Sophia just turned four when we were in the kitchen together and she wanted something (alas I don’t
remember what but I hope that won’t ruin the story for you!) that I didn’t want to give her. She was
crying and upset and I was about to do and feel the same.
Then I remembered what Joyce, her Montessori guide, told me: “If you ever have a situation where
you don’t know what to do with Sophia, call me.”
I told Sophia, “I love you and I want to do the right thing in this situation and I don’t know what that is
because I’ve never had a four-year-old ask for something like that before. Your guide Joyce said I could
call her and ask for her advice. Would you like that?”
Suddenly Sophia became calm. She quietly said, “Yes” - and I made the call.
Fortunately, Joyce was available and willing to talk. Sophia listened to the entire discussion, which took
a full 20 minutes. When it was over, I synthesized the conversation and Joyce’s recommendations on
what to do next. I told her I thought Joyce’s suggestions were good. I asked Sophia if that was alright
with her, too, and she said, “Yes” and we gave each other a hug.
I was already sold on Montessori but after this incident I was an advocate. What could have been a no-
win angry fight between a four-year-old and a clueless parent turned into a shared, loving moment.
Today, Sophia – and Olivia, John, and myself – fondly remember and often laugh at my transition from
a clueless parent to one who respects and promotes his children’s full potential and continually strives
to improve the language and behavior to do so.
Imagine if all parents were as fortunate as myself, being able to call on someone like Joyce. Imagine if
all parents knew about the power of Montessori and had a vetted set of resources they could
implement in the home even if their children did not attend a Montessori school or have a Joyce to
That’s why I started Rising Stars Foundation: To bring Montessori into the home, every home, so that
parents and children both reach their full potential in their lives.
I welcome your support and encouragement as we embark on this journey together.