Thursday, October 23, 2008

I use mostly a montessori-curriculum but

there are many things that I love about other methods - I love the nature study from Charlotte Mason, the history studies from Classical, the natural, wood, and rhythm of Waldorf, and the art and projects from Reggio Emilia. I recently devoted a whole bookshelf to art supplies in the classroom, and the children are free to pick from it during work time. We also have an easel for painting, and a chalkboard.

One of the ideas in the Reggio Emilia philosophy is that children have one hundred languages, most of them that are not written and spoken in the traditional way, but in more of an artistic way, that they use to express themselves and to learn things. Here is part of a poem by Loris Malaguzzi, one of the main proponents of the Reggio Emilia philosophy in the 20th century.

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred
always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling
of loving
a hundred joys
or singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

— Loris Malaguzzi

The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit

I know that sometimes it may seem like the children are bringing home endless amounts of art. But it isn't just bits of paper and glue. It is also a record of how they are learning and acquiring knowledge.
-Mrs. F

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