Saturday, April 27, 2013


Hmm . . . how does that song go? . . . look for a silver lining and . . . . The young child sees the silver lining while the adult is looking for it. We can learn from the developing child by recognizing and understanding our differences. Adults can come to see the silver linings like the young child if they can uncritically watch the baby or little ones do their own work—not the work the adult is expecting them to do, or the work the adult is teaching them to do. Sometimes when I’m not looking for it, I see and experience joy and realize this is what the developing child sees most of the time.

But why does the child cry? That is where the work of the adult becomes essential—the work of changing the environment so the child’s happiness will continue. The adult’s work is to discover the cause of the distress and to collaborate with the child to restore their joy.

Maria Montessori discovered the secret of childhood over a century ago. She observed this eternal joy in the child and worked to encourage parents to see how the child sees. Through her studies and observations she created materials and a method for an environment for the developing child to know joy.

Please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. I’m blogging on my website:

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Ted and I are moving. We both felt a sense of knowingness when we stepped into our new environment but were hesitant to express it to each other. What if we couldn’t have this new environment for keeps? We kept our good feelings to ourselves, squashing our timely moment of joy, as most intelligent house-hunting individuals would do. This is the way of many adults. Their sense of knowingness is brief, like a flick of a bird in the morning’s light. Quickly the thought is clothed with learned lessons of experience. The adult has learned to be cautious with silver linings.

Not so with the young child, with the newborn. Their sense of knowingness is on-going without review. Like a rose bud becoming a flower—the learning is already perfected—the experience of joy is constant. Maria Montessori reminds us that, “The things the child sees and experiences are not just remembered—they form a part of his soul.”

For the budding child, eternity is not associated with time. Time is a learned measure created by the adult and later taught to the child. For the young child, eternity is an expression for what presently is—like a lost moment in prayer or meditation—perhaps like a Buddha in contemplation.

As best I can, because I want to learn more from the child, I’m trying to understand, as Maria Montessori understood, the connection and the differences of the work of the adult and of the child. I believe it is the responsibility of the adult rather than the child, to appreciate and collaborate their modes of work. Perhaps the silver linings of the adult and of the child can be joined to create a pathway to peace. Maria Montessori believed it so.

Please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. I’m blogging on my website:

Friday, April 12, 2013


What is resurrection like? I know there are many songs and poems that describe it. My favorite is: Morning has broken, like the first morning. What is meant by the first morning? The experience of the first morning is what the child enjoys every morning. The young child under three years of age remembers little of the mornings before.

A new day is dawning, like the first dew. Can we as adults imagine what that must be like—awakening every morning and not remembering the days before—having a clear mind to create a new day—forgiving and being forgiven for hurts caused previous days and—having a chance to create a new environment for loved ones?

That is what resurrection is like—what a young child experiences every morning: Joy. 

Please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. I’m blogging on my website:

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I’ve been pondering over the ideas in my last two blogs. Maria Montessori was the environment for the children because she knew the truth of life, just as many parents, especially mothers, and a few teachers, know the truth of their child’s life. They are born with the child as he emerges and develops in the surrounding environment, becoming one with it—conquering it, swallowing it like a starving animal, ravishing missed meals of many days.

Maria Montessori knew the child was hungry and had to be fed. She spent the rest of her life doing so. Like Mother Teresa, Maria Montessori knew and lived the truth of humanity: the work of the child becoming the adult, the work of the adult becoming one with the child. I pondered this thought several evenings this week, knowing I’m not there, still out of the loop when I’m with the little ones. My experiences as a Montessori teacher were egocentric, I’m sorry to say. I’m thankful my grandchildren are blessed with exceptional parents.

One Easter morning, for a short time, my thoughts were resurrected. I realized that my problem was my perspective. I have been looking through the window of the teacher, the view of the adult working on the other side of the glass knowing where I think the child should go, what the child should be, and how the child should behave, should develop, in order to get there. For a few seconds I wanted, prayed that I could be, could experience being the child on this side of the glass not knowing my future.

My imagination allowed me a brief Easter understanding.

Please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. I’m blogging on my website: