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The Power of an Early Start

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Live & Learn

By: Sam Shapiro   |  October 4, 2023

Not much matches the excitement of parenting young children. The small joys appear at breakfast and bedtime in ways that, if you’re paying attention, endure as some of the best, most gratifying moments in your life.

And the worries come, too. Some are the same ones our own parents felt – and others feel brand new.

As today’s parents, we find ourselves in the middle of an era rich with possibility and disruption. The world our children will inherit will be materially different from the one we were raised to navigate. We can all feel the landscape changing. It can feel exhilarating one moment and overwhelming the next.


The Research Is In


How best to advantage young children with the tools they’ll need to both navigate and shape this new world?

It turns out that the Montessori approach is a century-old solution to today’s challenges.

Research confirms that, compared to their peers in other environments, children learning in authentic Montessori schools develop:

At Marin Montessori, We Know…

As one of the first female physicians in Italy, Dr. Montessori excelled at solving problems using the power of observation. And what did she find in these children as she carefully watched them?

  • Each child is unique and driven by innate capabilities and curiosities.
  • Children naturally seek to understand the world and are motivated from within by an urge to belong and a pursuit of purpose and independence.
  • Children grow best in an environment that is prepared carefully and curated to engage, inspire, and empower learning.

Directed by the individual child’s natural development and the age group’s developmental tendencies, authentic Montessori education equips children with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to navigate the challenges of our rapidly changing world and lead effective and meaningful lives.

How Else Can Marin Montessori Help You?

The stakes for a child’s education are always high, but something is different now.

We all feel it. 

Enter Grounded and Soaring, a space where parents and educators meet to explore how we can raise healthy kids in a too-often unhealthy world.

This new site is a group project from the faculty and administrators of Marin Montessori School where we wade into the challenges and promises of parenting and educating in today’s world.

We hope the site helps parents and children in our community and beyond. We offer podcast episodes with experts, helpful parenting tips, and some pretty amazing student contributions.

In a dizzying time, we hope Grounded and Soaring offers some steady and useful help.

#MMS Magic

If you’re a parent seeking a school that helps children grow assured in an unsteady world, we want you to know that our child-centered programs inspire levels of concentration, intellectual curiosity, and independence that will prepare children to lead and learn in remarkable, enduring ways.

Learn more


As Head of School since 2015, Sam Shapiro is responsible for ensuring that Marin Montessori flourishes and that the School's mission is brought to life each and every day. Educated on both coasts, Sam received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, and his Master’s degree in the study of World Religions and Massachusetts secondary education teaching credential in Social Studies from Harvard University. Before coming to Marin Montessori, Sam studied and taught in Sumatra, Indonesia; Canberra, Australia; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Makawao, Hawaii. He spent fifteen years at the Athenian School in Danville, California where he served in a variety of roles, including teacher, dorm parent, dean, and admissions. 

Sam has served on the Board of Trustees at the Aurora School in Oakland, California, on the Family Council at Spirit Rock Center,  and currently serves as an interviewer for the Gate's Foundation's Gate's Scholarship program. Sam’s professional interests include mindfulness in education, curriculum design, and the neuroscience of learning. Sam lives in Marin with his wife and two teenage sons. In his free time he enjoys cycling, hiking, and camping, as well as cooking large meals with his family while listening to jazz.
More from this issue:

Championing Imagination in Our Children’s Lives and Our Own HERE >> 

From Homeless to Homeward Bound of Marin HERE >> 

How to Choose a Preschool: A Complete Guide HERE >> 

My Inner Anauraliac HERE >>

October is for ADHD! HERE >>

So Do You HERE >>

The Power of an Early Start HERE >>