Too Busy? How to Improve Your Relationship With Time

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Jan 15, 2019 10:21:23 AM

Let’s admit it: most of us have a bad relationship with time.  

That’s what I told the junior class during a recent discussion. We never have enough of it. It moves too fast or too slow. The weekend races by, but that meeting we don’t want to be in creeps along at an agonizing pace.

Changing our relationship with time is key to living the rich, meaningful life. Instead of time constantly driving us, we can take small steps to reclaim the steering wheel. And that means we have to make time for some reflection.

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Why I Want to be a "Good Enough" Parent

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Jan 8, 2019 1:59:07 PM

Over the winter break, illness ran through my house. It really took a toll on my ambitious make-the-holidays-magical-for-the-kids to-do list. No decorating sugar cookies or wrapping up homemade caramels in wax paper squares, no sending out cards or visiting Santa Claus.  

Christmas Eve dinner consisted of a pot of spaghetti that a friend lovingly delivered when she heard of my woes.  Rather than gathering around the piano for caroling, my kids danced around the kitchen to the Chipmunk Christmas Album. In our homebound state, my daughter spent hours making homemade presents while I caught up on laundry.

And it was magically, mercifully good enough.

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Why Your Brain Loves Exercise: A Guide for Parents and Students

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Dec 5, 2018 11:50:54 AM

In Habits of Mind -- a weekly class for all middle school students -- we explore how the brain works and how they can use that knowledge to become stronger students.

There are two foundational health habits that are necessary for optimal brain functioning: sleep and exercise. Without these, we compromise our brain’s ability to focus, attend, memorize, analyze, synthesize, persevere, and make sound decisions.

I recently wrote about the power of sleep for the Washington Post -- you can read it here. This week, we turned our attention to exercise.

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What Teens Need from Parents

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Nov 27, 2018 9:43:03 AM

The teenage years are marked by paradoxes. Even as teens’ cognitive and problem-solving capacities are expanding, many adolescents experience declines in academic performance, coupled with an increase in behavioral and mental health concerns. Research shows that parental involvement helps stave off these negative trends — but it also reveals that parents’ school-related involvement drops during these years as teens seek greater independence. To add to the challenge, parents may find that strategies that worked in elementary school are no longer effective.

Into this mix comes a recent study of middle and high school students that highlights ways that parents can effectively adapt their involvement to meet the changing needs of adolescents. Teens and parents are on a “paired journey,” marked by shifting family dynamics. The key for parents? Engage teens in a way that honors their autonomy while also providing structure and support.

“The good news is that youth still want their parents to be involved,” says Harvard University Professor Nancy Hill, one of the study’s co-authors. 

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Veterans Day: More Than a Day Off

Posted by Maevis Fahey '21 on Nov 12, 2018 4:47:29 PM

Editor's Note: Montrose 10th grader Maevis Fahey, president of our Soldier Support Club, offers this reflection about the Veterans Day holiday.

When you hear the words “day off,” the first things that come to mind are probably relief, sleep, and time to push off all of your usual Monday morning obligations. A day off is a perfect time to take a break from any stress you may have and relax.

But this Monday is not one of those days. School is cancelled this Monday because yesterday was November 11, 2018. This marks one hundred years since the end of World War I. Every year since, the United States has recognized November 11 as a day of gratitude for all American veterans.

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The Power of a Family Story

Posted by Dr. Karen Bohlin on Nov 5, 2018 9:11:45 AM

My siblings have been telling Grandma Bohlin stories since I was a child. “Did you know she drove from New Jersey to Boston to see Grandpa in his Drum Corps Performance?” one story began. “When she hit Commonwealth Avenue, she followed the trolley tracks underground right into the station!”

Grandma Bohlin was a youthful 62 when she died of a heart attack. I never had a chance to meet her, yet I have heard so much about the days surrounding her passing that I feel like I was there.

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The Capstone Project: Montrose Seniors Engage the World

Posted by Katie Elrod on Oct 22, 2018 2:52:10 PM

Editor's Note: Associate Head of School Katie Elrod is the force behind Senior Capstone -- a dual-credit class that serves as a culmination of a student's Montrose experience. Seniors choose a pressing contemporary issue, analyze it from a philosophical, theological, and historical perspective, develop a 15-page paper, and offer a formal presentation that identifies potential solutions. In this post, Ms. Elrod shares more about what makes this program distinctive.

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What a Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Can Teach Us About Intellectual Humility

Posted by Anneka Ignatius '18 on Oct 10, 2018 2:25:13 PM

Editor's note: In spring of 2018, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Dr. Rainer Weiss visited Montrose and spoke to students. Senior Anneka Ignatius '18 introduced him, highlighting the intellectual virtues that propelled his success. Here is a copy of her remarks.

To complete the work of Albert Einstein demands tenacity and patience. Dr. Rainer Weiss possesses plenty of both.

In Capstone class, the seniors first learned of Dr. Weiss as an example of a modern-day individual who embraces theoria, or knowing for the sake of knowing. 

Co-recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics and Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Weiss led a team that detected gravitational waves for the first time. Associate Head of School, Mrs. Elrod, invited Dr. Weiss to speak this year because he exemplifies the Aristotelian desire to know.

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What It Means to Build a Life Compass

Posted by Dr. Karen Bohlin & Deborah Farmer Kris on Oct 4, 2018 1:43:18 PM

In our beautiful, diverse, and often tumultuous world, there is remarkable consensus about the strengths of character we admire in others and strive to develop in ourselves.

  • We value habits of mind that allow us to pursue professional and academic excellence -- including tenacity, thoroughness, creativity, and intellectual honesty and humility.
  • We embrace habits of heart that strengthen our friendships, family relationships, and communities  -- including empathy, compassion, respect, and gratitude.
  • And we honor habits of character that allow us to face challenges and embrace opportunities -- including courage, temperance, responsibility, and integrity.

So how do we develop these strengths?

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Bounce Back: Learning How to Build Resilience

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Sep 26, 2018 9:50:59 AM

Resilience increases our capacity to thrive in any situation; resilient people keep challenges and setbacks in perspective, have strategies for navigating difficult emotions, and have the strength to bounce back and take another step forward. According to research out of Harvard's Center for the Developing Child, "The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult."  Within this context of support, here are a few ways adults can help kids and teens develop resilience. 

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Practical wisdom for today's parents and educators.


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