When enrolling your child at a preschool that follows the Reggio Emilia model, they will experience a form of education that is catered entirely to their interests and needs. Learning in this environment utilizes a variety of materials, such as clay, paint, and dramatic play along with partaking in individual and group projects.
When your child is set to attend a Reggio-inspired preschool, there are some important words you should be aware of to help you understand the learning approach.
Documentation: Whether through a project or a series of drawings, your child is encouraged to document everything they learn. This is a great way to showcase your child’s progress, as well as seeing how they interpret the information presented to them.
Co-construction: Reggio-inspired schools actively encourage children to work together to increase their learning. Co-construction opens the door for active communication and collaboration between students and teachers.
Portfolios: Teachers will collect your child’s work over the course of the year to put together a portfolio. This will showcase all of their work in the school year and is a great way to keep all of their artwork in a neat collection.
If you are looking for a way to engage in a creative activity with your child that falls in line with the Reggio Emilia model, mixing colors is always a fun time. Through mixing colors to create new ones, your child will learn which blend best and which ones will end up as a murky brown or green. Watching what each color combination turns into can be exciting for your child and an excellent way for them to learn outside of the classroom.
Having your child create their own colors allows them to have a variety of unique shades for all of their arts and crafts projects. Whether they are painting before bedtime or working on a particular project, they will have a variety of their own personal colors to use and express their vision with.
How to Set Up
- Find some small, clear craft containers or empty jars to store your new colors in.
- Lay out your existing colors in shallow containers, such as baking pans so that they can be easily dipped into with spoons or Popsicle sticks.
- If you do not already own one, purchase a color wheel and some different color swatches to help teach your child about different shades and how to mix them to create the color they want.
- Lay down some newspaper to protect your floors and furniture and start mixing!
The Reggio Emilia model was developed to provide a unique approach to early childhood learning and education. First originating in Reggio Emilia, Italy, this way of teaching has been adopted throughout schools all over the United States. Typically applied to preschools and early childhood settings, the basic principles of Reggio Emilia can be implemented in the home as well. If you are interested in learning more about this approach to early childhood education, the fundamental principles are as follows:
- Children can construct their learning. Children are driven primarily by their interests and utilizing these, we can help them understand and know even more in a way that is catered specifically to each individual.
- Children learn their place in the world through interactions. The Reggio Emilia model focuses heavily on social collaboration, encouraging children to work in groups and develop knowledge through communicating with others.
- A child’s environment is also their teacher. A child learns just as much from the environment they are in as they do from their parents and teachers. Providing a creative, nurturing environment for a child to play and learn will only increase the amount of knowledge they take in.
- The adult is their guide. The Reggio Emilia approach is very much child-led, and it is up to the adults in their lives to help guide them towards a path of learning and creativity.
- Document your child’s thoughts. Children are inspired to make their ideas visible in many different ways, from taking photographs to writing to painting. The Reggio model puts great focus on documenting these thought progressions as your child learns.
- Children have many languages. Children utilize many different ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings and to express themselves. The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on encouraging children to explore all of these various aspects and learn how to communicate not only through speech but art and play as well.
The Reggio Emilia approach is an alternative way to teaching a wide age range of children from infants to six years old. By adding teaching and structure to a child’s adventurous activities, they will be learning about things that interest them in ways that most benefit their personalities.
Below are examples of how your child will thrive with the Reggio Emilia Model at Bartram Academy:
- Self-Expression- Art is the best way for children to express themselves. We use art as a learning tool for linguistic, cognitive, and social development. We believe in letting your child’s imagination run wild in order to allow their truest form of self-expression to come forth.
- Team Work- The teachers and students work together as a team at Bartram Academy. We want to ensure your child is learning by working together in an environment where children help the teachers and the teachers help the children.
- Experience- Children learn through their own experiences, which is why their environment plays a huge part in their learning. Our staff at Bartram Academy works with your child to ensure they are experiencing education in the best possible way for their interests.
Prepare your child for success by starting them off in a great learning environment filled with self-expression and team work. They will be able to explore and learn at their own rate. Discover more about our play-based approach to learning by calling Bartram Academy today at (904) 419-7563.
A love of learning isn’t something kids are simply born with or without. While some may be genetically predisposed to be curious and seek out new learning experiences, what’s more important is the environment in which a child is introduced to learning. Get your children away from the desks and lectures and let them flourish in active, engaging environments that will make them lovers of learning for life.
Enroll in a Reggio Emilia School
The Reggio Emilia model has proven effective at giving children — from infants to four-year-olds — a head start in life compared to their traditionally schooled peers. At Bartram Academy, our teachers are considered collaborators or “co-learners” alongside of our students. We guide the children to learn through activities they decide to explore themselves, and we work one-on-one to adjust the curriculum to each individual.
Encourage Engagement in the Arts
At Bartram Academy, you’ll see children painting, creating, building, and crafting throughout the day. An interest in the arts develops a child’s creative mind, but can also make learning analytical skills less cumbersome and more natural for them. For example, a child can learn about gravity while building when the blocks come down at their touch.
Teach Tactile Learning
When students learn through touching and moving, they experience a more tactile form of learning than their peers stuck at desks. Tactile learning makes remembering easier and allows students to see concepts in action.
Schedule a tour of Bartram Academy or contact us for more information today. We encourage you to start the admissions process for your child as early in life as possible — although it’s certainly not too late if your toddler or preschooler has already attended another school or daycare before. The best head start can make all the difference when it comes to teaching your child a love of learning.
P.S. Check out our shout out in Diaries of a Working Mommy’s blog!