The Learning Circle
Here are some of our favorite resources - works that have informed our practice both as a parents and teachers. When using these, or any other resources, we encourage you to:
Listen to your intuition and take what feels right.
Challenge yourself with new ideas once in a while.
Revisit the tried-and-true techniques.
Merge the internal wisdom of your situation with the knowledge and ideas of "experts" to craft your best, personalized approach.
Positive Discipline Creating Respectful Relationships in Homes and Schools says it all. Jane Nelson's webpage and book provide very specific examples, down to suggested wording to use in conversations with children. Learning Circle teachers had the pleasure of squeezing into the back of an overcrowded workshop at the American Montessori Conference years ago to listen to Jane Nelson talk about her positive, not punitive, techniques for parents and teachers to employ. It was worth every hot, claustrophobic minute to hear her in person!
Commonsense Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing age-based review and suggestions to guide the choices parents make when allowing their children to consume videos, movies, and television. Many well-intentioned parents underestimate the power of fast-paced, intense, often violent, imagery combined with snarky or impolite language disguised as humor to negatively impact their children. Parents can read summaries of specific movies or shows, or search for ideas of good choices by age.
Raising the Spirited Child and the insight of Mary Sheedy Kurcinka helped numerous parents in our community lovingly and calmly adapt to their intense child. Her work has been well-received by parents at Learning Circle, who find her respectful of parents' wisdom while weaving in helpful ways to re-frame challenging behaviors.
Read Aloud Handbook. Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook is the perfect gift for new parents and a must-read for the rest of us. Jim Trelease's home page provides many of the basics covered in the book, including why reading aloud is so valuable, how to chose good books and lists of best-read alouds for different ages and stages.
Hold Onto Your Kids: The Power to Parent by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, remains one of our favorite books for parenting and for teaching. Their emphasis on honoring and strengthening a positive bond between a child and her important adults, including parents and teachers, makes so much sense to us as teachers of young children. The site has some free resources and the book, available to borrow from Learning Circle, offers effective strategies for teachers and parents of children of all ages.
Parents share what they think makes Montessori education special and how Montessori can make a difference in your child's life.
All Kinds of Learners
Temple Grandin talks about different ways of learning, thinking, and seeing the world in this American Montessori Society Video.