We have been seeing a lot of buzz lately about an article NPR posted called How To Raise Brilliant Children, According to Science. We immediately noticed how similar Anya Kamentz‘s article was to the Reggio Emilia approach, which many of our families already use!
The Reggio Emilia approach is designed to help you inspire a love of learning in your child and engage their natural curiosity about the world around them. There’s no rote learning or memorization – or even handwriting practice, just total immersion into the subject with all of the senses. This method addresses the needs of the whole child and not only helps them develop interests and thinking skills, it encourages their social and collaboration skills, a natural sense of wonder, and creativity. For both the parent and the nanny applying Reggio techniques, watching a child discover new things, explore new concepts, gain emotional intelligence and make their own creative decisions is an amazing thing that can enhance your relationship and time together. It can also be key in raising brilliant children!
4 Ways to Incorporate the Reggio Emilia Approach into Your Life
Encourage Wonder and Curiosity
Kids love to ask questions – instead of simply giving an answer, joining the child in that curiosity encourages exploration and self development of an idea. Even simple queries like “why is the grass green?” can be used to help children explore. By acting as a mentor and guide, you can help your child fully examine a topic.
Why is the grass green? Instead of a scientific, final answer, a mentor in the Reggio Approach to education would prompt the child to come up with a reason – “Well – why do you think grass is green?” promotes thought and exploration. The mentor could explore the idea further and then work with the child to create a piece of art, write a book or even compose a song about the grass. By engaging the child in what they are curious about and allowing them to explore the idea fully, you can support the child-led learning that is the heart of the Reggio Approach.
Be A Reliable Mentor
Collaborate with your kids to explore and examine multiple points of view and to ask questions. In the Reggio Emilio classroom space, teachers may guide the group with questions and objects of interest; at home, you follow the Reggio inspired model to present new pieces of art, places to explore and things to do that are novel and new, then follow the child’s approach to exploration. By fostering learning and acting as a reliable mentor, not a gatekeeper of knowledge, you allow your child to truly explore and be curious.
Let the Child Take the Lead
Kids are more likely to engage with things they are interested in; follow their lead when it comes to subjects and discussion. Instead of forcing kids to stick with one rigid, rote, educator led curriculum, following their lead and exploring topics of interest can foster curiosity and engagement. If your child loves dinosaurs, trains or dogs, then offering experiences and materials in these subjects can help encourage further exploration.
Support Multiple Forms of Expression
Kids express themselves in a variety of ways; limiting that expression to verbal and written forms can limit their potential. In a Reggio school setting, kids learn to express ideas in a multitude of ways; from music and art to movement or written work. By using multiple mediums of expression, kids can fully embrace an idea and understand. Understanding that kids learn and express themselves in different ways and allowing your child access to tools, even messy ones, can help them enjoy the Reggio method at home.
While schools featuring the Reggio Emilia method can help immerse your child in wonder and exploration; taking simple steps at home can help you support this learning style and encourage your child’s natural curiosity. Simple shifts in your thinking and the way you answer questions, offer learning materials and work through ideas can greatly enhance the way your child learns and ensure they attain a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
To find out more about Adventure Nannies, get in touch!