With schools closed and many parents working from home, continued education at-home can be difficult. Parents want their children to continue learning, but they need time to continue their work as well. Instead of turning to the TV or tablet, there are other things that can be done to keep kids occupied, curious and learning.
For children in our program, virtual learning just won’t cut it and here’s why. The Reggio Emilia approach is based on the principles of respect, responsibility and community through exploration, discovery and play. Our philosophy is based on the following set of principles:
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning
- Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, and observing
- Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that they must be allowed to explore
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves
While it may be difficult right now to allow kids to have relationships with other children, the rest of the principles still stand. There are ways to achieve these at home while allowing yourselves time to work, rest and play.
Provide hands-on learning environments inside your home. Give your child the opportunity to explore both natural and man-made materials (blocks, twigs, rice, sand, etc.). Or let them find amazing things for themselves! Head outside and let them explore nature, allowing them the freedom and creativity of finding materials with many different uses. Ask them to build something and sit back and watch the magic happen! (Or go back to work while they build something amazing to show you once they’re done!)
Communication is a key component of the Reggio Emilia approach. Listen to your child and have meaningful conversations. Ask questions that require them to answer in sentences, allowing them to express themselves. Give them the chance to feel heard!
Children guide their own learning, so give your child assigned tasks like setting the table or taking care of the family pet. Not only will this take something off your plate, but children learn through “doing” and it will allow them to feel a part of something greater than themselves.
If you’re looking for Reggio Emelia inspired activities for your child while they’re at home, look no further than the worldwide web. The internet is a treasure trove of creative and amazing ideas just waiting to be explored. Here are just a few.