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Old 04-21-2016, 05:11 AM
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Default In Home Reggio Daycare

Hi everyone! I am setting up and preparing to open an in home daycare. I am hoping to apply the Reggio Emilia principles, and have been researching ways to implement them within my program, but I cannot find much on how to set up/apply them to a mixed age home setting. Any input you guys can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:26 AM
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Welcome to the forum. We have lots of threads relating to Reggio Emilia: http://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=reggio+emilia

http://www.daycare.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=16
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Last edited by Michael; 04-21-2016 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:58 AM
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:26 AM
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Welcome.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:20 AM
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I taught in Reggio-inspired preschools for for 12 years before opening my Reggio-inspired fcc 10 years ago. There are definitely differences and challenges at home! Do you have specific questions? (I don't know where to start!) You can check out my facebook page for a peek at my program (though I save more in-depth documentation for a private blog for families, where I can share more personal information). Would love to chat with other Reggio-inspired providers.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:34 AM
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Welcome!

After years of teaching and inspired by my own daughter's prechool experience, I am launching a home-based Reggio Inspired Preschool program this summer so I am deep in the trenches and have been studying with some Reggio greats.

There is a Reggio Conference in Toronto this June you should come! http://reggioalliance.org/events/conferences/

Also look to see if there are in Reggio Inspired Centers in your area as some do offer workshops and it is a great way to build local connections with like minded educators.

What questions do you have? I am no expert but love chatting ECE and Reggio
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:28 PM
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Default Thank you!

Thank you guys for reaching out! I am just starting my journey, and only decided recently that I wanted to take a Reggio approach. My oldest son goes to an in home daycare and while he thrived as an infant, he started to have some behavior issues (hitting, having trouble sharing, etc.) as a toddler. When I had my second son 4 months ago, I decided I was going to stay home. I have spent the last few months researching how to get licensed, etc. and only stumbled upon the fact that there all these of schools of thought/practice in the preschool world. My focus with education has always been secondary school, so this world of littles is really opening my eyes! My 2.5 year old is high energy and full of life, so much so that sometimes he can be a little much. When I started reading about the Reggio approach it was like a lightbulb went off. This is what my son needs. And if it's what he needs, there are others that need it as well.

I hope you guys will be able to help me as I get started because, honestly, I am a little overwhelmed. My first questions are:

1. Where do I start? I just picked up Designs for Living and Learning, hoping to start with my space. How do you guys manage to have a studio and playroom in your living space? Any other recommendations for where to start in my reading?

2. How to let go. How do I allow children the freedom to use real materials (glass, scissors, paint) without my overbearing mommy self wanting to intercede. Also, how does that work with liability? And is that something that you find turns parents off when you are interviewing?

3. How do you manage this approach by yourself?

Thank you sits so much! I look forward to corresponding with new friends.

Shannon
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:25 PM
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What a gift to your son. :-)

I have only a minute, but will reply more later. For now,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soakleaf428 View Post
1. Where do I start? I just picked up Designs for Living and Learning, hoping to start with my space. How do you guys manage to have a studio and playroom in your living space? Any other recommendations for where to start in my reading?
A few of the great books I loved:
Authentic Childhood,
In the Spirit of the Studio (these 2 are about Reggio inspirations in America);
The Little Ones of Silent Movies,
Everything Has a Shadow Except Ants (these 2 are examples of documentation from Reggio of specific projects; the first is specific to toddlers);
Project-Based Homeschooling (written for homeschoolers by a Reggio-inspired teacher, this is a good example of how to bring Reggio into the home setting).

As for space, I live in an old house with very small rooms. I use my family room, kitchen, and one other room for child care. Deciding what to do with that one other room, I scrapped the idea of a playroom in favor of a studio space. Best decision ever. You can play anywhere, and don't need much. Here are some photos of my space when I started.

My daughter's calling; will finish later!
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:56 PM
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Soakleaf428 Soakleaf428 is offline
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Default What about outdoor space

Thank you for the beautiful pictures. That helps so much! What about your outdoor space? Do you have a garden? Climbers? Toys? Do you bring inside outside?
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Soakleaf428 View Post
Thank you for the beautiful pictures. That helps so much! What about your outdoor space? Do you have a garden? Climbers? Toys? Do you bring inside outside?
You're welcome. I have some outdoor pictures on this site, too, here and here.
I have deep shade in most of my yard, so we don't have a veggie garden. I do have flower beds and a sad little herb garden (the kids love it, because they can pick and eat.) I have chickens and lots of trees and the saddest "lawn" you ever saw--eroded dirt. The mud kitchen is their favorite place to play. I also have some logs for climbing on and a ring of logs for sitting around the fire pit. We have a shed w/lots of choices in it: trikes and bikes, an art cart, sleds, water toys, shovels, basic dress-ups like scarves and hats, binoculars, balls, etc. I do bring indoor stuff outside frequently (usually books or art supplies), but when we are outdoors, my main goal for them is to get immersed in nature, so bringing stuff out is not a major focus for us. Same with climbers; to me, it's a distraction from what I'd really like them to be doing. (Though we do have a slide someone donated, propped on a log b/c I'm not sure it's staying.) There's lots more photos on my facebook page.
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soakleaf428 View Post
2. How to let go. How do I allow children the freedom to use real materials (glass, scissors, paint) without my overbearing mommy self wanting to intercede. Also, how does that work with liability? And is that something that you find turns parents off when you are interviewing?
The more you trust children with beautiful materials, and the more you observe them using them when given that trust and belief in their competence, the more you will see just how competent they are.

Kids who use breakable materials regularly know how to treat them so they don't break. Kids who are allowed to take risks know what they are capable of. Those who've been bubble-wrapped their whole lives don't. When you see a kid throwing a cup, it's a kid who's only ever used plastic. Or a kid who's unsafe on climbing structures or up a tree has been held into positions they're not ready for and hovered over. Those who've been trusted to be safe and smart usually are. Yes, the kids break a dish now and then (but so do I--probably more.) And they know to freeze and stay safe while I pick it up.

I've had no issues with liability or with parents. The parents who would see it as a problem are not really the parents I would want in my program anyway. Those who come in and love the beauty and are excited for their children to use real materials are the ones I want.

Start small, and see how it goes. Think about ways to help kids be successful. For example, the cup thing. My kids use real glasses. It works because I've chosen glasses that fit their hands and are sturdy (small juice glasses from the thrift store). I look for those that are heavier or wider on the bottom, so they won't be too tippy. And we eat sitting at the table--there's no cups of water being carried around the house, as people sometimes get into when they use sippy cups. When kids are new I do lots of gentle reminders about moving their glasses to the center of the table so they won't get knocked off by an elbow. I believe that the resulting more-beautiful, more-adult table setting encourages more responsible behavior and a calmer environment.

You can also try things that scare you less but have a similar effect. For example, take toys out of their packaging and display them instead in wooden bowls or baskets or some other beautiful (but unbreakable) way. You'll probably be inspired to make other changes.

There's some great visual inspiration on An Everyday Story blog. (She's got a Montessori background, as you can see by lots of her activities/set ups, but a lot of Reggio inspiration as well).

Also, when "overbearing mommy self" wants to intercede, give yourself an extra minute, and ask yourself "why?" Are they really in danger? Will it really be horrible if they spill it and have to clean it up? Why can't they paint their body? Etc. You can often catch yourself before you react.
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:16 PM
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3. How do you manage this approach by yourself?
That's the hardest part, because so much of what makes Reggio great is collaboration between teachers! I moved from a co-teacher model in classrooms to home, and really had to rethink a LOT of things.

I decided that as much as I love Reggio-inspired classrooms, I love home as well. I really value kids being in a home, and don't want to turn it into school. So many changes I have made reflect that.

For example, we never have a "meeting" time. We have lunch and snack. We talk over plans and projects and ideas at the table, as a family would.

I also find that I am far less able to sit down with the kids for long focused project work time, because inevitably, I have to cook something or change a diaper or break up a disagreement between some of the kids or something (which in the classroom, my co-teacher would have done if I were engaged in project work). So I had to let go of the idea that we'd get tons done each day, and allow things to take longer. Which is fine, because really, those things are valuable learning opportunities, too.

And I document differently. In the classroom I had tons of wall space and shelf space and the ability to leave lots of projects-in-the-works out for weeks on end. At home, I want my house to look like my home. So I do more blog documentation, and making books for the kids (rather than wall displays), etc.

The book I recommended above, Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert, would be quite helpful here, I think.

I also sometimes talk over projects with a former co-teacher (and she talks over hers with me). There's a Reggio / Waldorf / Forest Kindergarten / Granola / Natural - Learning Methods forum here, and I'd love to share stories/brainstorm/think through projects with like-minded educators there!
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