Some information about us . . .

We are a group of parents who have decided to do what we can to inform and interconnect people like us — parents, expectant parents, and anyone interested in the wellbeing of children. Like parents everywhere, we care about our children and want what's best for them. And since, in today's world, wanting what's best for them can mean a good amount of investigation into what "best" really is, we've decided to undertake some of the necessary investigation in a systematic way and share the results. We also want to do everything we can to bring together others who feel deeply about their children. It takes some encouragement from others to keep focused on children's deeper interests at a time when the world is rushing along without paying them the kind of attention they deserve.

We are investigating the opportunities for helping children explore their potential. We are also probing the dangers standing in their way. And, whenever we can, we want to create opportunities for children and families as well as just talk about them.

Our first step in helping create opportunities has been getting together to create a Charter School for children from ages six to fifteen in our home town of Ukiah, California (which is located in a beautiful valley about 100 miles due north of San Francisco). Approved by our local school district and the State, our Tree of Life School opened on September 5th, 2000. It employs Dr. Maria Montessori's wonderful and well-proven methods, which have succeeded in locales as different as the slums of Rome and the suburbs of Silicon Valley. And it has the added element of our intention to learn and grow as human beings along with our children — not getting so involved with passing on what we know that we miss what our kids' fresh look at the world has to teach all of us.

Montessori education, including the pre-school years that are the real beginning of self-directed learning, is one of the things we'll be describing in some detail as one of the major opportunities for helping our kids explore their potential. It is built on such understanding and respect for children's innate desire to learn, and has been so successful at helping develop confident, capable, and compassionate adults that we think it deserves to be even more popular than it already is.

Dangers also preoccupy us. There are many health issues out there, especially environmental ones, that need better understanding and far better action, and, in the face of the imminent failure of many antibiotics, we are much preoccupied with positive things we all can do to bolster our children's immune systems.

We hope you will bear with us while we put this all together and expand it. And we invite you to e-mail us at taimilder@yahoo.com and let us know your feelings and suggestions.

From the Beginning index