For me, becoming a grandmother has opened a door to exploring childhood afresh. For the past several years, I have spent two days each week with my granddaughter. This has given me an unforeseen opportunity to learn again about the nature of young children, observed now with unhurried eyes and tempered by a deeply felt love and sense of belonging. Above all, the experience has stirred in me a profound admiration for the mostly unnoticed, but truly remarkable phenomenon we casually call early learning. It’s not merely the start of an education; it’s more like watching humanity itself unfolding, week by week, right in front of me.

Just before the pandemic lockdown, our second granddaughter was born. My ensuing period of separation from my daughter’s family only highlighted the riches of our weekly time together, and cast into even greater relief my new-found insights into the secret of childhood.

I started this blog to share my new learning, magnified by a long-polished Montessori lens. My understanding of childhood has always been rooted in Montessori pedagogy. Only now do I fully appreciate Maria Montessori’s epiphany: that a child is not really one of us, but a unique and miraculous being, who offers hope to mankind.

Barbara Isaacs