Welcome to my site! My name is Kate Flynn and here you will find musings on some of the things I most like to think about. This is where I write about my opinions on children and parenting gleaned from many years of working with children.
My interest in children and babies started early – when I was four and my mother gave birth to my brother Paulie. He lived on my right hip until I could put him on the back of my bike. By age 12 I had a neighborhood preschool summer camp called Katie’s Kiddie Korner. Throughout high school in St. Louis, Missouri, I worked at a private daycare, then Kinder Care and then at Amber Ridge School for developmentally disabled children and adults. I put myself through college at the U of MO Columbia by going to class part-time in the mornings and working afternoons at Walnut Creek Preschool.
I always knew I wanted to study education and started college that way but was immediately bored, unchallenged and very disappointed. I just knew I couldn’t take these mind and soul crushingly boring classes for four years so decided to study the subject that my school, the University of Missouri, was famous for – Journalism!
After college, I spent six exciting years editing a magazine and then working in public relations first for The Conservancy, Inc. before becoming School Community Relations Director for Collier County Public Schools in Florida. I sat on the board of then Florida Governor Betty Castor’s parent initiative and invited her to visit our district to launch a program of parent involvement. I also brought the teacher recognition/award program, The Golden Apple, which I had become familiar with in Chicago, to Naples, Florida. We started a foundation and raised more than $1 million in our first year. I was interviewing for the same job in Miami, Florida when I felt a deep yearning for something more. As much as I loved this job, I felt something was missing.
Children! They are my calling. They are my life’s work. It couldn’t be denied.
I trained in Denver Colorado as a birth to three Montessori teacher and then opened my own Montessori school in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. I continued training and working in other infant related areas. I became a doula, Bradley childbirth instructor, and facilitator of Rudolf Dreikur’s Active Parenting program. I also studied Infant Development at Erikson Institute, one of just two post graduate child development institutions in the country. Their philosophy is based on Eric Erikson’s model of child development, a play-based learning curriculum.
When I had my own children, I was unable to enroll them in the local Montessori school (siblings had first dibs) so we drove them more than one hour to the suburbs for two years before deciding (how do you spell relief?) to homeschooled them which lasted until they were in 4th and 6th grade. I was a founding member of what is now a large homeschool co-op in Chicago and there I taught Montessori math, science and geography. Along the way I took additional international Montessori trainings in St. Louis (3-6) and Milwaukee (6-12) and also the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori based Christian curriculum.
I regularly attend conferences, workshops, trainings and courses. In 2012, I completed the Resources for Educarers (rie.org) Foundations Course in Los Angeles. While my son attended a Waldorf school I participated in a Rudolf Steiner study group there.
In my life separate from thinking, reading, studying and researching about children and parenting, I like to be with my own two children and my husband Scott. I also LOVE to read, play Euchre, satisfy my curiosity, walk, bicycle, do Pilates, visit the rural Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky) dance, travel, work on my family tree, my home and my garden.