Practical Life // A Caedmon School Blog

No Such Thing as No Good at Math

Math education has changed immensely since the days when I was in elementary school in the 80s. We were taught to memorize the basic math rules and to use them to solve pages and pages of equations. It didn’t really seem to matter if we understood the concept or used multiple strategies to solve the problem, and we certainly were never asked to defend our positions or discuss our theories.
Fortunately for me, I was always an “A”… Read more »

The Power & Importance of Play

Some adults think of play as something unimportant and even trivial, but it is so important to the life and development of young children that play has often been called the “work” of childhood. Not only is play powerful on its own, but playing with your young child is a great way of teaching many valuable lessons and helping them grow as a person.
A little known fact: Research studies show that, on average, the more parents of pre-schoolers play with their children,… Read more »

Montessori at Home: Raising Independent Children

While you may think you’re being helpful by buckling your child’s shoes or pouring her a glass of milk, you may actually be doing her a disservice. By nature, children are abundantly curious about the world around them and have an inherent need to contribute. Even tasks as simple as hanging up a coat or washing a piece of fruit instill an invaluable sense of autonomy and confidence.
Maria Montessori believed that children learn best through active,… Read more »

Keeping the Calm: Secrets of the Montessori Teacher

When you walk into a Montessori classroom, the noise levels might surprise you. I’m often asked how it’s possible that a room full of three and four-year olds is so quiet and peaceful. In a classroom of 18 students you will probably find close to 18 different activities going on at once -and all with a happy hum.  Each child is doing what they need and want to do as they are led by their developmental growth…. Read more »

Get Your Child Talking About School

It’s the first few days of school, and as a parent, you very well may be itching to know how things are going, what’s being learned, and whether your child is happy. Often times, by merely asking How was school?, the responses you receive may leave you wanting to know more. Read on for tips on how to get your child talking:
Be specific
Asking specific questions can certainly go a long way toward getting the information you’re mining for…. Read more »

Summer: A Parent’s Survival Guide

Summer is finally here again, and with it comes longer days, warm weather, and a wealth of activities, festivals, concerts, and events. But a sudden change in routine, while exciting, can often feel a bit jarring to parents and children alike. To make sure your kids don’t feel too detached from routine,  we’ve created a survival guide to help keep children relaxed, entertained, inspired, and curious during all those dog days to come.
Set Expectations
From the onset,… Read more »

Benefit Season: What is it and Why it Matters

Like most parents in the independent school world, you may have noticed that benefit season has descended upon us with all of its glitz, glam, paddle-raising, raffle tickets, and more.
All across our city, schools are renting out beautiful event spaces and throwing glamorous parties to wine, dine, and celebrate their families, of course, but it’s also for one very big, often very important reason: to make a request.
Benefits often include a raffle and/or auction of highly-coveted items,… Read more »

Close Quarters: Creating a Maker Space in Your Home

In New York City, we’re no strangers to creative thinking, especially when it comes to maximizing space. Which is why when I recently found myself standing in front of a coveted walk-in closet at the Manhattan school where I teach, that I decided, after attending a number of design shops and tinker studios, to create an official school maker space.
Children are inherently curious and love to build and create, and maker spaces are like a modern day craft table,… Read more »

How to Make the Holiday Break More Meaningful and Less Stressful For the Whole Family

The winter holidays – Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s — are a magical time of year for children. While it’s certainly a festive season for all, this time of year can also be very stressful for parents – the shopping, dealing with extended family, travel, buying presents, and cooking. And the end result? Too many toys, material things, and food can sometimes leave us feeling let down when it’s all over.
Here are some tips on how to make the holiday season more meaningful for children and families and less hectic and stressful for parents:
Family Traditions and Time Spent Together
More emphasis on spending time with loved ones – time spent on family traditions and rituals–and less emphasis on the materialistic aspect of the holidays can go a long way toward a calmer,… Read more »

Why Board Games for Children Matter

A question that I am often asked is “Why games?”  Or, “What is the purpose of having 80 board games in your classroom?  For what purpose would you break these out?” My response? Practice, practice, practice.
Let me say that I have been a board game enthusiast my entire life.  I never “grew out” of games as children often do.  Today, I own well over 500 games (table top and electronic) and have enjoyed at least 500 more…. Read more »