"It's Harder Than It Looks"
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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2y ago
Christen Parker-Yarnal, Staff & Co-Founder July 6, 2022 As parents we sometimes hear, "Just let me do what I want!" There's often a valid frustration there for autonomy and agency that's also often in direct conflict with our agenda as parents for safety, expediency, or a hundred other factors. But, really, as parents, we do want our children to learn how to balance their own wants with the very real needs of their situation and/or those around them. How can they learn this? I often joke that I helped open a Sudbury model school in Miami because, even though I was providing a lot of ..read more
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Child Development Shortchanged by Schools?
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
It may be that you haven’t thought about child development in a while, especially if you have a child in school. So many new and expectant parents turn to What to Expect When You’re Expecting and other baby books, closely following the milestones of in-utero, infant, and toddler development, fascinated by the magic and often worried they’ll miss something important. It seems common, though, to close the books at least by the time the child turns five. Society tells us that around age 5 we must hand over our still-developing young human to a school system and expect they’ll mostly take over ..read more
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The Pandemics We Survived This Year
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
THE EXHAUSTING, THE BIZARRE, THE CHALLENGING, THE UNCERTAIN ​A YEAR WE WEATHERED TOGETHER - HOPEFULLY STILL AFLOAT A year ago... though perhaps you too have found time less measurable this past year. My time landmarks have felt out of place, my sense of direction distorted. Many of us may be reflecting around now on the unexpected nature of this past year. It’s been a year of many things, and while it’s more than any one of us could summarize, I believe it's worth unpacking together, as imperfectly as that process will be. While it’s of course so many different things to each of us, there’s ..read more
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Is your daughter thriving or just surviving in school?
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
Why parents of girls should take a hard look at school today and explore some more life-giving options. Most girl parents I know want their daughter to emulate Wonder Woman, dream big, and learn to stand up in the world on her own two feet. I come from a serious matriarchy of self-made women. Being surrounded by strong women my entire life, I’ve often wondered what it is that develops that strength. I’ve also kept an eye out for what debilitates or erodes the strength and potential in young women.  I’d like to offer observations as an educator, a parent, once a girl, and now a ..read more
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Race Justice & Resources
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
Dr. Ana Luszcynska, Chair of the English Department at Florida International University, wrote this letter to her Department and agreed to share it with our wider readership so we all may have more resources to assess and adjust our personal and societal awareness and priorities to end racism and oppression. This is an extremely difficult message to write, and I’ve taken some time to write it because I don’t want to put out yet another “statement” that doesn’t materialize in change. Please know that I do not claim absolute authority or omniscient perspective.  Like all of you, I am tryin ..read more
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What Is Curiosity?
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
WHAT IS CURIOSITY? AND WHY DOES UNDERSTANDING IT MATTER, IN GETTING OUR CHILDREN TO ‘LISTEN’? by Jilna Patel Jasani When our 4-year-old pushes our 11-month-old... When our 7-year-old forgets something for the tenth time…. When our 6-year-old hoards her toys... When our 8-year-old doesn't play fair… When our 3-year-old has a meltdown… When our 5-year-old lies about how much screen time he’s used... We find ourselves helpless in an emotional reaction of anger, frustration, irritation, sadness, victimhood, or shame.  So we turn to discipline to gain control. “Stop it, or you’re going into ..read more
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Can a book about how children learn Set their Parents Free?
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
When you think about your child's education do you feel relaxed and free or stressed and constrained? If the word "school" feels a bit stifling, perhaps this might throw open a door, or at least a window... A parent from our school suggested we start a book club - obviously a virtual one in this time of social distancing - and she suggested we start with the book Free to Learn by Dr. Peter Gray. If you’ve read other blog entries here, you’ve seen the title referenced frequently. Like many other educators and parents, it was a seminal work for me so I was delighted others ..read more
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What To Expect of Ourselves & Our Children - Especially In This Exceptional Time
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
The Best of Intentions in Unprecedented Times I had every intention of doing a lot of writing during this quarantine/isolation time - I thought at first it would be such an opportunity of time and space to reflect, refine, and to offer hopefully helpful thoughts and ideas. I thought maybe I would even publish two blog entries a week! Ha! That might have been the case were this just a kind of stay-cation, but it has been quite different for me, and I suspect for many others as well. ​ I’ve found that I’ve been exhausted, like I started a new job, or perhaps more like I squished two or thr ..read more
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Fear vs. caution for kids & Parents
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
Only very recently, while I was once again flipping through Children: The Challenge for support and inspiration, did I come across a small but powerful section on caution vs. fear. How had I missed this before? Perhaps I had been focused on more practical things at the time - like how to maintain my sanity with three energetic children.  As an adult, I’ve come to understand how many bits of my childhood came to loom large in my adulthood. I see with compassion how my (incredible) parents’ well-meaning worries became translated into big scary fears for me. Sometimes these fears that are ..read more
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How to stop playing referee and rescuer
Miami Sudbury School Blog
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3y ago
“Mo-om, he’s not sharing the goggles!” “I’m hun-gry!” "They're not being fa-ir!" ​ My friend and I are talking by the pool while our kids swim and play. It’s my friend time as much as theirs. Then comes that almost inevitable intrusion of a child whining for arbitration or seeking immediate gratification. They are looking for a parent to play referee and/or rescuer. These pleas are often quite effective in grabbing our attention and pulling us into these roles, and away from our own friend time. But they do more than just disturb our pool-side tranquility. Let’s look. I may initially say, “Y ..read more
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