26 July 2012

It's okay to repeat

I purposefully put the boys in 2 different preschools as 3- and 4-year-olds. 

The first year, I send them to a co-op program where they swam in endless pools of paint and glitter.  There was a ceaseless well of novel projects and grand experiences like visits from camels, donkeys, and elephants and snow days and daily snacks that were more like feasts.  More is more on that campus.

The second year, I send them to a program that adheres to Reggio Emilia principles.  At first glance, the school seems barer--fewer toys, less activity.  But the truth is, there is so much more going on behind the scenes.  The students are encouraged to express themselves through their environment, to work cooperatively with their peers and their teachers, and to explore their own interests in a productive and sustained manner.  The students all feel that they are genuinely loved and respected so they, of course, flourish.

I really, really enjoy myself at the first school, but the second school taught me so many things.  One of them was to trust that children will find their way and that learning and discovery would emerge with the slightest bit of guidance on my part.  Even though I am, myself, a "more is more" kind of mom, I have allowed myself to let go a little.  Things like repeating a project are now okay for me.  So here are the boys, yet again engaged (really, truly engaged!) in some vinegar/baking soda play:

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