Category: at home

Exploring Moss Gardens as a Play Space: Part One

Moss gardens bring nature inside. They offer children opportunities for imaginative play, experimentation, and hands on exploration of the world of plants. We started by collecting moss and a mossy log in the forest. Then we placed a layer of soil on a boot tray and added the pieces of moss. At this point my eight year old helper took…

An Accidental Discovery that Sparks Curiosity and Turbocharges Learning

    Does photosynthesis work the same in underwater plants as land plants?  This perceptive query about photosynthesis asked in a fifth grade botany class led to one of those moments when curiosity electrified our classroom. When I admitted I didn’t know the answer yet, my students gave me an assignment. “Will you find out and tell us?” By fourth…

You Don’t Have to Look to Finland to See How Freedom in Teaching Leads to Engagement in Learning

A Gift of Wonder, my book  about my six year journey as a new teacher with my first class at The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is now available. The book is centered in classroom experience in a school where teachers stay with the same group of children for up to eight years. A Gift of Wonder reveals a secret…

The Core of Good Parenting is the Fun Stuff

A TEACHER’S ADVICE TO PARENTS IN ONE SHORT LIST According to studies and  parents themselves, parenting can make you tired, overwhelmed and anxious. And no wonder. The parent zone includes marinara drizzled onto your new beige carpet, more hours in the car than in your bed and entire mountain ranges of laundry. Plus you are responsible for the health and…

A Climate Solution You Will Think is Magic, But It’s Not

Look at an oak tree and ask yourself, “where did the stuff of that tree come from?” Imagine an acorn in your hand and think about it growing by sending roots into the  earth and shooting stems, branches and leaves toward the sky. Imagine this little tree growing bigger and taller until it is 72 feet tall, about the height…

Toddlers Blooming in the Garden Revisited

The frozen earth is a fertile zone for the gardener’s active mind. Seed catalogs, plot plans, old planting records and books about organic pest control and landscape design are the tools of dreamers who see beyond the white blanket hiding last year’s garden stubble and the remaining leeks. If you are a parent or a gardening teacher, chances are your…

Five Reasons to Think Twice Before Praising Your Child and Five Ideas for What to Do Instead

(photo:You want your child to be free, to be led by his or her own inner self) A mom at the playground this morning called excitedly to her child. “Good job!” I couldn’t see her because I was working inside a greenhouse next to the twisty orange plastic slide. Thirty seconds later, I heard it again, “Good job!” and again…