MPA Blog

Mindset, Motivation and Montessori

If you're like most people, your childhood was full of ups and downs.  Some of those experiences weighed pretty heavily on us, to say the least. And now, here we are, hoping to help the next generation avoid those same travails.  What lessons from our own failings can we pass on?

The first thing that 21st century social scientists might point out is that "failure" is not really possible....

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Moms and Dads and Montessori

In the last four years, Montessori Private Academy's enrollment has grown from 148 children to 189.  At the same time, general enrollment in the Rockford region, both public and private, has stayed static or declined.  In fact, over that four year period, our school is one of only two private schools in the region that has seen a rise in enrollment.  What's caused such a jump?  The moms and...

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Are Gifted Children More Affected by Screen Violence?

Violence seems to be everywhere, whether in the news or in video games and television.  It's become so commonplace that we expect to see it in every movie trailer.  Screen violence has been known to affect both adults and children, with the effects on children lasting for longer periods of time.  And what about gifted children?  Is being "smarter" helpful in warding off the effects of real or...

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Building Great Leaders the Montessori Way

What type of person makes a great leader?  A typical checklist would include: a good listener, a hard worker, a collaborator, a facilitator, a self-starter,  perhaps even a visionary.  Are these individuals born with leadership oozing out of their pores, or are they made?   

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the two founders of Google, attributed their entrepreneurial ability to their time as...

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Helping Teens Build Relationships--The Teacher's Role

In these days of lightning fast re-tweets and layers of bullying all around us, parents often wonder how they can help prepare their children for the "real" world.  Of particular concern are teenagers, who are incredibly sensitive beings, going through similar changes they went through as preschoolers, only now in larger bodies.  And while adolescents have far greater intellectual...

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Want Your Children to Read More?  Warning:  Don't Ask Them!

Some parents would love to see their children read more for pleasure.  After all, children who read on their own, outside of school mandated assignments, have been shown to perform better in school and are more successful financially.  So, who wouldn't want their children reading more?

With this worthy parental desire have come all kinds of dangling carrots aimed at enticing children to read....

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Why Do Children Need Movement in School?

Many of us remember school as being tied to a desk, watching the clock, desperate to move our bodies.  Perhaps you thought the coursework was the problem, that it simply wasn't interesting.  Was that really the issue, or did it have more to do with how limited your movement and interactions were with that class' content?

With the groundswell of support for public and charter Montessori schools...

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Helping to Build Executive Function in Young Children

What exactly is executive function, and why is it important?  Under the label of strong executive function we find abilities such as attention to detail, time management, multi-tasking and switching focus, planning and organization, remembering details, and learning from our experiences.  Children who lack executive function have a much more difficult time in school, as well as in the...

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Bilingualism in Young Children

There are many advantages of bilingualism: cultural awareness, convenience, job opportunities, just to name a few. However, we don’t often think about the cognitive benefits of a second language.

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Helping Elementary Children Succeed in Mathematics

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to talk with Montessori alumni who have come back to visit. Often I will ask about their proficiency in mathematics, as it’s become quite commonplace for me to hear, “Yes, math was always easy for me, even when I was no longer in a Montessori classroom.”

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