Maren Stark Schmidt

Maren Stark Schmidt

Maren Schmidt is a certified Montessori teacher with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and holds a Masters in Education from Loyola College in Maryland, as well as a BA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications. Maren founded a Montessori school and has over thirty years experience working with children.

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    “We don’t do that at our house!”

    “But Sammy’s mother lets them eat ice cream for breakfast.” One of our parenting and teaching challenges is to explain the rules, not only in our own homes and classrooms, but in those places where we have no control. As our children’s friends and relatives visit our homes, we’ll hear the phrase, more than once, […]

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    Do what you say and say what you do

    “Throw rocks into the pool one more time and we’re leaving the party,” Jonathan’s parents told him. It was a surprise party for his grandparents’ anniversary. When Jonathan threw in the next handful of pebbles, nothing happened. Empty threats. It is an easy trap to fall into. We think if we mention the possible consequences […]

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    Bottling the whine

    Nothing can wear you down as quickly as a whining child. You may think you are patient, kind-hearted, understanding and virtuous beyond vocabulary. Five minutes with a whining child can make all those golden qualities evaporate. And let us not forget whiny adults. Whining isn’t just a youngster’s activity.  Whining works. Which is why it […]

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    When nuthin’ goes right for nobody

    Ever have those frazzled times with the kids? And spouse? Where everyone seems irritable? Where each family member appears to be a nemesis to each other’s happiness? Ever have a day, a week, or more, where “nuthin’ went right for nobody?” Sometimes when our family is in a tizzy and a funk, a solution seems […]

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    Understanding a child’s sense of order

    Three-year-old Abby, was the perfect cheerful morning pre-school student with never a tear or a fret. Until the end of April. All week at dismissal she had begun to cry as soon as I opened the car door. Her mother was greeted with big sobs and screams of “You don’t love me.” Her mom was […]

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    Allowing opportunities for purposeful movement

    A kid’s got to move. Observing a few minutes at a playground will attest to that. You don’t see children sitting around if they have the chance to run, jump, climb, or skip. Children are in a sensitive period of development for movement from birth to about age five-and-a-half. Around age four-and-a-half, children have a […]

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    What social style is your child?

    In ancient Greece Hippocrates defined four personality types: sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic. These were based on body fluids, or humors. Today we simply use questionnaires such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, MBTI, to define sixteen basic personality types. In Nurture by Nature, Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger explain the sixteen basic Myers-Briggs types and how […]

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    In parenting, the end depends on the beginning

    Finis origina pendet.  The end depends on the beginning. – From the movie, The Emperor’s Club A favorite book is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. One habit that I encourage parents to develop is “Begin with the end in mind”. What kind of person do you want your child to […]

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    Ten little words could change the world

    As soon as my southern drawl is detected, I am usually greeted with something like, “Aren’t you from the South? Southerners are so polite.” Folks from all over the world marvel at our use of “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir”. My imagination is not large enough to consider growing up and not saying “yes, ma’am”. […]

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    The Missing Element

    In his book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Ken Robinson, Ph.D. tells us that we each need to find that place where the things we love to do intersect with the things we know how to do well. Robinson calls this place of intersecting talent and passion “the Element.” Each person needs […]

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