The Genius of Home by Catherine Read, Ph.D.

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the number of parents choosing to teach their children at home rather than sending them to school. Many parents find that public schools cannot offer their children the individualized support they need, and private schools can be an intense expense. 

In The Genius of Home (Bell Pond Books, November 2021, 978-1952166099, original trade paperback), Dr. Catherine Read describes her experiences following her decision to school her children at home and to follow the curriculum used in Steiner-Waldorf schools. Read is a pioneer of this method, among the first ever to document her journey and her success. To some, using the Waldorf curriculum at home may be a contradiction, but The Genius of Home provides both an informative base for why this method works, as well as instructional guides for those considering homeschooling. 

Catherine Read shares her journey as the primary teacher of her two daughters through the entire Waldorf curriculum – from early childhood through high school. She outlines what she did, when she did it and why. In this inspiring account, Read reveals the flexible, artistic, challenging and ultimately rewarding nature of this unique approach to education. There are many approaches to homeschooling, but Read and her children found their success through the guidance and insight of Rudolph Steiner using the Waldorf method. Both of Read’s daughters have gone on to pursue higher education, with one graduating in veterinary medicine at Cornell and the other receiving her Master’s in Art Therapy at Long Island University. With Read’s book as a guide, parents can help prepare their children for further education in a thoughtful, balanced way. She emphasizes a balance between observation and critical thought, sleep schedules and biological rhythms, and between intellectual work and time in nature.

“To educate means to draw forth (Latin, educare: to lead, to bring up); the teacher must draw forth, but, also, must meet the new individual at their own level. But what does the teacher draw forth from the child?”

The Genius of Home, by Catherine Read, includes detailed instructions on classroom materials and setup, sample lesson plans, curriculum adaptations, and day-by-day examples of how the author adopted the Steiner-Waldorf curriculum into her home. Explore how rhythm, creativity, and nature come together to give a comprehensive education from kindergarten to high school graduation. Part memoir and part how-to, the account from Read’s years as both a parent and teacher will be an encouraging and instructional companion to anyone thinking of engaging in their own school-at-home.


Leonardo’s Science Workshop by Heidi Olinger




Invent, Create, and Make STEAM Projects Like a Genius 

Leonardo da Vinci was a jack of all trades. He loved to learn, and, as a result, left behind a legacy of contributions to both the arts and sciences. Inspired by his versatility, LEONARDO’S SCIENCE WORKSHOP (Quarto Publishing, January 2019, Original Trade Paperback, 978-1-63159-524-0, $29.99) by Heidi Olinger offers a fun-filled assortment of exciting science experiments that stimulate the minds of students, parents and teachers alike.

This book proudly champions all things STEAM—science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics—while simultaneously incorporating elements of design.

As the founder of Pretty Brainy, a nonprofit organization focused on STEAM service learning, Olinger boldly proves that there is no boundary between practicality and creativity.

What’s important is that Leonardo did not think of art as separate from science or science as separate from engineering. His investigations as scientist and engineer strengthened his art because he understood anatomy, physics, nature, and geometry.”

Covering topics like physics, molecules, gravity, graphic design, and even recycling, LEONARDO’S SCIENCE WORKSHOP provides approachable explanations coupled with step-by-step experiment instructions anyone can perform at home or in the classroom. Whether you’re learning the logistics behind a bird in flight or designing wearable plastic fabrics, readers are guaranteed to glean a lesson in science and originality.


Heidi Olinger is a writer and founder of Pretty Brainy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates STEAM service learning to inspire and prepare girls to innovate, problem-solve, and lead in the 21st century. Heidi has taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she focused on experimental pedagogy and practices that prioritized students and their learning. She currently lives in Colorado with her rescue dog, Patches. Visit her at or

Learning 4 Purpose International Study


Learning 4 Purpose“Purpose is a way for individuals to link their present and their future.  First, purpose helps them envision their future in a particular way—how their contributions matter in the bigger picture of society.  Second, purpose keeps that future vision in mind when individuals make decisions in their daily lives.”                                         —Dr. Seana Moran, Clark University


Researchers Find Having a Sense of Purpose toward a Prosocial Aim
Is a Beacon for Today’s Youth to Influence Others Positively

January 30, 2017, Worcester, Massachusetts …Results of a three-year study on how young people develop a life purpose will be released by Dr. Seana Moran, Research Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at Clark University, who led a multinational team of collaborators at nine universities in six countries: China, South Korea, Brazil, Finland, Spain, and the United States. The research was funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation[1], and the goal was to explore how life purpose is defined by youth and supported through education and community engagement.

The U.S. sample came from a large public university, a small private liberal arts university, and a technical university.  In addition to finding out how other countries and cultures think about life purpose, Dr. Moran’s collaboration found positive links between students having a sense of purpose and feeling good about serving the community, and between helping others and strengthening one’s sense of purpose. Students with life purposes specifically aimed to benefit others indicated stronger intentions and engagement in helping behaviors. Engaging their purposes was associated with stronger self-efficacy to make positive effects on others, which tended to manifest a stronger sense that they were important to the people in their lives.

Other considerations from the study include:

  • In most of the countries, having a strong sense of purpose is associated with a low searching for a purpose, and having a purpose tended to more strongly influence motivation to help others. But in South Korea, students tended to have both a strong sense of having a purpose and searching for a purpose, and searching for purpose tended to have a stronger influence on helping others.
  • Purpose isn’t something a young person “gets” or “obtains.” It is something they practice, and it is a long-term pursuit.
  • Youth without clear purpose can be more easily swayed by external forces–like flash mobs, propaganda, or empty promises—because they don’t have an internal “compass” to direct their attention and actions toward meaningful pursuits.
  • Students coming into a service-learning experience may already have life purposes in motion, and professors have the opportunity to incorporate that energy into student enjoyment for learning and making contributions to society.

For more information or to speak with Dr. Seana Moran, contact: Claire McKinney at or 908-955-7563.

# # #

[1] This study was made possible in part through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to Clark University. The opinions expressed in this study are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funder.

Achieving the Dream by Dr. Carol A. Leary

achieving-the-dream-cover-hi-resFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Amazon: Achieving the Dream: A How-To Guide for Adult Women Seeking a College Degree

“As an educator for more than 45 years—33 of those at women’s colleges—I have witnessed the incredible spirit and tenacity of adult women as they embark upon and continue their higher education journeys.” —Carol A. Leary, Ph.D.

There are over 76 million women in this country without a college degree. According to the 2015 “Status of Women in the States” report published by the Women’s Institute for Policy Research, only 29.7% of adult women aged 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree. Even more compelling, significant gaps in degree attainment among racial and ethnic groups are a stark reminder of inequalities that remain in accessing and completing a college education: only 21.6% of African-American women and 15.5% of Hispanic women have earned their bachelor’s degree.

Dr. Carol A. Leary, President of Bay Path University with 40-plus years of experience in higher education, most of them at women’s colleges, is a first-generation college student herself and has a personal and professional commitment to dramatically improve these statistics. Bay Path, a women’s institution, is one of the fastest growing baccalaureate colleges in the United States according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2014, under Leary’s leadership, The American Women’s College at Bay Path University, the first all-women, all-online baccalaureate program in the nation was launched. Dr. Leary’s experience and her passion for women’s education led her to write ACHIEVING THE DREAM: A How-to Guide for Adult Women Seeking a College Degree (White River Press; September 15, 2016; $22). The book is an enlightening, step-by-step guide that coaches and inspires women to successfully navigate the higher education system.

According to Dr. Leary, “There is so much cynicism about the value of higher education. We hear it all the time. Yet the real issue is the cost of not going to college or not completing a college degree.”

She states that more attention must be paid to the direct correlation between a woman’s level of education and her overall quality of life. Women with a college degree are far likelier to have financial security for themselves and their families, earning on average between 500,000 and over 1 million dollars more than those with a high school diploma alone. Their health outcomes are stronger; their children have a higher likelihood of going to college.

Despite these compelling reasons to earn a degree, Dr. Leary acknowledges that the prospect of starting college or returning to higher education as an adult can feel daunting. Women who never began a degree program or who never finished college, because of any number of life reasons, may lack the confidence to move forward. Challenges such as finances, time, and educational support are seemingly insurmountable. Adding to these obstacles, adult women often find that the traditional model of higher education at most colleges doesn’t address their unique needs. Limited information on where or how to begin is yet another impediment.

In ACHIEVING THE DREAM, Dr. Leary tackles these issues, presenting a clear and compelling case for not only why a woman should earn a college degree, but how to enroll in college and successfully complete a degree. Each chapter of the book includes a step-by-step guide addressing such topics as:

  • Why you need a college education
  • How to apply to college
  • What is financial aid and how to get it
  • How to choose a career path
  • How to find the right college
  • What to expect when taking your first course
  • How to develop relationships with faculty and others who will give you the support you need

Each chapter includes resources, websites, and all the information needed to get started and successfully attain a degree. Personal anecdotes of adult women graduates conclude every chapter, offering motivation and inspiration for the reader. ACHIEVING THE DREAM is an essential tool for any woman who wants to earn her degree. As Dr. Paul LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University, says in his endorsement of the book, “whether 18 or 80…this is a must-read.”

A How-to Guide for Adult Women Seeking a College Degree
By Carol A. Leary, Ph.D.
White River Press
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-88704324-3
Original Trade Paperback
Price: $22.00
310 pp

# # #

The Power of Ideals by William Damon and Anne Colby

The Power of IdealsCase Summary: Stanford Professor publishing via Oxford University Press.

Goal: Promote Bill Damon, his ideas, and the book to communities in major urban areas at distinguished venues.

Result Examples: Booked Bill Damon to speak at the Commonwealth Club (SF), 92nd Street Y (NYC), Harvard Book Store (Boston), and Politics and Prose (D.C.).

“Psychology presently studies superficial morality and deep morality. Superficial morality can be found in the quick, unreflective moral intuitions that we have. Deep morality is the reflective choices we make that involve honesty, faith, humility and ideals. Damon and Colby is the GO TO book for deep morality.”

—Martin Seligman, Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

“Anne Colby and Bill Damon have written a very important, lucid, and intelligent book that represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of moral development. The Power of Ideals illuminates in fresh ways how a meaningful life develops…The appeal of this book should be to all who devote their lives to the moral, civic, spiritual or intellectual growth of young people.” —George E. Vaillant MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Prominent recent scientific studies of morality, widely covered in the mass media, claim to show that human moral choice is driven either by base biological responses or by situational factors beyond an individual’s control. These claims have led to a cynical and dispiriting cultural view of our moral potential. In this so-called “new science” view, people are seen as intrinsically selfish, hypocritical, and ruthless. Such an understanding of morality removes from the equation age-old concepts such as agency, conscience, virtue, and ideals. It seems to justify doing whatever it takes to get ahead, no matter how many others are trampled along the way.

William Damon and Anne Colby, two scholars at Stanford University and authors of many critically acclaimed books, present a more positive and hopeful view of moral choice in a new work, THE POWER OF IDEALS: The Real Story of Moral Choice (Oxford University Press; May 1, 2015; $29.95; Hardcover). The book provides new findings about the power of the human moral sense, based on a more authentic method of research, and firmly counters the conclusions of the “new science” of moral psychology that has swept our culture. .

In THE POWER OF IDEALS, Damon and Colby thoroughly examine the full range of available research and theory on moral choice, including their own previous groundbreaking studies. They present a comprehensive and compelling new theory that takes account of new science claims but also includes capacities that enable even ordinary people to act on noble ideals and make principled moral choices. Then, using their pioneering research method of “exemplar methodology,” Damon and Colby analyze the cases of six influential 20th century leaders whose lives demonstrated exceptional moral commitment. The six leaders are Jane Addams; Eleanor Roosevelt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Abraham Heschel, Dag Hammarskjold, and Nelson Mandela. By examining the lives of these six people and the contributions they made, Damon and Colby bring to life their view that people at crucial times can and do make active, conscience-based choices that powerfully influence events in their lives and even the world beyond. Damon and Colby show how people develop this capacity by cultivating essential virtues such as truthfulness, humility, and faith in ideals beyond their own self-interest.

THE POWER OF IDEALS also makes clear that virtue, commitment and moral aspiration are not limited to powerful world leaders. Ordinary people have the capacity to grow morally, realizing their potential for lives of generosity, integrity, meaning, and genuine human connection. This book provides an unparalleled source that educators, families, and institutional leaders can use to support the development of a more positive morality, that vast realm of social actions, intentions, emotions, judgments aimed at providing benefits (and preventing damage) to people, society, and the world beyond the self.”

THE POWER OF IDEALS is the most important and hopeful look at contemporary moral psychology on the scene today. It provides a needed push back against the cynicism and passivity that threaten our contemporary world.

Learn more about Anne Colby here, or about William Damon here:

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Claire McKinney at or 908-955-7563.

The Real Story of Moral Choice
by William Damon and Anne Colby
Oxford University Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
ISBN: 9780199357741
Price: $29.95
240 pages