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Author: robbieb

What I’ve been up to

It was great seeing so many dear friends in Houston at the Refresher Course. Many of you asked me what I had been up to lately and I couldn’t think of a thing. We had just flown in from Mexico and I guess my mind was blank. So here’s to catching you up!
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“Full Participation in Family Life” presented at Austin Montessori School 2/19/14

During these years I am taking great pleasure in giving presentations at parent gatherings for Austin Montessori School.  On February 19th I presented to a group of Children’s House parents of on one of my favorite
topics, “Full Participation in Family Life.”  Afterward I offered a variety of related handouts and enjoyed taking questions. Great fun! Read more »

Empowering Toddlers

Bully/victim syndrome prevention–just as we’ve been practicing at Austin Montessori School and presenting in workshops around the world!  Such an unnecessary relationship, one we create in our children and they then perpetuate as adults in the world.

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Donna presents at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia

Following a convivial hour of wine and a variety of cheeses and hummuses, Don and I enjoyed a fine meal in the lovely collegiality of Montessorians.   I enjoyed speaking to an enthusiastic gathering in the rotunda.

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Gateway Parenting

My response to the very controversial article linked to below:

It’s complicated. It depends entirely on the source within the adult for the limits and boundaries in the guidance of the child. Is the adult’s guidance coming from a wellspring of knowledge, love and joy or one of harsh authoritarian control?

What Wendy proposes would be carried out in a kind and firm, loving and clear, consistent and pleasant manner! And it would all add up to provide the child a secure life filled with meaning and a sense of purpose as well as a confidence in self and trust in others. The child would be experienced and feel capable. The child would know joy.

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Happy MLK Day!!!

To elevate the role of perseverance, nonviolence, reconciliation, quiet dignity and HUMILITY in struggles for social and economic justice and also in the success and the winning.

Read article on Slate

Donna presents in Lyon, France


The Prepared Elementary Environment for Self-Management and Real Work

A.  Philosophy of the Physical Environment

Why and how to prepare the environment to empower the children’s independence through its care and engage maximum effort in their chosen work

B.  Philosophy of the Temporal Environment

Why and how to arrange the flow of time to support the children in choosing purposeful work and meaningful activity in keeping with Montessori’s spontaneous activity in education

C.  Philosophy of the Dynamic Environment

Why and how to plan the detailed procedures with sequences of steps that support the children to fully engage and persevere in their chosen work

D.  Philosophy of the Social Environment

Why and how to establish a detailed social environment of Elementary Level Civility that helps the children relate to one another in a gracious manner, manage their relationships, and free their energy for real work

E.  Philosophy of the Emotional Environment

Why and how to prepare details for helping the children understand their own emotions and those of their community members, learn a process for resolving conflicts when they arise, and prevent them from interfering with the atmosphere of work


Preparation for another Great Year at Austin Montessori School

Here’s a glimpse you might enjoy of the summer world here at school.  Staff members returned the first of August from attending conferences, connecting through Montessori eStudy groups, reading books that support and enrich their work and otherwise immersing themselves in activities and efforts that further integrate last year’s experiences while leading minds, hearts and spirits toward the new school year.  Guides, leaders, and assistants, returned to their classrooms the first week of August and began the monumental annual task of converting mere rooms full of packed up materials into exquisitely prepared developmental learning environments for children, with the able assistance of a great support staff. Read more »

Commencement for Graduates of AMS

We’d like to share with you the message of our founder to our newest alumni of Austin Montessori School.

Dear Newest Alumni and Parents,

Don and I regret that we were unable to be present for your commencement ceremony. Here is the message I would have spoken to you that evening, from my heart to yours.

You are now alumni of Austin Montessori School and veterans of the Rome trip. You leave together and, even though you go your separate ways, be that sooner or later,you will remain bound by a deep common bond of shared experience. It will not be easy for you to explain to others whence you have come nor, therefore, whither you go — or more exactly — how you go and why. Read more »

Let’s turn off the news until the children are asleep

Dear Parents,

It is long been our school’s practice to provide advice for parents whenever we know that horrific violence will be at the center of news forecasts for a while. It is very gratifying to see how many advocates for children in our society as a whole have, over the years, become more and more sensitive to the needs of children in such times. This is true progress! We are happy to provide you two such examples below. Read more »

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