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  1. #1

    Default Soon to Homeschool, Suggestion for Reggio Emilia Style Methods?

    Hi there. My 6-year-old was in Pre-K last year (mid-September birthday, missed Kinder cutoff by 11 days) and did very, very well in her class. Since she was the oldest, she was a little ahead of her classmates. Her teacher encouraged her to help others when she noticed they were struggling and Buttercup thrived in this environment. She loved school and DH and I were very happy with her progress.

    She started Kindergarten this year and it's like night and day. School is a nightmare, to say the least and she is suffering from anxiety issues along with exhibiting aggressive behavior on the playground that wasn't there before.

    One of the kind ladies over in the intro forum suggested I come here. I am wondering if any of you could suggest home school methods similar to that of Reggio Emilia, which is more of a child-led process. We are on a very tight budget, so we can't afford to purchase an expensive curriculum.

    Thanks, all.

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  3. #2

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    Welcome to the forum and to homeschooling!

    Isn't Reggio Emilia great? And here's the best thing about it - you don't need to buy a ton of stuff to do school that way because it's really about being in tune with your kids and meeting them where they are - following the projects they suggest and seize upon.

    You won't hear a ton of talk about Reggio Emilia in homeschool circles. I think in homeschool terms the buzzwords and methods that are likely to appeal to you are things like project-based learning, unit studies, and unschooling all of which have something in common with Reggio Emilia.

    What I would suggest is to start by deciding where you stand on the "3 R's" sort of learning. Kindergarten is a time of basic skills for kids. Sometimes the way to get those done is to have a curriculum (they don't have to be expensive). But some parents may feel confident covering that stuff in the course of everyday learning. Others may feel confident about letting all that stuff happen more naturally or just at a slower pace, more like unschoolers.

    For kindergarten, a basic skills program would include...
    * something for handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears is a popular program, but there are many others)
    * something for learning to read (there are million options here, but since you said cheap, I'll suggest Progressive Phonics, which is free, Reading Reflex which is very inexpensive and just a manual, and Spalding, which is an intensive program, but which isn't too expensive)
    * something for math (again, you said inexpensive so I'll suggest MEP, which is free, Miquon, which is inexpensive and really cool, or Singapore, which is not too expensive at this stage)

    Some other resources you might look into include...
    Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickart - a book about child-led projects, totally worth the read, probably right up your alley
    Free-Range Homeschooling by Laura Grace Wheldon - a book about eclectic homeschooling with a ton of resources and little inspiring tidbit stories

    You could also look into things that might help you strew materials that will spark projects. My understanding of the RE method in schools is that teachers have planned activities but are open to changing course as kids show interest in various projects. So you might look at Livingmath.net, which has all these great resources for living math books, science project books like 101 Great Science Experiments by Neil Ardley or Mudpies to Magnets or even the TOPS Lentil Science which is a project science curriculum for early elementary. Or you might look at Five in a Row, which is a project based curriculum that revolves around picture books for kindergarten. It's not too expensive, especially if you get the books from the library. In general, the library will be your best friend. I'd just keep getting lots of books from your library about a variety of subjects, go on lots of field trips, watch educational shows, and see what strikes her fancy.

    By the way, my kids also have late September birthdays. Our cutoff is the end of September, so they just met it. They're all the way in middle school now and it's *still* a crazy sort of quandry. I mean, kids with that cusp birthday... they're always going to be the oldest or youngest no matter what you do!
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  4. #3

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    Thanks! This information really helps. I will definitely look into the things you suggested.

  5. #4

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    Could you please recommend a Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum for 1 and 2 grade? I would like something complete, that covered most of the subjects. What would be your favorites? Budget is not very important.

    We did HS for K and it could be the option for the next year as well, given the current situation. We almost finished 1st grade phonics and reading during this year. My daughter is very good with languages. Math was moving well, I didnít really push it much. So she is probably up to her level now.
    Thank you!

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Soon to Homeschool, Suggestion for Reggio Emilia Style Methods?