Family Enrichment Opportunities
Montessori School offers a number of on-going Family Enrichment
classes to assist in bringing ourselves toward more mindful
living with our children. The closer the relationship we
form, the better we can serve our children. The more
complementary home and school life are, the more the child will
Family Enrichment classes at
Austin Montessori School are offered on an ongoing basis
throughout your child's time at our school. We invite all
families in our community and the Austin community to attend any
family enrichment courses.
Montessori School in Austin, Texas, in 1967. She directed the
school and taught there for thirty-four years. Donna has stepped
back from the day to day operations of the school in order to
write and present. She is looked to as a resource. Educators,
professors, and students from all over the world have studied
Austin Montessori School’s continuum of service to families of
children from 16 months through 16 years to learn more about the
philosophy of Montessori education and the particular school
culture. Donna has received her Montessori Elementary diploma
from the Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani in
Bergamo, Italy, and her Assistants to Infancy diploma from The
Montessori Institute of Denver, Colorado. She is a founding
member of Educateurs sans Frontiers, a select group of 26
Montessorians from more than a dozen countries dedicated to
applying Montessori principles beyond the school walls. She has
been published in several well known educational journals and
has spoken at conferences throughout both North America and the
rest of the world. Donna and her husband, Don, are the parents
of seven children and grandparents of sixteen, all of whom have
spent countless years in Montessori schools.
All Topics/Presentations offered by Donna Bryant
Cheatin', and Stealin': Why We Don't Even Think About Own
Children's Behavior in Those Terms
Nor do we ever use such words to describe other
children’s behavior as they grow and learn and adapt to the
codes and customs, the values and principles we hold dear in
adult society. So how do we think, what do we say, and how
do we guide our children’s attachment to the truth, their
honoring of the rules, and their respect for the possessions
and Taking Turns: How, Why, and at What Age
The developmental task of a child under six is to be wholly
absorbed in activities of individual self-construction.
Authentic sharing and taking turns is a point of arrival
that comes from the core of the heart, mind, and spirit of
the child of six years of age. How can we foster the deep
security and self-esteem required in the child under six for
authentic sharing and taking turns to emerge? How can we
avoid demands that a child share and take turns that early
that we elicit a hollow imitation?
Bullies and Victims: Eliminating Those Destructive Roles and
Temperaments and personalities, and therefore behaviors and
relationships, vary dramatically from child to child. How
can we bully-proof and victim-proof our children? How can we
enlighten our thinking and structure our responses to their
behaviors and relationships so that we eliminate the roles
of victim and bully? How can we build a family and a
community that refuses to cast children in roles or to
define their behavior and relationships destructively?
About: Where and for How Long
How do we give mindful attention to the extent of a
particular child’s ability to benefit from, tolerate, or
endure outings? How do we select or eliminate outings and
distinguish whether they are for the child’s development,
the adults’ enjoyment, or of unavoidable necessity? How do
our own adult self-discipline, impulse control, and delay of
gratification serve as the model for that of the child?
Manners: Grace and Courtesy at Home
How do we
support the child to say please, thank you,
and sorry in a way appropriate to his age? How do we
help the child come to a natural expression of heartfelt
Detailed Acknowledgement Instead of Praise
How do our adult pride, empty praise, and constant comments
keep us from a deeper relationship with our children? How
can we express authentic admiration, helpful reflection, and
honest feedback to our children? How can we give a
descriptive response, specific acknowledgment, and detailed
Life: Crowding Out the Three Screens
How can we fill a child’s life with experiences that
generate self-sufficiency, contentment, resourcefulness, and
a rich inner life? How do the three screens interfere with
the child’s maximum satisfaction in life and contribute to
discontent, cynicism, and depression?
and Peace: Supporting Variety in Temperament and Learning
Styles and Rates
How can we prevent others from seeing our child in terms of
disabilities in behavior or learning and assigning her
labels? How can we see a child in terms of strengths and
interpret a child’s particular attributes in terms of
talents? How can we translate a child’s characteristic
behaviors and learning styles and rates into a way of
thinking and speaking that are worthy of her truest self?
Reading: What’s the Process at Austin Montessori School
Why does writing precedes reading and support its
spontaneous emergence? How can we help see that the drive to
express bursts forth into writing? How do we feed the
senses, the intelligence, and the imagination to bring forth
and Limits: Can’t Have One Without the Other
How can we set limits and circumscribe boundaries to support
authentic freedom? How does freedom differ from license? How
can responsibility to others provide the limit of personal
freedom? How do control of impulses, delay of gratification,
and self-discipline promote healthy freedom?
of Activity: Protecting the Child’s Drive to Learn
What is a cycle of activity? How do we recognize and protect
its vitality? How does it support the development of long
and deep concentration? How does concentration produce the
authentic traits of childhood?
Effort and Independence: Helping Children Grow a Strong,
Flexible, and Resilient Sense of Self
Why do independence and maximum effort give the child
authentic self-esteem? How do we arrange for experiences of
independence and maximum effort for the child? How do we
show respect for the child’s need to struggle?
Participation in Family Life: Meeting the Child’s Need for
Power and Influence
How do we provide authentic experiences of community life to
the child?How do we arrange for a child to contribute to the
welfare of the family in ways that are meaningful? How can
we include the child in big decisions in ways that are
significant, genuine, and relevant, and yet still
Play: Children’s Need for Active and Dynamic Adventure
How can we provide the excitement and tension needed by
children in the First Plane while keeping them grounded in
concrete reality? How can we provide for the need for
excitement and adventure of Second Plane children without
immersing them in the Myth of Inevitable Violence and
the Culture of War? How can we free the fresh
intelligence and powerful imagination of the child to
envision a better way to work through intractable problems?
How can we prevent the quicksand of the past from swallowing
our future? How do the cynicism and fatalism of violence
lead to hopelessness and depression?
Intrinsic Motivation: Valuing Process over Product
How can we live with our child in such a way that she can
value her own journey and honor her own path? How can we
assist the child to reach for her own highest achievement
without distracting her with extrinsic rewards? How can we
show our respect for our child’s own standard of individual
excellence? How can we free our child to satisfy her deepest
longings so that she will find satisfaction in life?
Seasons of a Child's Year: Keeping the Holidays Rooted in
the Good Earth
How can we develop our own ways of celebrating, ways that
reflect who we are as a family, not who the mass media or
the commercial interest tell us to be? How can we help our
family form an attachment to symbols and ceremonies that
celebrate our own family values?
Books: From Concrete to Abstract; External Life to Symbolic
What is the importance of concrete, real-life stories for
the child in the First Plane of Development? When is the
foundation of external reality complete so that the burning
questions of who, what, when, and where become the
urgent questions of when, where, why and
how? How do the abstract and symbolic elements satisfy
the hungry intelligence and abstract mind of the child in
the Second Plane of Development?
Relationships in the Classroom:
How can we give our children the most and best support
for the natural and independent development of relationships
at school, be they with adults or other children? How can we
empower our children to be able to see and bring out the
best in others while keeping themselves safe?
Culture Clash: All
How can we be real with and for our children while
modeling respect and tolerance for others? How does our
saying no, cheerfully and firmly, and meaning it
prepare and strengthen our children for doing the same as
adolescents? How does our integrity in living out our own
values and standing firm in our own family culture prepare
our children for staying safe and healthy during
the Child Replace Whining, Wailing, and Begging with
Why do our children whine, wail, and beg? How do we
unwittingly provoke and promote the very forms of expression
we wish to prevent? What’s our role in helping our children
present their point of view, express strong emotion, and
make fervent requests in a more pleasant civilized manner?
and Again: From Birth Through Maturity
How can we protect our children from pop-culture values,
images, and customs that exploit their natural emotions,
distorting them and translating them into teen scene
versions of the real thing? How can we support the authentic
and healthy aching of life as it transmutates over the ages
and stages of development in its journey of being,
belonging, and becoming?
Children and the Subjects of Death and Dying
How do we support our children when they contemplate death
and dying, when they are confronted with suffering and pain?
Which information and how much is just right? When and in
what manner do we offer it to our children?
Daddies, and Babies: Variety in Family Life
How does new life come upon the earth among the plants, the
animals, and humans? How much information, when, and in what
detail do our children need? Why do we give the basics first
and the variations next, as determined by the particular
of the Child How do we answer our children’s questions
about the Realities and Truths beyond concrete experience?
How do we support our children’s intuitive experiences of
Mystery and the Mystical?
What You See”® (SWYS)
Presented by Language of Listening® and hosted by Austin
SAY WHAT YOU SEE® Basics opens your eyes to a deeper kind of
listening that begins with your eyes and ends with your heart.
It is a simple 3-part approach you can use like a map to guide
children to their greatness (even if it is hidden) and to
embrace the full possibilities of life. But like any map, you
have to start from where the child is. Saying what you see puts
you right where the child is…in the physical world of the here
and now! When you join their world, children naturally want to
cooperate, seek positive solutions to problems, and live happily
www.languageoflistening.com for more information.
Gwen Logan, Parent Infant Educator, offers support for
families, infants and the youngest child (age 0-3).
Support services include:
Individual parent consultation
First trimester series
Family Enrichment classes
Introduction to Montessori Parenting
Please contact Gwen Logan
for more information.