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Insights from the Intersection of Childhood and Education

Friday, September 4, 2015

Are We at Home or at School?


Preschool begins next week and the classrooms are all set up. In keeping with the preschool's Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy, the classrooms feel like home rather than like school. 




This could be a family's credenza showcasing family photos, but in fact it graces the corner of the Lime Room, displaying photos of each child and his or her family. Familiar settings like this feel welcoming to a child who steps into preschool for the first time. 





Carefully decorated corners with fluffy pillows and plush rugs invite sitting around and reading, or as in this corner, listening to stories or jamming to a happy tune.


 



Natural materials are abundant--plants, wood, wicker, cork, stones.



Even the hallway sports purple leaves in glowing vases.





House corners and tables set with table cloths, sets and "crystal" invite celebrations.





This is, however, still a school, even if a most welcome one. Educational material is set up for children to explore, such as this display case on bees that sits alongside a shelf with manipulatives like wood blocks.




The Jewish High Holidays are around the corner, and the preschool classrooms incorporate Judaic elements as well--apples for Rosh Hashanah welcome students to the Purple Room. And the Blue Room kids might just be learning about bees as honey is so abundant for Rosh Hashanah!