Totally Unique, Every Time
The Reggio Emilia Approach originated in the town of Reggio Emilia (Italy) after WWII, started by psychologist Loris Malaguzzi and parents from surrounding villages. Their motivation was to create a cooperative early childhood education experience for the local children. This is an inspired approach, not a method, as there are no books, original curriculum, or training for educators. It should never look the same in any two places because it is relationship-driven, custom-designed, and community-inspired. This approach focuses on learning during the preschool and primary school periods.
A Reggio-Inspired Homeschool will focus on the child’s interests (very similar to the Montessori and “Unschooling” methods). It encourages development of respect, responsibility, discovery, self-guided learning, and community building. Children learn from their own interests, how they relate to the world through interactions with others, and from the environment. Parents are there to support their children and help them get the resources they need to dig into their interests. Group work and experiences with others all participating in questions and finding their own answers is prominent. The parents are not the ones to disseminate information and knowledge. The children should acquire answers on their own through asking questions, investigating, and exploring. Learning is very sensorial in a Reggio-Inspired environment.
Like the Waldorf and Montessori methods, the learning environment should be designed with beauty and natural materials being the gold standard. The children’s work should be put on display and carefully documented. The children should not be limited in how they express themselves. They should be encouraged to use any form of media, materials, or design to communicate what they have learned. This is grounded in the belief that children should have no limits on the ways they express themselves.