality.” Whether the Montessori-IB program is located in a city, the suburbs, or the country is, from my experience and observation, less important than many of us have assumed. Instead, our prepared environment is one that helps students discover themselves, along with preparing them for university and life.

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As The Montessori Foundation launches its model school in Sarasota, Florida, we will be giving close consideration to the ways in which Montessori and the International Baccalaureate program can combine best practices to meet the continued interests of Montessori students, not just in the early childhood years, but through the secondary years and beyond.  Tim Seldin is the President of the Montessori Foundation. You can contact him at timseldin@ For more information about the International Baccalaureate, go to

Has your school renewed its standing bulk order of Tomorrow’ s Child for the 2010/11 school year? Time’ s running out. The Early Bird discount expires May 31st. Act now and save big!



est taking and test scores have become the singularity of education. Teacher performance and, in turn, school house performance, is validated primarily through children’s test scores. The rationale is that teachers are teaching, performing if, and only if children achieve high test scores. The justification is, finally, if children achieve high test scores, Americans will retain our position as the economic superpower. Perhaps prayer does help. Nevertheless, I propose to test this logic— to test the test. Montessori schools in private settings are not immune. Many (if not most) enrolled parents, and prospective parents, insist on testing their children. The belief is that somehow taking a test better readies their children for the ‘real’ world. Somehow, test scores validate their children and validate what their children have learned. In the public school arena, the test score has political power. It is the test score instead of understanding, and then educating, children’s unique capabilities and human potentials. It is the test score instead of empowering children to develop their natural strengths, interests, curiosities, and human passions. It is the test score instead of investing in optimal classroom materials and learning environments. It is the test score instead of fully developing children’s natural capabilities to explore and learn through inquiry and discovery. It is the test score instead of readying children for adult lives in a 21st century already hallmarked as ever changing. It is the test score, instead of children, that defines political rhetoric, educational policy, and economic expenditures. This, claim our politicians, is what we should believe; we should believe that high test scores are our economic savior. For example:

The “We Principle”

How Families and Schools Can Work Together to Raise Healthy Children “The best gift you can

give a child is the gift of health” — Dr. Bill Sears


y six-year-old is having a temper tantrum. This is a knock down, drag out, pure and simple ‘meltdown.’All the peaceful parenting techniques I’ve learned and taught in my parenting courses are not working. I throw those out. I’m desperate. I use all the other ‘parenting techniques’ I’ve ever heard before. I hear my mom’s words and tone of voice come spilling out of my mouth. Now, my usually calm and mellow husband, is starting to lose his cool, too. We look at each other in frustration and despair, and then we start recounting the past few days of life. It has been full of over-stimulation, excitement, activity, missed sleep, and meals that are nutritionally unbalanced and laced with sugar. Now we kick ourselves and just try to help our son find his balance again. We provide a small plate of almonds and apples and let him sit quietly in his room while he tries to become peaceful once again. I seem to recall this is how my mother finally dealt with my tantrums, too. Later we are greeted by our usually happy and pleasant child and are reminded that we are the ones who are responsible for his short trip into chaos. This is a pattern we’ve seen over and over. Why don’t we learn our lesson and remember that peace in our house starts with complex carbs, protein, consistent bedtimes and exercise? continued on page 21

by Suzanne Voldman 10

❍ Testing the Test ❍ The Tyranny of Testing ❍ Both of the above

by Paul Epstein, Ph.D. A billboard in my town proclaims: School’s open. Tests happen. Prayer helps.

“[Our] future as a nation depends on our commitment to ensuring that every student – not just the select few – achieves far higher levels of math and science learning. We’ve learned in this economic crises that the old ways of doing business just don’t work anymore …. [We] must begin a renewed effort aimed at innovative reform of the education system for our students and for the future prosperity of this nation.”1 Why does the fate of our nation rest upon our children’s test scores on math and science achievement tests? Does the former secretary of education sincerely seek innovation and reform of the education system, or is his intent comparable to those of the past thirty years; namely, more test scores? And if so, why should we believe that this renewed effort to innovate education will succeed when similarly focused efforts have not? The 1983 publication of A Nation at Risk also proclaimed that our future freedoms were at stake. Subtitled, The Imperative for Educational Reform, Americans were warned:

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

“Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that, while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur – others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments. If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament. Our society and its educational institutions seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of schooling and of the high expectations and disciplined effort needed to attain them.”2

During the past 30 years, American industrialists sent manufacturing oversees, not because of failing American test scores, but because third-world uneducated labor was (and is) cheaper. Nevertheless, a new knowledge-based economy was emerging; today it is global, and it is competitive. The political rhetoric then was clear: It was time to retool. If America were to remain economically secure and, therefore, politically free, American students would have to become welleducated, and well-educated for a new kind of economy. During the 1980s and 1990s, American corporations retooled for the knowledge-based economy. American schools followed suit; the business of schools was business. Schools, like corporations, developed vision statements, mission statements, high performance expectations, goals, and performance standards. Successful businesses stayed in business only when consumers rewarded them economically through repeat purchases. What made a business successful was excellence and a total quality-service orientation. Similarly, a school would become excellent when it produced high test scores. Parents would reward those schools by choosing to send their children to them. Other schools, like bad businesses, would close. That rationale is today’s rhetoric:

“Whether it’s in rural Alaska or inner-city Detroit, everyone everywhere shares a common belief that education is America's economic salvation. They see education as the one true path out of poverty – th e great equalizer that overcomes differences in background, culture and privilege. It’s the only way to secure our common future in a competitive global economy….Everyone wants the best for their children and they are willing to take greater responsibility. Nobody questions our purpose.”5 I question their purpose. Today we are at war, and not only in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are at war against children and the very nature of childhood. A Nation At Risk was a call for mobilization for education reform in anticipation of a new kind of economy. The call came, however, when government determined to bankrupt the former Soviet Union through a star war’s defense. The funds were simply not there for a full-scale corporate-style educational makeover. Since 1983, educational excellence reform efforts have included creating a variety of total quality management systems for schools and evolving state and national student performance standards. Enacted in 1992, the first President Bush established America 2000, which included the goal of American students becoming first in math and science test scores. President Clinton adopted those same goals in 1994 with the enactment of the Goals 2000 Educate

A Nation at Risk further asserted that, “Knowledge, learning, information, and skilled intelligence are the new raw materials of international commerce.”3 The end of the industrial era economy was apparent 27 years ago, and the economic supremacy of Japan, Korea, and European nations at that time was evident while we battled the effects of a gripping recession. Political rhetoric then, as now, urged the American work force to recapture its competitive edge by becoming the top ranked educated force. “Edu-nomics” seeks to trump childhood. What brought this about were the results of international testing. America’s children had not had the right stuff for 37 years. A Nation at Risk lamented, “International comparisons of student achievement, completed a decade ago, reveal that on 19 academic tests, American students were never first or second and, in comparison with other industrialized nations, were last 7 times.”4 A Nation at Risk published additional alarming reports such as 17 years of steady declines in SAT scores as well as continual declines in test scores from other types of standardized testing. High school drop-out rates had increased and so, too, did the numbers of students enrolled in remedial courses while in school and later when employed. ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •


Americans Act. Despite the economic boom of the 1990s, and today’s re-emerging economy, the premise then, and now, was that a quality K-12 education would determine America’s economic success. 2000 came and went; Y2K2 claimed national attention instead of the failed achievement goal of American children becoming first in the world. Did this failure and falling test scores bring about the crashing housing market and the current great recession? More than test scores have fallen; throughout the past three decades, the walls and ceilings of too many American schoolhouses also fell.6 Perhaps the singular focus on test scores was (and still is) more economically prudent; we cannot fund federal debt, brought on in part from war, and rebuild schools. The current variation of the testing directive is called No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The rationale is again the same, and it is still rooted in the outdated premises of an industrial era, factory-mode model of learning: One approach works best for everyone. The teacher, as supervisor, oversees production; as practiced, production in the schoolhouse means adults select what to learn, when it is to be learned, and how to learn. The school as factory implements quality controls — standards — to assure uniform production of the products (the children).


In keeping with the factory model, better national and state standards of academic excellence, like factory controls, should guarantee production of better quality students. This has been the solution for 30 years, and, despite all efforts, costs, and rhetoric, accountability through acceptable test scores, as reported in March 2010, is difficult to come by. “Today’s results once again show that the achievement of American students isn’t growing fast enough. After modest gains in recent years, 4th grade reading scores are flat and 8th grade scores were up just one point. The achievement gap didn’t narrow by a statistically significant amount in either grade. Like the NAEP 2009 math scores released last fall, the reading scores demonstrate that students aren’t making the progress necessary to compete in the global economy. We shouldn’t be satisfied with these results. By this, and many other measures, our students aren’t on a path to graduate high school ready to succeed in college and the workplace.”7 While a successful education for all children is essential, the current politically determined approach is not. And, as the high school drop-out rate continues to rise, an increasing number of students may be telling us they have had enough of business (schooling) as usual. The politically determined solution myopically insists one

method works best for all. This has not, and will not, work. Factories produce things, and factories implement standard controls to assure production results with uniform and quality products. We do want, for example, to know that chairs will hold up to the standards for carrying weight. We do want our car brakes to hold to the standards designed to ensure we will be able to stop in traffic. We want our food and water to be uniformly safe. But this logic is inappropriate and wrong for children. Children, simply, are not things. They do not adhere to the metrics of things. Children deserve, instead, their childhoods. Being uniform and the same defies the designs of life — growth, change, difference, uniqueness, and possibility. Children are unique individuals. Children mature at different times; how they learn during one stage of childhood differs from other stages. Children possess unique capabilities and potentials for becoming who they are meant to be; parents with more than one child know this to be true. The testing focus fails on several additional factors. In its current form, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) assumes that equal test scores equate with educational equality; if all children score well, they must have learned equally. However, some children are adept test takers while other children are not. Some children process information with better memory retention than others. Some children contend with additional learning issues, sensory-integration disorders, and a variety of attention deficits. Still, NCLB requires that schools demonstrate overall adequate yearly progress (AYP), higher test scores this year as compared with last year’s, without consideration for the needs of individual learners. But why should we conclude learning has occurred if, and only if, test scores are higher? Surely, children do learn even though test scores decline. Even when scores go up, what have children really learned if they forget tomorrow what they had previously memorized? NCLB further assumes that monetary rewards for higher test scores and punitive sanctions for low test scores will cause school improvement. Nevertheless, 30 percent of the nation’s schools failed to demonstrate AYP in 2006. The number of schools failing to meet NCLB standards increased to 50 percent in 2008, and there were no significant gains in 2009. During this same time period, states reduced their education budgets in response to the negative effects of the great recession, while investing in multiple-choice testing which costs less.8 Calling it accountability, the political system has fired teachers and administrators who do not cause children to produce adequate test scores. If jobs are at stake, are we not exploiting children? Is the use of children to produce test scores to verify adult performance not

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

morally unconscionable, reprehensible, and tragic? This prevailing politic has introduced stress and fear into the classroom without regard for its effects on learning. Children cannot optimally learn in such conditions. Children require learning environments that nurture and support risk taking and mistake making, two critical aspects in the learning process. When afraid and stressed, the human brain struggles to access its higher thinking and problem-solving functions. As fear and stress increase, our brains retreat into a more primitive mode of flight, fight, and freeze. I have no evidence of causation, but surely it is not just coincidence that violence in schools and increasing pressures for test scores are concurrent. Education, as test taking, has additional costs. Teachers, motivated to keep their jobs, teach to the test. Defaulting to industrial-era practice, students are drilled; instruction consists of memorization instead of higher-order thinking and learning how to identify and solve problems. In too many classrooms, time for teaching the test occurs by eliminating instructional time for art, music, dance, recess, and physical education. Some schools have reduced, and in some cases eliminated, time for history and science instruction. Yet, these subjects and experiences support a more complete child development that is essential for the opportunities of the knowl-

edge-based economy. Creativity, and not 19th/20th century style memorization is the currency of the day. Time for test practice is not time for children’s interests or authentic problems; no time to be a child; no time to tune children in to the challenging issues of their adulthoods. Tests, once taken, do not alter instructional practice, and there is a critical time lag until the scores are reported. The test scores become archeological artifacts; crucial decisions about jobs and school efficacies are rendered based on these artifacts. Caution should guide archeological analyses and conclusions if, for no other reason, than that children continue to learn and grow since taking the test. Decisions based upon who they were, and what they did, mask who children have become and what they are capable of today. Test scores are, finally, too narrow. Being a child, and the experience of learning, involves complex related factors such as brain development, personality, temperament, emotional states, school and community environments, and racial, ethnic, and cultural matters. Learning is far more than a test performance. Learning is a way of life. It is time to confess: Children are not the economic saviors of the nation. After all these decades, what is the evidence for presuming children’s test scores correlate with future national economic security?

Sadly, A Nation at Risk urged the nation to eliminate the factory approach to schooling. What is urgently needed now is a knowledge-based approach to education. What is urgently needed, instead, is accountability for the factors involved in how children actually learn, such as maturation, multiple intelligences, gender differences, unique capabilities, and strengths. Instead, the current industrial orientation, to ready by teaching the test and then testing children, denies them their childhood in school. Children require opportunities to play, explore, think, fail, discover, and create. These are necessary activities if children are to develop their cognitive capabilities for executive functioning. These are essential capabilities if children are to succeed as adults in the emerging global knowledgebased economy. When, then, will we let children grow and learn for their own benefits rather than for society’s? How do we end the political regime’s control over our children? Perhaps it is as simple as this: Parents, take back your children! Tell your politicians enough is enough! Remind your politicians that they represent and work for you. If we must assure ourselves that children are learning and teachers are teaching through testing, then tell political leaders to implement teaching and testing suitable for the 21st century. The current design gives a

Montessori Charades by Patty Sobelman Recently, my husband and I were enjoying a nice Texas evening on the back patio when our eleven-year-old daughter announced that we were going to play charades. We were taken aback as we never played this with her. She must have picked it up at scouting or someplace else. As she began, we realized that she was rather good. She knew the hand gestures for a movie, a TV show, and a book. She knew how to indicate how many words and how many syllables in a word. We were ready to go. She opened and closed her hands and we shouted, “A book!” She nodded yes. She held up five fingers and we yelled, “Five words!” She smiled. One finger was waved at us, we knew we were at the first word. Here we go… Emily drew a triangle in the air.

“House, roof, pyramid, mountain, apex…” No, no, no, no, no… Then she smiled and shook her head as if she had figured something out. She pinched her fingers together to show something small. We guessed, small. She was very proud of herself. We were proud of ourselves, as well, but then she made that triangle again! “Hut, hill, ant hill?” No, no, no. We could all feel the frustration, so we agreed to a time-out so she could talk.

“Triangle!” No, her head indicated.

“Please,” we begged, “what are you trying to show us?”

She made her left and right thumb and forefinger touch to form another triangle.

Our daughter announced loudly, “The first word is an ARTICLE!”

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

That is when we both realized that our Montessori daughter, now in her ninth year of Montessori, was showing us an article – that small triangle was an article. How frustrating it must have been for her to have parents who were guessing NOUNS when her triangle was at first large and she then refined her movements to make it smaller to show us an article. We were in tears; we were laughing so hard. We have a new gesture now when we play charades. We asked Emily to show us how we would know when she was symbolizing her movie, TV, or book title. She bent over and pulled on an imaginary boot. Simple… Maria Montessori was born in Italy! Needless to say, we are much better at charades these days. Montessori charades! P.S. The book was The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. We would never have guessed that! We were stumped at The! 13

test score meaning only when compared against other scores. A child is scored as “proficient” because another child is not. We need now a new kind of metric. Insist that everyday classroom experiences consist of knowledge-based learning. Hold teachers accountable for differentiating instruction based on their knowledge of each child’s strengths and learning capabilities. Demand testing for the kinds of lifelong learning habits and skills children will need as adults in the knowledge-based economy such as problem solving, creativity, design abilities, communication effectiveness, and effectiveness with working in teams. Other characteristics include “initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes.”9 These are some of the essential 21st century knowledge and skill requirements. Montessori education begins with an intention to discover each child. By taking into account each child’s unique capabilities and strengths, a Montessori education empowers children to learn how to learn. Becoming self-reliant and knowing how to

engage in lifelong education is very different from memorizing to take tests. How successful is this approach? It happens that children enrolled in public Montessori schools today outscore their non-Montessori peers on standardized state-mandated testing. Children enrolled in private Montessori schools also achieve high scores on nationally normed standardized tests such as the California, Iowa, and Stanford. To discover each child, Montessori teachers listen to, and do not disturb, children’s first quiet moments of concentration. This is when they reveal their learning styles and strengths. Montessori also taught us to watch for the beginnings of self-discipline as children engage in repetition with the learning materials. In a delightful collection of essays, Montessori wrote: “Instead of trying to teach him our ways, let us give him freedom to live his own little life in his own way; then, perhaps, we shall learn something about the ways of childhood, if we are observant. Those of us who have tried to learn the ways of childhood from children (instead of from our own ideas) have been amazed at the discoveries we

FOR TEN YEARS WE DIDN’T HAVE TV. Well, we had a TV, but

Tv Free? One Family’s Television Saga By Clover BellDevaney Parent at The Montessori School of the Berkshires, Lenox, MA


no cable, so really all we could watch were DVDs. For our six-year-old, DVDs were an occasional treat. We’d trot them out about once a week, either because it was something really special he wanted to watch, or because we were at our wits end in terms of occupying him. Our reasons for not having television were clear to us. It saps your energy. It is a substitute for meaningful engagement. It is regularly ridiculous, offensive, and violent. It encourages staying inside even on beautiful days. It creates passivity. It fries your brain. And so on. We knew where we stood, and we knew we were all better off without it. However, a little over six months ago Verizon™ made a courtesy call to our home, just to let us know, in case we were interested, that for only another $12 a month, we could get DIRECTV™ and have over two hundred cable channels. Suddenly, my eyes were as round as saucers. I was positively giddy at the prospect of drifting off each night after

have made. And there is one point on which we all agree – children live in a world of their own interests, and the work they do there must be respected, for, though many childish activities may seem pointless to grown-ups, nature is using them for her own ends. The greatest help you can give your children is to give them the freedom to go about their work in their own way, for in this matter your child knows better than you”. 10 Montessori’s premise is huge: A discoverybased approach to education promises to assist and guide each child towards the full development of her or his unique human potential. Simply, how a child learns will influence who they will become. Children in Montessori schools demonstrate enormous capacity for intellectual accomplishment. Children, when ready, write, read, and think mathematically. Rather than looking to external rewards for motivation, these children find intrinsic joy and love in the very process of work. Work leads the child to growth and self-mastery. Over time, the child develops an inner discipline and peaceful serenity.11 Montessori teachers today help children become independent and self-disciplined

watching The Office, Keith Oberman, Bill Mahr, or – ahem – Lost, in addition to all those great shows on HBO, we’re always having to rent and then getting behind on for a season until the show comes out on DVD. We could actually have the opportunity to watch the presidential debates, the DNC, or the Oscars from home! And, really, it might not be so bad for our child if he watched a bit of PBS on Saturday mornings while we slept until 7:00 am, or something luxurious like that, for the first time in six years. In our excitement, we quickly convinced ourselves that it would be silly not to get DIRECTV™ at such a reasonable price. And just like that, ten years of a TVfree home went out the window. I mean what harm could it really do if we set boundaries and our son watched a few educational shows? In fact it might even enhance his life! Well, with DIRECTV™ in our area, it turns out you don’t even get PBS, ABC, or NBC, so before we knew it we were giving in to cries for the Cartoon Network™ and Boomerang, which feature the likes of Tom and Jerry beating each other senseless, and Wilma Flintstone doing the dishes while Fred goes golfing. Or good old Nickelodeon™ with shows like Spongebob Square Pants, and a seemingly endless variety of vapid pre-teen reality shows, from which our son apparently learned, and is now very fond of, the word sexy. In fact, he just used it to beat me at Scrabble™ last night. We were firm on the rules, though, only half an hour on school nights and a little more on weekends. That ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

through child-study and by designing classroom and outdoor environments in which children find engaging activities that help them develop habits of lifelong learning, for example: concentration, investigation, collaboration, problem solving, and communication. The Montessori approach stands in marked contrast to the national determination to substitute practices of adult accountability for the experiences of childhood. Montessori education embraces the essential fact that each life is precious and must be cherished rather than molded. A child is ready only when she or he is ready, and children do not develop or learn uniformly at the same standard pace. Truthful-ly, children can only learn when they do. A child will talk, walk, and balance a bicycle only when she is ready. A child will understand number, operations with fractions, equivalencies between geometric figures, causes of historical events — only when she is ready. A child will blend visual symbols for language (c – a – t) and read cat only when she is ready. When respected and given dignity to be who you are supposed to be, the outcomes of a Montessori education are nothing less than the passions of life itself. As proclaimed by Montessori in 1940:

“A perfect development that brings forward man as he can and is destined to be: conscious of the society he will become part of; master, not slave, of the infinite means that civilization put at his disposal; equally developed in his moral and social powers as in his physical and intellectual ones; aware of his task which requires the collaboration and unanimous effort of the whole of mankind.”12 To declare that each child has unique capabilities is to proclaim each child has genius. As we assist or serve each child in fulfilling her, or his, potential, our task includes learning to overcome our own biases and prejudices and to see clearly the possibilities within each child. We can anticipate that our children will face as adults known problems with as yet unknown solutions: dwindling non-renewable energy supplies and environmental degradation, including the destruction of rainforests, the loss of topsoil, species extinction, and pollution. Other likely challenges facing our children include human migration, hunger, and terrorism. Our children will surely face unknown problems as well. Against these demands and challenges for existence, Montessori education is a philosophy for peaceful co-existence, and we need

“little more,” however, ended up being a lot more. As if it were possible for our son to be an earlier riser than he’s always been, he started getting up at 5:00 am on weekends just to watch TV. So, by the time we got up and checked on him, he had started his day by watching at least a couple hours. Still, we told ourselves, this wasn’t an unreasonable amount, considering that the average child in America watches six hours a day. As the weeks went by, however, we started to notice a new grumpy, unhelpful, disinterested, easily distracted, lethargic side emerging from our previously enthusiastic, curious, boundlessly energetic child. He actually started not wanting to go outside. More than once, on beautiful snow days, he turned down offers to go sledding, skiing, or snowman-making. Then we heard from school. For the first time in three years, he appeared disinterested in the lessons, less focused, and somewhat disagreeable. His teachers were perplexed. They’d always experienced him in the past as an active, motivated, and generally cooperative kid. We mulled it over. It might just be a phase. It might be his true personality emerging (yikes!). But I suspected these changes had to do with TV. I called my mother and asked her if she’d noticed a difference in our son when he’d been visiting recently. She said that he had seemed a bit tuned out, less focused, and had kept asking to watch TV when he was there. At home, I started to notice that sometimes, even after we’d turn off the TV, he’d sit there just staring at the blank screen, as if this were vastly more interesting than actually doing something. ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

this now more than ever before. A Montessori education promotes within children attitudes of respect and encouragement for each human being, no matter how young or how old. A Montessori education empowers children to become confident in themselves and comfortable with others. It is a sense of partnership rather than power and authority. Children who graduate from Montessori elementary and secondary programs have experienced: ■

Integrated and in-depth studies.

Thinking systemically.

Choosing and engaging for long periods of time in work that is personally fulfilling.

Learning to respect and restore the natural environment.

Community service and knowing how to contribute to others.

Understanding cultural and racial differences as a call for celebration rather than a cause for fear.

Developing self-discipline and responsible choice making.

The straw that really broke the camel’s back was when I asked him what his perfect day would consist of if he could choose whatever he wanted to do for a whole day. The answer was eat and watch TV. So from that day forward, the TV ‘broke’ (that’s the word on the street, FYI). It may seem extreme, but I knew the mutiny I’d have on my hands if I arbitrarily changed the rules. I sensed I had to do something big to have an impact. I thought I’d try the broken TV for a week and see whether it made a difference. In the first couple of days, he made comments like, “Life is boring without TV,” which of course assured me I was on the right path. Within a few days, we saw a difference, and school saw a difference. He stopped asking about TV altogether by the end of the first week. We’ve now had a couple of TV-free months at home (for him at least), with a video here and there, and lots of time spent playing games, doing projects, reading books, wrestling with Dad, being silly –— all the stuff he’s always liked to do. To quote his teacher: “From a classroom perspective, he has been more cooperative, open to learning, good-willed, and enthusiastic about learning and new challenges. He’s been progressively more and more delightful since TV was out of the picture.” And, to me, he just seems like his old self. I wouldn’t trade that for my extra hour of sleep on weekends in a million years. Now I just need to do something about my own addiction to the HBO vampire show True Blood. I guess I didn’t get that memo about the TV being ‘broken.’


Entrepreneurial thought and practice.

Managing time and knowing how to initiate and complete projects.

Working effectively in teams.

By acquiescing to the political regime, we fail to account for the effects of a testing regime on a child’s individual and unique human potential. By questioning the political regime’s industrial-era orientation to schooling, we question their purposes for education. It is past time for the Montessori community to take a public stand in service of the child. Presidents will ask Congress to appropriate trillions of dollars for children and their education only when mothers and fathers persuade their representatives of the priority of childhood. Children require our representation. They cannot alone tell the world of their inner beings. This is our work; this is our charge — to tell the world about the human potential of children and to make safe and empowering environments in which children can stand and announce, “Here I am.” This is the emerging political partnership between parents and teachers. 


Dick Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education, 1993-2001. “It’s Time to Do School Differently”. The Greenville News, June 7, 2009. 2 A Nation atRisk NatAtRisk/risk.html. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 5 Arne Duncan. “Reauthorization of ESEA: Why We Can’t Wait” 6 For example, Jonathan Kozel. Savage Inequalities, 1991. 7 Department of Education. Education secretary Duncan issues statement on the nation's report card in reading for 4th, 8th graders. news/pressreleases/2010/03/03242010.html 8 NCLB After Six Years: Confronting the myths of No Child Left Behind. 9 Bill Ayers, quoted in C.M. England (2003). None of Our Business. Why business Models Don’t Work in Schools, p. 8.. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 10 Maria Montessori. The Child, Society and the World. Unpublished speeches and writings, pp. 5-6. Oxford, England: Clio Press. 1995 11 Kathleen Futrell. The Normalized Child. Cleveland: NAMTA. 1998. 12 Retrieved August 5, 2003, from the AMI website

Paul Epstein, Ph.D. is Head of Rochester Montessori School in Rochester, MN and coauthor of The Montessori Way. 16

Bullying What Parents Need to Know “I While bullying is rarely a problem at Montessori schools, every parent should be on the alert for changes in their child’s behavior that might indicate a situation that requires their intervention to act as their child’s advocate.

t’s just a stage,” Mom said as she entered my office. Behind her, her ‘tween’ daughter followed as if she were a toddler, shyly hiding behind her mother to make sure she was secure before venturing into the world. I wondered what she meant by this “stage.” How long had this been going on? What had happened at school that made her never want to go back? What habits have changed? Has she been eating? Sleeping? So many questions wandered through my head. As we entered my office for family therapy, her daughter burst into tears. I had not known that she was experiencing this level of distress. Bullying or “relational aggression” was occurring, a phrase that has been popularized by the media. According to many researchers, boys are more prone to physical aggression, the desire to hurt someone by inflicting physical pain, while girls engage in relational aggression, the desire to hurt others by sabotaging friendships and relationships deemed important. Sadly, in therapy, I had heard about my client’s daughter for some time now; but, I had never realized how great an impact the relational bullying was having on her. Her daughter said, “They hurt my feelings. They make me not want to go to school. One minute they are my friends, and another minute they are talking behind my back, spreading rumors about me.” My mind started spinning. Haven’t there been several cases in the news recently, pertaining to (mostly) girls who had been cyber-bullied, or just plain bullied, to the point that they had chosen to take their own lives? These children are crying out for help and so few people have helped them. Whose responsibility is it, anyway? Speaking with her mom, I learned that she had contacted the school several times to find that nothing had been remedied. Further, she expressed feeling “caught in

by Chelsea Howe, MS, LGPC, CAC-AD-trainee, PsyD Candidate, Montessori Foundation Staff Member ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

the middle.” How far do you go to protect your child in hope that she will not be exposed to the evils of the world? Or, do you hope that your child will go out into the world and just encourage them to overcome the obstacles, despite the risks that may occur in the process? I felt like crying for this young girl —she seemed so trapped. I remember times in grade school when I had a fear that cliques had been established, and I might be the next one to be ostracized. I knew exactly what it felt like to undergo this process. But, I couldn’t relate to the cyber-bullying that I had just learned of — we didn’t even have the internet! I learned that “talking things out” didn’t always work, either. How can somebody “talk things out” if they don’t even know who they’re supposed to talk to? I decided to make my own plans, as a therapist and as an activist. This little girl had so much to say; she just never knew who she could say it to. I sat with her and took a case history, particularly focusing on when things changed. Recently, she had begun to eat more, she said, when she was “scared” or “angry.” She had also told me that she hated going to sleep at night. In fact, she really hated going to sleep because it was a reminder that she would have to be prepared, ready, for the next unpredictable day at school. Further, her mom reported to me that she had been crying far more frequently than she could remember. Choices for dinner would often result in a meltdown that had nothing to do with dinner and everything to do with the lack of control she felt in other areas of life. Finally, Mom told me that her daughter had been “acting out” towards her, a safe target, which made their relationship far more fragile than it had ever been. All of these factors are signs of depression. In fact, many people forget that children do not necessarily show the ‘normal’ depression signs characteristic of adults; rather, a change of behavior can be the sign itself. She had met many of the signs of depression, as far as I was concerned. While it may indeed be situational, she was demonstrating very serious signs of distress that warranted a need to get help – immediately. Luckily, in this particular situation, the daughter was already participating in therapy sessions with her own counselor. Her mother, too, was active and involved in therapy and, based on her own challenges, she knew what to look for as signs of acute anxiety and depression. She was an activist, on her own, having already contacted the school’s psychologist, teacher, and principal. But, her daughter attends a large public school, and, with so many other students, it can take a long period of time to get the much-needed help.

We developed a plan — behavior plan, if you will. We decided to reinforce and support her need for close friends with a couple of different students with whom she had positive experiences and good relationships. These would help provide her with a sense of protection. She would ‘ignore’ the bullies, so that the behavior would eventually decrease. Sometimes, as we all know, any attention, even negative attention, fuels the fire — we wanted to extinguish the fire. She was also encouraged to continue to talk to the school counselor, her teacher, and two other staff members with whom she had a positive relationship, thereby increasing her sense of self-efficacy. I decided to contact the daughter’s therapist (with the consent of mother and daughter) and, collectively, we would activate a plan with the principal to help decrease the relational bullying that likely contributed to the depression her daughter was experiencing. Finally, we encouraged the continual conversation of what these emotions felt like, physically and psychologically. It has been several weeks since this intervention began. While we still don’t have a ‘set’ date to meet with the administrators, the bullying has decreased and her daughter’s mood has lifted. She has not acted out aggressively towards her mother, a previous outlet that allowed her to project her frustration safely. Further, her daughter has gained more confidence and self-competence in demonstrating that she was able to redefine her experience and create a safer, more secure, environment of her own doing. The relational aggression, unfortunately, did not stop. In fact, it became exacerbated for a short period. However, as planned, her daughter tactfully ignored the behavior and decided to redirect her attention to things and people that provided positive experiences. It became tiring for the girls to target someone who no longer cared. And, finally, her daughter continued to pursue individual therapy that allowed her to learn and use better coping mechanisms when the times got tough. But, the fight is not over. In fact, the relational bullying, in this case, went from one target to another. Who will show up next on the nightly news, should the child not have the support or advocacy that my client’s daughter had? Something will need to change within school systems and within children’s environments to give them a stronger sense of self and a greater sense of safety. We are all hopeful that something will be done to help remedy this situation, as research indicates that relational bullying has increased. Surely, one may assume that this might have a direct effect on childhood depression and anxiety.

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Should your child show signs of distress, don’t wait to get help — get it now! Create a warm, nurturing environment that provides safety but also encourages action. Help your children learn to use their voices to gain help and respect from teachers and the administration, rather than attempting to fight back directly against the aggressors, potentially causing a cyclical pattern of aggression. Take action, as a concerned parent, that supports your child’s actions, seeking help through the administration and making yourself heard. Parents have rights too; sadly, many don’t take the necessary steps, because they believe they won’t be heard, won’t be able to make any changes, or have fear that they may create a larger problem. Sure, children need to learn how to interact with one another. They also need to gain self-confidence and self-competence that they can make positive changes that can impact their own lives. But, they may not have the experience or the words to impact advocacy or legislation, or even changes within their own school system. So, be the advocate that mirrors your children. And, finally, talk to your children. Teach empathy. Help them express their feelings while processing how to proceed. Respect your child and help them learn what they can do, interpersonally, and intrapersonally. Let them know you will be there and that their concerns are warranted. And, finally, be part of the solution to help rectify the problem. 

Ca l e nd ar June 12 - August 3, 2010 The Montessori Foundation Montessori Leadership Institute - Term 2 June 21 - July 23, 2010 - NAMTA A Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies Cleveland, OH (440) 834-4011 October 22 - 24, 2010 - AMS 2010 Fall Conference San Diego, CA (212) 358-1250 November 4 - 7, 2010 Montessori Foundation & IMC 14th Annual International Conference Sarasota, FL (800) 632-4121

If you have a conference or event you’d like to promote, please email information to: 17

2010 Montessori Leadership Institute OnLine! Term 2 June 12 – August 3, 2010

Finding The Perfect Match: Recruit & Retain Your Ideal Enrollment Building a World-Class Montessori School An Overview of Montessori Principles & Curriculum from Infant/Toddler through Com High School Sooni!ng New Program in Montessori Leadership Certification Location: Your office or home, on your computer! Instructors: Tim Seldin & Sharon Caldwell, The Montessori Foundation Special discount for IMC members and multiple attendees from the same IMC school. For complete information, visit the Montessori Leadership Institute wing on our website: or call 941-729-9565. 18

Dear Cathie ... A Montessori Teacher’s Perspective

by Cathie Perolman


Year-Round Montessori

I am trying to plan my child’s summer. While we do love his Montessori school, we think he might need a break from the rigors of the Montessori classroom? Isn’t a year-round Montessori classroom too much for a young child?


— A mom (who’s just trying to do what’s best for her child)

It is wonderful that you are being conscientious about your child’s summer and being sure that his programs truly do meet his needs. A well-run Montessori classroom is not driven by rigorous academics only. It is also rich in the areas of art, music, culture, botany, zoology, cooking, nature, etc. Thus, a year-round program is really not too much for a child if he is, indeed, guided according to his age, interest, and abilities. Year-round programs have the luxury of taking the whole experience a little slower and enriching it more widely, as the children spend significantly more time in the environment. There are many different interpretations of the Montessori philosophy and, as a result, many different types of Montessori schools and summer programs.

While all have common elements, there are significant differences. Some are more academic, some more focused on nature and gardening and still others more focused on the arts. Not every school does things the same way each and every year. So, the most important thing to do is to ask specific questions about the plan for the summer at your child’s present school. What are their plans for the summer program? They may be exactly what you have in mind. Summer is a special time of year and lends itself to different experiences than are often provided by Montessori schools during the regular school year. Many parents gravitate towards a program where children can experience the wonders of nature and the out-ofdoors. There are many Montessori schools that shift their focus somewhat in the summer and provide these naturebased experiences for the children. Some have a period of time each day where the children work in the traditionally prepared Montessori classroom with a Montessori guide. They have other periods of time where they are doing special projects, working with animals or outside in the garden. Some have actually set up activities that can be selfchosen and are done out-of-doors. This does not work in all climates though, so you will need to check. Other summer programs are theme based and change focus each week. These themes may be more ‘play school’ such as the circus, or more academic themes such as space, a foreign language, or a specific culture or occupation. Some programs may include special activities, such as field trips, water play days, cookouts, picnics and hikes. Others may have a more play-focused sort of camp and have activities available to include traditional building blocks, train sets, Lego™ building sets, and coloring papers. Still others may be a meld of the two types. They may have a Montessori-type work time but only have limited Montessori exercises such as beginning practical life and art, as their group leaders may not be Montessori trained. Staffing is often different in summer programs as well. Some Montessori summer camps are staffed by college students, teacher’s assistants, or Montessori interns and others by experienced Montessori trained guides. Each of these types of programs has their own flavor and provides a different experience for children. Your challenge is

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

GREENWAYS FOR HOME & SCHOOL to match your child with the program that fits him and your family the best. As you explore programs, be sure to ask questions. Ask about the use of the children’s time, the availability of the Montessori materials, the qualifications of the group leader, the variety and availability of activities, and time out of doors. How structured is the child’s time? What is the age span of the group? Will your child know any of the adults or other children in his group? Will he have a chance to do academic work, or is the summer more ‘low key,’ with emphasis on other areas.  Cathie Perolman is an experienced Montessori guide at the 3-6 level. She is a Montessori teacher educator and publisher of educational materials. Cathie guides a 3-6 Montessori class at Nurturing Nest Montessori in Columbia, MD. She can be contacted through Tomorrow’s Child at:

Earth Tips

Excerpted from 50 Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth What do you think? Which uses more electricity? A) a television B) a refrigerator C) a toaster Refrigerator is the answer, of course. It’s running all day and all night — everyday. So here are some things you can do to help conserve energy. ■ Don’t open your refrigerator unless you have to. Once you’ve opened it, quickly get what you want and close the door. Think about what you want before you open the door. ■ If your parents say it’s okay, make it your job to keep the coils free of dust. Brush the coils off with a broom, dustcloth, or (with their permission) vacuum cleaner. ■ With a parent, check to see if your refrigerator is colder than necessary. It should be set between 38 and 42 degrees fahrenheit. If you raise the temperature a little, the food will stay chilled, but you’ll use less electricity. Hint: Feel the food. If it’s icy, the dial is set too cold. Keep a record for yourself.

Looking Back: A Tribute by Betsy Hoke,

Record how many times you open the refrigerator during the day. Are you opening it more than you really need to? And how long do you keep it open? I first started using this book with my own children and in my Montessori classroom twenty years ago. 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to save the Earth, The EarthWorks Group, 1990 is still a great little guide for children and families who are concerned about saving our planet. You can get a revised copy at

Head, Montessori School of Evergreen (Evergreen, Colorado)


ooking back on my thirty-six years in Montessori education that has brought me much joy, satisfaction, and challenge, I have one person to thank for igniting my life’s passion. As my time as Head of MSE is drawing to a close, I want to pay tribute to my niece, Beth Wadden. Beth, my parents’ first grandchild, was born in California in 1966. The moment I met her at six months of age, I fell in love. Luckily, her family moved to Iowa City, just 60 miles from my home and I was able to spend many delightful days with her. Her joyful personality and constant curiosity made her a charismatic child. When Beth was two and a half, my sister enrolled her in a Montessori school. Beth’s very hip paternal grandmother, who had pursued Montessori teacher-training in California in 1964 when the Montessori approach was being revived in the US, generously offered to pay her tuition. Beth loved going to

— Reviewed by Lorna McGrath Montessori school, and my sister was thrilled with her progress. By now, Beth had a younger sister, and life was busy as her dad pursued his Ph.D. in English literature and my sister worked part time as a librarian. But, in May of 1969, our world turned suddenly dark, when a doctor discovered a large tumor in Beth’s stomach. She was diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although surgery removed most of the tumor, the doctors could not safely excise all of it. She would need radiation treatments, and the prognosis for a complete recovery was not good. I’ll never forget the moment when my dad shared this news with me as he drove me home from my freshmen year in college. The only other time I saw him cry was on my wedding day. That summer, my sister, pregnant with her third child, invited me to live with them and help out as they expected

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Beth to become ill from the radiation treatments. Thankfully, she was not affected and remained healthy and vivacious all summer. I clearly remember the evening Neil Armstrong was to step on the moon. Walking on the sidewalk with Beth as she clasped my hand and stared at me with her piercing blue eyes, she declared emphatically, “I never want to go to the moon. I don’t want to leave Mommy and Daddy.” Looking up at the moon, I clutched her hand tighter as tears ran down my cheeks. “I don’t want you to fly to the moon,” I said. “I want you to stay right here.” I remember thinking at that moment, “How is it we can send men to the moon, but we can’t cure one very special little girl that I love so much?” No less than a miracle brightened our lives when Beth’s cancer disappeared. Meanwhile, I continued to adore my nieces and nephews, always treasuring Beth, who was an extraordinary gift. 19

During my senior year in college, I student-taught English to seniors at the local high school. I was dismayed by their lack of interest in learning. I wanted to work with children who loved learning. I wanted to be with children like Beth, and her siblings and cousins, for whom every discovery was full of awe. After completing a January internship in a Head Start program and observing at a Montessori school, my sister suggested I consider taking Montessori training. There just happened to be a year-long training course in London. Since I had spent my junior year at Exeter University in England, I was thrilled to have an opportunity to return for more adventures and pursue my interest in working with young children. When I finished my training, having

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The Montessori Foundation


hildren arranging real flowers in glass vases. Children setting out woven cloth placemats, sitting patiently and quietly until everyone in the class has their lunch set out before them. Children listening and enjoying classical music while they eat and then engaging in polite conversation in low tones. Children placing their dishes in the sink after


worked much harder than I did my junior year, I applied for teaching positions in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. I accepted a job in Colorado Springs, thinking that I would teach for a couple of years and head back to Europe for more travel. But I was hopelessly hooked. I started teaching and didn’t step off the continent for thirty-three years. After working at two Montessori schools, I found my true home in Evergreen, Colorado at Montessori School of Evergreen in 1980. At that time it had one primary classroom, but by the time I left my tenure as Head of School twenty-nine years later, we had created elementary and middle school programs. My two children had the benefit of attending the school through eighth grade, and their success and determination today is, in great part, due to their Montessori education. My daughter graduated from Columbia and is entering a doctorate program in medical anthropology and public health at Northwestern University. My son is an environmental science major at Colorado College, a totally green young man and a professional cross-country mountain biker and bike mechanic; passions he began developing as a result of some of his middle school experiences. In 1979, after ten healthy years, Beth’s cancer returned in the form of

Hodgkin’s disease. When Mt. St. Helen’s erupted, Beth left her home in Spokane and came to Rock Island, Illinois to stay with my parents for a month to escape the ash dust that her doctors felt would be harmful. She was as courageous and cheerful as ever. She went into remission for a year, but then her original lymphoma returned, this time invading her brain. I spent a wonderful week with Beth, her siblings, and her mom touring Seattle in the summer of 1981. That was the last time I saw her. She died a few months later, having held on courageously until she quietly slipped away on her sixteenth birthday. Over the years, I have found immense comfort knowing that because of my love for Beth and her love for her Montessori school, my life took a path that ultimately impacted hundreds of children including my own. In her short life Beth lit up with joy the lives of her family, friends, and teachers. In my life, she has made all the difference. In every child that I have touched as a Montessori teacher and administrator glows a tiny spark of Beth’s enduring

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Grace & Courtesy cleaning them off and quietly pushing their chairs back in under the table. Children respecting one another and not jumping in to be first! This is what I observed on a recent visit to the Montessori School of Los Altos located in a residential community in Palo Alto, California. This may not seem like such an accomplishment, but these were primary level children, ages 3- 6. Yes, three-year-olds, and they are entirely capable of demonstrating grace and courtesy at the lunch table and the world at large. In Montessori, we encourage parents to reinforce this practice during home meal times as well. Meal time is community and family time. In our hectic, frantic, getting-fromone-activity-to-the-next lives, taking half an hour to enjoy the mealtimes in such

a lovely way is encouraged and does everyone a whole lot of good. This underlying theme of grace and courtesy is one of the most amazing aspects (in my opinion) of what sets Montessori apart from many other educational paradigms. It is an approach that focuses on each person’s place in society. It educates the whole child in order that they understand their respective obligations to the earth. Children are raised to be global citizens and do not think the world revolves solely around them. They are respectful from a place deep within their hearts, not just because they were shown the steps in a demonstration or it was required of them to perform a trick. Grace and courtesy become a way of life for these children who are fortunate to be in a

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Montessori environment. These skills stay with them long after they leave the classroom. Montessori children have typically been identified as: “those kids with great manners.” As parents we can take a page out of Montessori’s book and reinforce grace and courtesy at home. Try sitting down at the kitchen or dining room table as a family, using real placemats, napkins and dishes; not just eating on the run over the sink, or from a take-out bag. Take the time to listen to what your children have to say during this time or just enjoy the quietness of the meal, while taking a few relaxing breaths. When parents are able to make the connection of reinforcing classroom skills in the home, it becomes a part of the family way of life. It allows us all to slow down for just a few moments and have L.E.A.N continued from page 10 I’ve learned that my frustration with my child’s behavior is familiar for many families. I hear the same stories from other parents. Behavior issues, hyperactivity, moods swings, and problems with focus and concentration are common. In my work as a teacher and parent educator, I’ve seen this, but with my own child, I came to really understand that no amount of parenting or ‘discipline’ techniques are going to help my child unless he first lives a balanced lifestyle and is biochemically stable through proper nutrition. I’ve found that balance is my number-one job in helping my son succeed at home and at school. So how do we keep our children balanced from a lifestyle, biochemical, and nutritional standpoint? In this day of processed and ‘engineered’ food, balance sounds easier than it really is. It seems the media and food marketers inform us daily about what is healthy and what is not, but how do we sort through

time to literally, “smell the roses.” Your Montessori child can lead the way. Let them set the table, let them demonstrate their skill, and then let them show you how it’s done. You will be awed by their capabilities and by following their lead they, in turn, see that adults also are gracious and courteous. It’s a great circle to start forming. So, we highly recommend following the child in this manner. A special thanks to Hannelore Engelman and her teachers and students for allowing me to observe them recently at their school.

Editor’s Note: If you didn’t attend the Foundation’s recent West Coast Conference, you didn’t just miss out on a great Montessori event, you missed out on baby drama! Margot Garfield-Anderson, our Events Coordinator and PR Director, was anxiously awaiting the birth of her first grandchild, which was due to take place any day in Rochester, NY. Plans were made for Margot to fly to Rochester immediately at the end of the conference to be with her daughter, Liz, for the blessed event. However, her grandchild had other plans, and by the last day of the conference, all of the attendees were on pins and needles right along with Margot as a new life entered the world to a rousing reception from Montessorians cheering from thousands of miles away. Here’s Margot’s update. all of that in our busy lives and end up with a healthy meal that our children will eat? The government has implemented “nutrition facts and information” labels on food packaging now, but what does that mean to me as a parent? How much protein and fiber should my child consume? How much sugar is too much for cereal? What is a healthy childsized portion? How do I navigate the confusing landscape of advertising and marketing in the media and the supermarket? How can I get my child’s teacher to understand that feeding my son a birthday cupcake at 11:30 and sending him home to me at noon is really not a good idea? There are so many questions. I turned to one of my trusted parenting sources, Dr. William Sears, for answers. Dr. Sears has written over forty books on topics such as parenting, breastfeeding, birth and nutrition. His website has become one of the most popular childcare reference sites on the internet. Dr. Sears’

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

I’d like to say a very special thank-you to the wonderful friends and attendees who were with us at the 7th West Coast conference in San Jose, California (March 17-21) for helping me celebrate and welcome my first grandchild, a beautiful little girl, Blakely Jayne Thornton on Sunday morning, March 21. Everyone cheered when my son-in-law, who had kept me up to date all night long as the labor progressed, called to tell us of Blakely’s safe arrival. Minutes later, they Skyped me from the delivery room so that I could see her wonderfully alert little face. And many thanks for my wonderful employers (who are truly my family members as well) for letting me work from Blakely’s home this past month so that I could be there for this very special time in all of our lives. Blakely will grow up knowing the kindness and compassion, love and respect that the Montessori community has shown our family. — Many thanks, Margot work centers around a child-centered philosophy and is committed to making scientific information accessible and understandable for parents. His latest book is The N.D.D. Book, How Nutrition Deficit Disorder Affects Your Child’s Learning, Behavior, and Health, and What You Can Do About It – Without Drugs.* This book was truly an eye opener for me. It confirmed what my own research about nutrition and parenting my son had taught me. My son is sometimes out of balance, but I can keep his life in balance if I commit to following the basic nutritional and lifestyle guidelines that Dr. Sears provides. Dr. Sears makes the compelling argument that “optimal growth and development occur when a growing body is in biochemical balance. In fact, a good definition of health itself could be ‘the state in which biochemical balance exists in the body.” (Sears, p.19) He argues that one reason for the drastic increase in what he calls the “D” disorders (Diabetes, continued on page 27 21

Montessori Graduates

Where are they now?


y name is Lauren Bolar, and I work Lauren Bolar for a privately owned AMI Tempe Montessori Montessori School in Mesa, Arizona. I School, Mesa, am also a graduate of this school and Arizona the granddaughter of the owner, Irma Letson. I am applying for my AMI Pictured above are Montessori training this summer and wanted to take a moment to share my Tempe founder, Irma Montessori experience. I am proud to Letson and Lauren, Irma’s granddaughter. be an advocate for the hard work my The young Montessori grandmother has done for the past 32 student is Kadence, years. I am a recent graduate from Arizona Lauren’s niece. State University and have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I am excited to start my education in the Montessori Method. I was born and raised in a Montessori environment. In 1978, my grandmother opened Tempe Montessori School and has involved the family ever since. A few years after, my mother started to work side by side with her to create a beautiful learning environment When I started at TMS, I was only two years old and have fond memories of sitting on the patio, painting, and taking nature walks around the farm-like neighborhood. I loved going to school at TMS. One of my favorite quotes is: “The job of the teacher is to teach the child to say I can do it myself.” As I transitioned into a traditional school, I found myself longing for the independence I had experienced in my Montessori environment. At 16, I started working at TMS as an after-school aide, and I truly started to understand the importance and impact the Montessori Method has on the child. The first time a child called my name on the playground and showed me that she could do the monkey bars by herself because I had showed her how I did it as a child; I knew this is what I wanted to do. I knew that I could help children see their own potential and challenge them in a positive way. As the years went on, I moved on to being a lunch assistant 22

inside of the classroom. I found myself directing children with the same guidance I was given as a child. At this point, I started to teach the children the songs I sang as a child. I also worked in the toddler community. This is where I started to see the developmental process in its purest form. The children started at 15 months and, in the beginning (like many parents), I did not understand the children’s capabilities. It was not until a parent asked me “How do they communicate? Who puts their shoes on?” that I knew that it is not only necessary to educate the children but the parents as well. I answered, “They use their words and put their shoes on themselves.” I had educated a parent on the potential of their child! It was a great feeling. The toddler community showed me the great beginning of the developmental process that Montessori children experience. The children came into the environment and did not know how to use their hands or talk. When they transitioned into the 3-6 classroom, they had a full vocabulary and prided themselves on taking responsibility for their own belongings and actions. They were well-rounded, independent, and proud of themselves at three years old. Once, I started to see the children learning and understand their capabilities, I wanted to understand the role of the Montessori materials. I knew that one of the first lessons was the pink tower. I remember having that lesson as a child, yet I did not understand the purpose. I often observed the children in their work environments and had recollections from my own childhood of doing the language boards and (my favorite) the geography maps, as well as reading Max the Cat and Six Kids. When I turned 22 years old, my mother urged me to branch out and see if this is what I wanted to do. I found a job working as the assistant to the vice president of a software company. I was able to help her with what she needed and finished my daily tasks, quickly and efficiently and was self directed. I attribute this to my Montessori education. I have been privileged to have attended a Montessori school, a private Catholic school, and a public school. To this day, I believe that I have retained the most knowledge from my Montessori experience. Although I did well as an administrative assistant, I found myself longing to go back to my Montessori roots. It wasn’t until my mother passed away, that I truly understood that teaching was my calling. I started to recall all of the things my mother used to do with us as children and why she allowed us to have the freedom we did. We were allowed to get dirty and take things apart. We often cooked for ourselves, cleaned up after ourselves, and were allowed to make mistakes — as well as take responsibility. We participated in sports, choir, and scouting. My mother took us to Mexico and explored the bay with us. We brought creatures home, and she would help us make homes for them on our patio. She allowed us to develop freely and in our own time. Without my mother’s trust, we would not have the confidence we have today. She had this trust in us because of her knowledge in our development and education. It is because of my mother that my brothers and I are intrinsically motivated and the people we are today. When I accompanied TMS’s elementary class on a class trip to Mexico, I was able to show the children the same things my mother showed me. This reinforced my interest and determination to be a Montessori teacher. Without my Montessori education, I do not believe I would be the person I am today. My independence to do things for myself, ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

stand up for myself, and have the courage to continuously seek knowledge, to solve my problems and take on demanding tasks would not have been fostered. I can honestly say, I might not have the knowledge of myself to take opportunities and challenge risk! Becoming a Montessori teacher is not only to continue what my grandmother started more than 30 years ago. It is to help and encourage children to believe in themselves and to love their educational experience as I did mine. I go to TMS and watch my niece in the toddler community. To watch her grow from an infant to where she is today is amazing. She takes what she does in the classroom and brings it home with her. At home, she likes to clear and clean her table and put her lunch away. Her vocabulary has grown exponentially! It is amazing to watch her every day! I am excited to have the opportunity to learn the Montessori Method. I hope to have the impact on children that my teachers have had on me. My main goal as a teacher will be to help children understand their potential and explore their opportunities in both

their educational process and their personal experiences. I truly believe a well-rounded education is not only what people learn in a classroom but what they also take away from it in their life experiences. After my mother passed away, I petitioned Arizona State University to honor my mother by granting her degree in family studies, which she was a semester short of completion. My main point was simply what I stated previously: education is not only what is learned in the classroom; it is what a person learns throughout their life through their work, life experiences, mistakes and successes. It is because of my grandmother and mother’s commitment to my education that I believe in the Montessori Method. To be given the opportunity to learn and qualify as an AMI certified Montessori teacher will be a blessing not only in my life but in the enrichment of my future parenting skills. Every day, parents trust me with their children. To be able to help educate parents is the next step in my educational endeavors!

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

“Bragging rights” for your school or child! We want your graduates’ stories in Tomorrow’s Child! Simply send us the following: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

the graduate’s name name/s & location/s of Montessori school/s attended number of years in Montessori where they are now approximately 250 words describing what their Montessori experience has meant to them a picture of the graduate (then and now)

Have a story? Just contact Lorna McGrath at

PS: We’d love to hear from more boys. Come on guys — we know you’re out there!


Montessori Reads

The Family Center THANKS to all our standing bulk order subscribers for your support in getting this new benefit of Tomorrow’s Child off and running! If your school has a standing bulk order to Tomorrow’s Child, your families and staff can get connected to Tomorrow’s Child OnLine NOW! Tomorrow’s Child OnLine is a free, additional benefit to subscribing in bulk to Tomorrow’s Child. TCOL includes articles, videos, audio files, interviews and more that connect Montessori families and schools. Contact Lorna McGrath (Director of the Family Education Center) at lornamcgrath@montessori. org for details. Stay connected! Now is the time for Montessori schools to sign up for their standing bulk order of Tomorrow’ s Child for the 2010/11 school year. See page 29 for information on benefits & special discounts. 24

Learning is Fun and Learning Through Music

by Hestia Abeyesekera Ph.D. These two CDs feature delightful collections of songs designed for preschoolers and for early elementary children. These simple, cheery, repetitive songs and melodies help children to learn and to retain a great deal of information. Hestia skillfully uses rhythm and melody to help learning become fun and effortless. Learning is Fun features a song for every month as well as songs about the days of the week, the world, the weather and a song in four languages. Learning Through Music has many lively songs including The Butterfly, where children learn the word metamorphosis. The Story of a Seed, where children learn the parts of the flower, the leaf, and the tree and Land and Water, where children learn the names of some of the land and water formations with geographic examples from North America. Hestia Abeyesekera is Montessori trained and has a doctorate in education. She also has degrees in music, speech, and drama from London, England. Her extensive educational background and training makes her uniquely qualified to produce these wonderful collections of songs, which she developed and used in her classrooms. I have used these songs for many years in my classrooms to help with units of study. I have had great success using these songs for live musical performances, where the children sing for their parents and extended families. The CDs or songs can be purchased at http:// where they are featured on the front page. — Reviewed by Richard Colombini, Montessori Teacher, Arise and Shine Montessori, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Are We There Yet? And Lessons Learned Along the Way by April L. Whitten Author, April Whitten, was so inspired by her observations and experiences on her journey on the Overland Trails that she decided to write this book. Her photography is unique and the story is timeless. The wagon train journey began in Nebraska in the spring of 1999 and traveled across Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada to California. The journey itself concluded at the vast Pacific Ocean. It took many months and a great many miles. April had a strong desire to share her new appreciation of our country’s history and

Celebrating Children’s Art A Visual Arts Program That Soars The Renaissance School Oakland, Califorina The Renaissance School is a Montessori school in Oakland, California. They serve children from toddlers through the 8th grade and provide all-day Montessori programs for their families. At Renaissance, under the guidance of founder and owner Leslie Hites, the children are given not only a strong Montessori program but also, a program that includes multi-lingual classrooms and a major focus on both visual and performing arts. This book is a beautiful compilation of the children’s art, which was exhibited at The Renaissance School’s Annual Art Show. This artwork was created in the studio art program. The staff at Renaissance believe that, “a strong visual-art education offers extraordinary benefits to children: improvement in critical thinking, problem solving, flexibility, coordination, creativity, self-direction, personal expression and communication….”

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

• Montessori Reads its amazing beauty. Through April’s photography children will begin to see the beauty in the western regions of the US and travel as the early pioneers did. Beyond the history of the pioneers, who crossed the country in search of gold and a new life, April shares the life lessons that she learned along the way that come from being together, depending on each other, and supporting each other’s success. It is a wonderful photographic diary, reflecting the diversity of the land and water forms, people, and the weather as the country unfolds. — Reviewed by Lorna McGrath

Mimi the Mermaid and the Pearl Necklace by Sydney A. Wurapa, Jordan A. Wurapa and Karin Small Wurapa, MD, MPH Illustrated by Wendy Rasmussen This book started as a journal entry for Sydney when she was just seven years old. She and her brother, Jordan, attend St. Joseph Montessori School in Columbus, OH. At St. Joseph Montessori School, creative writing and completing the work cycle have always been encouraged. Sydney would enter something new about the story each day with the encouragement of her mom and dad. The story and publishing of the book became a two-year family project with Jordan’s help as well. As a family they decided to give 100 percent of their profit from the book to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for some of the children’s program there.

We are highlighting this book because we feel that it is a possible model for other Montessori schools. The variety of media used, the creativity expressed, and the involvement of children of all ages is exemplary. There are pieces that use acrylic paint, yarn and wax, collage, clay, watercolors, mixed media, felt, mosaic tiles, wool and burlap – and the list goes on. To whatever degree your school offers visual-arts activities, you will have enriched your students lives. Please enjoy these samples from this professionally produced 100page volume.

In this imaginative story Mimi learns from her friends and family that a person’s beauty comes from the inside out. This is not a new lesson but one that is important in a world that often emphasizes external appearance and material accessories. This particular story is about a young girl who is looking for acceptance and love. The illustrations are lovely, and there is a surprise at the end! Children in school or at home will enjoy this book and will gain valuable insights from reading the book with friends and family. You can purchase Mimi the Mermaid at barnesandnoble. com. — Reviewed by Lorna McGrath

Read any good books or enjoyed some great CDs lately?

Announcing 3 NEW titles for The Montessori Foundation’s popular parent education pamphlet series See inside back cover for more information.

and ... 3 NEW Online Professional Development Courses Math Refresher Special Needs

For more information about the Renaissance School, contact

Reviews welcome.

Adventure in the Arts

— Reviewed by Lorna McGrath

Please contact me at lornamcgrath@

See page 18 for more information.

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •



©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

L.E.A.N continued from page 21 ADD, LD, IBD, Depression, Allergic Diseases, and many others) is that so many children are eating fake foods and throwing their bodies out of biochemical balance. Dr. Sears says “There is plenty of information to support the axiom of ‘you are what you eat,’ but it is found only in journals such as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which don’t get read and appreciated by parents or even by many doctors.” (Sears, p. 18). As a parent and teacher, I know that it is sometimes difficult for the school and parent to provide a united message when it comes to health and nutrition, because most of us cannot sift through this ever-changing mountain of research and the insidious marketing ploys of food manufacturers. The only way we will be able to counter the increase in the “D” disorders and the massive influence of media and advertising is to have a consistent and strong joint message and shared goals related to health. I’ve found that this task is often more difficult than it should be simply because parents and schools aren’t always able to find common ground to work together and have not jointly identified clear strategies for creating healthy kids. For the sake of my child and his behavior at school, I try to make sure that he avoids sugar, chemical additives, and keeps a steady blood-sugar level by filling up with foods full of protein and fiber. I’ve often been discouraged and felt that the school my son attended was not supporting him in controlling his behavior or me in my parenting approach, when a steady flow of birthday or holiday treats and snacks continued to occur and disrupt our plans. The weeks between Halloween and Valentine’s Day seemed to be a relentless stream of ‘special days’ that were celebrated by a frenzy of sugar. I felt great at the beginning of the year when I found out that a parent who was a registered dietician was planning the snacks. Then I noticed that the quality of the snacks started to disintegrate. More processed foods and less ‘whole foods’ were being served. I found out that the parent had stopped helping coordinate the snack planning, and now other parents were in charge of that responsibility. My frustration was high, but how could I talk about this in a positive way without offending others? This school had expressed that they were committed to healthy snacks, but that is

really a mystery when we all have different viewpoints about what ‘healthy’ really means. Sometimes, serving processed foods is less expensive for a school, since they usually have a longer shelf life. Also, the common wisdom in our culture is that some of these items are considered ‘healthy’ kid foods. We’ve all been confused by food marketers, who make it their goal to impress upon us that their product is healthy, kid friendly, or has the current nutritional buzz word on the label. I commiserated with another parent at the school. We both have children who are sensitive to sugar, and this issue really made us feel disconnected and frustrated with the school, but we were both unsure how to approach the issue with the teacher or other parents. We were really missing an important component of the school/parent connection. How can one approach this issue as a school community when there is such a gap in knowledge and no common language to approach the topic? Quality Montessori schools are usually very good at bringing parents into the school community as well as com-

municating what our ‘school culture’ is all about. They provide plenty of parent education and make it their responsibility to provide information about Montessori curriculum, Montessori jargon, and Montessori-friendly discipline strategies. This education helps the parent and school stay connected and in partnership with each other. As Montessori educators, we know that this consistency between home and school is a key component of an effective education for students and positive relationships in our school. We also know that we must approach the child in a holistic way and understand that we are educating the whole person, not simply worrying about the academic success of a child. So why don’t more Montessori schools provide health and wellness education? Admittedly, as a teacher I think the answer involves the blame game. Very often, schools or teachers blame the parents for not knowing about nutrition and health. Sometimes teachers even believe that parents “just don’t care.” In reality, however, I think that most parents are just confused. Parents really do

“We” Believe In Healthy Children ■ Refuse to play the blame game. Take action and encourage other parents to join with you. Remember the “We Principle.” ■ Talk to the administrator. Tell him, or her, that you want the school to provide healthy snacks. If cost is an obstacle, form a L.E.A.N. committee and brainstorm possible solutions. Cost should not be an issue if we remember that our numberone goal is growing healthy children. In the long term, prevention and health saves money. ■ Teach kids where ‘real food’ comes from by planting a garden at home or school. Kids will be more connected to food and more likely to eat it when they have had experience in growing it themselves. This can be a simple herb garden or a raised bed. There are lots of books at the library to help you get started. ■ Find a Certified L.E.A.N. Coach and develop a relationship for parent and teacher training at your school. L.E.A.N. coaches are qualified to bring you many types of classes and can help you meet specific goals for your school. For more information, please visit ■ If you do not have a L.E.A.N. coach in your area, talk to your administrator and ask questions in your school community. Perhaps an interested parent or teacher would be willing to take the L.E.A.N. coach training and then become a coach for the school. Consider fundraising to cover the costs of training in order to sponsor a coach for your school. ■ Remember that teachers need training, too. Having a common language and shared goals between home and school about nutrition and health is going to strengthen the message your child receives. ■ Find out more about food marketing techniques and how you can educate and protect your children from their influence.

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •


want what is best for their children but don’t know how to achieve that and have very little help or support in making changes. Some parents believe, in error, that if their child is a healthy weight or has no behavior or learning problems, then no damage is being done. Teachers have so much to focus on in their classrooms. They are dealing every day with the consequences of poor behavior and inadequate nutrition but may not be aware that what a child had for breakfast at home or has at school for snack may be contributing to, or even causing, his or her behavior and focus problems. Teachers are confused, too. Montessori philosophy is focused on the ‘whole child.’ Teachers are trained that nutrition is important, and that is certainly something that Dr. Montessori believed. However, Dr. Montessori did not live in this age of packaged and commercialized food products. She did not provide training to teachers about nutrition that addresses these modern problems. I do believe that Dr. Montessori, as a scientist and physician, would have been looking to the current research on nutrition and brain development. She would have encouraged us all to cooperate with each other in taking responsibility for the health of children. I believe that she would have been looking to other leaders in this field, such as Dr. William Sears. Dr. Sears has made current nutritional research practical, accessible, and fun for parents and caregivers and has packaged it into a program he calls L.E.A.N. This acronym stands for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition. These four pillars of health represent how we live, how we move, how we think, and how we eat. L.E.A.N. provides simple educational programs designed to teach parents and caregivers (including teachers) basic behaviors that will empower them to raise healthy children. I knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of this program. Besides the beneficial effects of nutrition on behavior, mood, and learning, a healthy diet and exercise program is essential in fighting the major epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other “D” disorders that are ravaging our children today. I had the opportunity to attend a Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. Coach Training and became certified to teach the L.E.A.N. program to parents and caregivers. The sixhour L.E.A.N. Start course provides parents with practical nutrition and physical activity tools and information in a highly interactive, fun, and entertaining way. 28

The information is very straightforward, easy to understand, and is very family friendly. Dr. Sears has created a way for parents to truly be responsible for their own child’s health. L.E.A.N teaches parents to be a ‘coach’ to their own children. The program was written in ‘child-friendly’ language so that parents have access to simple explanations and examples that children can remember and understand. It’s great to hear my son ask me questions about nutrition now. Dr. Sears’ “traffic-light eating” system has given us a tool to communicate and an entry point into dialogue. “Is pasta a green-light food or a yellow-light food, Mom?” This childfriendly language is a great way for all of us to communicate with each other at home or in the classroom on the same level using the same terminology. Having a common language keeps us connected to each other. My hope is that Montessori schools will begin to lead the way when it comes to family education in health and wellness. Montessori schools are very often the leaders in helping bring about educational and social change. However, this will only happen if parents speak up and ask for help and support. Parents and educators need to begin talking to each other and start taking active steps toward creating a partnership aimed at healthier children. Dr. Sears often refers to what he calls the “We Principle.” In his pediatric practice, he found certain parents were very devoted to healthy living and eating. He discovered that, over the years, the children of these parents were not in his office very much. They were not sick and were just healthier than other kids. When he asked these parents about how they approached healthy living, he learned that they used the “We Principle.” They used language such as, “This is how we eat in our family.” “We drink water in our family. We don’t eat junk in our family.” Children before the age of six or seven are more receptive to the idea that “this is how we do things in our family.” This “We Principle” helps parents make healthy living a family value and a normal part of family life. This kind of language and value sharing is often used at schools as well. The “We Principle” is very effective in helping children learn the ‘culture’ of the classroom that the teacher creates. For example, “We walk in the classroom,” or,“We use gentle hands and words.”

School communities need to adopt this “We Principle,” as well, in order to fight the trend toward obesity, diabetes, behavior disorders, and learning problems. Change is only possible when we’ve committed to shared goals and educated ourselves on how to most effectively bring this to life in our homes and schools. A program like the Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. Program can help a school community make that transition into unity and health. As a parent, remember that you really are your child’s first and most important teacher. You are the role model of healthy living for your child. Commit to making changes and educating yourself so that you can help your child stay in balance and stay healthy. The reward may be more than building a brighter brain or avoiding nutrition -diseases. You just may bring peace to your family, too.

REFERENCES: *Sears, William. 2009. The NDD Book: How Nutrition Deficit Disorder Affects Your Child’s Learning, Behavior, and Health, and What You Can Do About It –Without Drugs. Little Brown and Company, New York. *See Chelsea Howe’s article and interview with Dr. Bill in the End of School Issue of Tomorrow’s Child Magazine 2008

Suzanne Voldman earned her AMS Early Childhood Credential in July of 2003 from the New Gate Center for Montessori Studies. She is a certified Redirecting Children’s Behavior parent educator and has a B.A. in education from Central Washington University. She is also a Certified Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. Coach. She lives with her husband and two sons in Maple Valley, Washington. She can be reached at

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Now There’s Three Ways to Purchase Tomorrow’s Child: The magazine with benefits! The Montessori Foundation always strives to help schools and parent organizations provide the most cost effective ways to get Tomorrow’s Child magazine into the hands of parents. At the same time, in our effort to conserve natural resources and save trees, we’d like to introduce Tomorrow’s Child, the electronic version.

1 Early Bird Standing Bulk

Orders for 2010/11 Same prices as last year!

Tomorrow’s Child magazine is the best way for schools to help parents stay connected on key issues in Montessori. Articles on parenting, research, how Montessori is done internationally, schools showcasing their uniqueness, graduate achievements and valuable calendar of events make this one of the most widely read Montessori resources worldwide. Administrators who put the cost of the magazine into their tuition understand that the benefits far exceed the minimal cost. When parents are informed and embrace the time tested & proven results that a Montessori education can bring to their families they will thank you! We greatly discount the print version to our schools. In the US a standing bulk order costs just $15.50 per family per year. 50 minimum in a standing bulk order. That’s just $750 annually! (Should your school have less than 50 families call our main office at 800 655 5843 to get approval for a smaller quantity.) Last year, our September 2009 issues sold out! If you are ordering a standing bulk order for the 2010/11 school year, be sure to do so before August 15th. We only order a small number of extra issues, and this first issue is one that your families won’t want to miss..

2 Individual Orders (Print) You may purchase our regular print version, same as always or you may sign up for the electronic version by using this form or by going through our publication center’s online bookstore at . Those with current print subscriptions will continue to receive the publication mailed to their addresses.

3 Individual Orders (Electronic) When you subscribe to the electronic version you will be emailed a link to Tomorrow’s Child OnLine’s parent resource center along with a user name and password. Remember, the electronic version is not for our current standing bulk order subscribers, but for those who wish to have an individual subscription sent electronically. Each time we publish an issue, you will receive an email notifing you that the electronic version is ready for you to access through TCOL. Log on, go to the TCOL page and you’re ready to read. Just turn the pages using the arrow. It’s that easy and sounds just like you are flipping pages in a print magazine. Electronic subscribers will also have access to Tomorrow’s Child OnLine (see inset)*.

Standing Bulk Order subscribers will also have access to Tomorrow’s Child OnLine (see inset).*

Tomorrow’s Child OnLine *Free Benefit for Standing Bulk Order & Electronic Subscribers Tomorrow’s Child OnLine, the parent resource center provides you with many other free articles and video presentations on effective parenting and how to incorporate a Montessori way of life into your daily family routines. Hosted by the Foundation’s Parent Education Director, Lorna McGrath, there are many short video clips on critical issues of parenting. This added benefit is available to bulk subscribers and electronic subscribers.

Contact Information: Make checks payable to: The Montessori Foundation. Mail to: 19600 E. State Road 64, Bradenton, FL 34212. Fax: 941 745 3111. School’s needing invoices, please contact joycestgiermaine

The Foundation always strives to keep printing costs under control as well as conserve resources and, therefore, we no longer keep an inventory of back issues nor large quantities of the most current issue. We will always try and fulfill new standing bulk orders with the most currently released issue. If that isn’t possible, we’ll start your order with the next one in the cycle and pro-rate your order. ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •


Order Form Early Bird Standing Bulk Orders (SBO) for 2010/11 school year ❒ For USA Orders_____subscriptions X $13.50 US funds (when paid in full by May 31, 2010) TOTAL DUE______ Your SBO will start with the August/September 2010 issue. SBO’s are for schools with 50 or more families. Schools with fewer than 50 families need to call our main office at 800-6555843 for approval. Schools requesting a PO or located outside of the USA please call 800-6555843 or email for pricing information.

Individual Subscriptions: Print Version I would like an individual subscription starting with the most current issue. ❒ For USA Orders_____subscription X $30.00 per year, US funds ❒ For Outside USA Orders_____subscription X $45.00 per year, US funds TOTAL DUE_______ Individual Subscriptions: Electronic Version ❒ Yes, please send me the electronic version of Tomorrow’s Child magazine. I under-

Tomorrow’s Child ... Beginning in September 2010, Tomorrow’s Child will be published four times per year: September, November, January, and April.

stand I will need to provide a unique email address that will accept the notices announcing a new issue is ready to be read. For anywhere, worldwide _____subscription X $20.00 per, US funds TOTAL DUE_______

Special Combined Issue ... On Sale Now!!! Special Sale ... While Supplies Last!

Our special double issue that combines our two most popular publications: Montessori 101: What Every Montessori Parent Should Know and A Guided Tour of the Montessori Classroom. 72 pages with more than 200 pictures.

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The Montessori Foundation 19600 E State Road 64 • Bradenton, FL 34212-8921 Phone: 941-729-9565 • FAX: 941-745-3111 ©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine May 2010 •

Announcing 3 NEW titles for our popular parent education pamphlet series Why would you start your threeyear -old in school?

Ever wish for something to hand out at community events or open houses that easily explained or visually showed some aspect of Montessori that didn’t overwhelm the reader? Who better than the people who wrote the book, The Montessori Way, to introduce such a product! NINE Montessori pamphlets now available. Use the form below to order.

What can Montessori offer our infants & toddlers?

Montessori Nurtures Curiosity, Creativity & Imagination

The Importance of Montessori for the Kindergarten Year The Montessori Foundation

The Montessori Foundation © 2009

© 2009

The Montessori Foundation

The Montessori Foundation © 2009

© 2009

Each pamphlet bundle contains 50 of the same title and is incredibly affordable at $15 USD per bundle plus postage. The items are in stock and ready to ship. They may be purchased the following ways: 1. Through our online publication center located at the Foundation’s website: (go to ‘Publications,’ then to ‘bookstore’) 2. By calling Margot at 800 632 4121 (IMC school members receive a discount on this item and will need to call with credit card. Should your IMC school membership need to be renewed, we will do that at the same time.) 3. Use this order form and either mail or fax your order. Make checks payable to: The Montessori Foundation and mail to 19600 E State Road 64, Bradenton, FL 34212 USA. Fax number is 941 359 8166. Please select: USPS Flat Rate Priority or expedited courier service, such as FEDEX/UPS, which can be substantially more expensive (price is determined by weight and location by the courier). We will estimate this for you before charging out). Couriers cannot deliver to a PO BOX. 1. What is Montessori?

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2. Why would you start your three-year-old in school?

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3. Montessori Nurtures Curiosity, Creativity &Imagination

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7. Joyful Scholars: Montessori for the Elementary Years

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Tomorrow Child sample issue  
Tomorrow Child sample issue  

Tomorrow's Child is the journal published by the Montessori Foundation for parents of children attending Montessori schools. You can subscri...