At Nest, I have a curriculum that is inspired by aspects of both the Reggio Emilia and Montessori philosophies of child development. Reggio Emilia is a philosophy that emerged from the collective work of a group of schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Montessori philosophy is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori that focuses on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s psychological, physical, and social development. Also, some Montessori activities are meant to build practical skills for everyday life.
Here is an example of a weekly lesson plan that I have used: Sample Lesson Plan
Note that the plans change each week, and are age-appropriate for the children currently in my care. For example, a curriculum plan for a group of three year olds would not be the same for infants.
Our curriculum includes:
Hand-on, Play-Based Experiences with Developmental Focus
I like to call it “Meaningful Play”. It’s a fact based on many years of research; using play-based activities for young children is the most beneficial method of learning in many ways. Active physical play with the integration of music, movement and creative expression not only helps children develop motor skills and social skills, but “Children who engage in quality play experiences are more likely to have well-developed memory skills, language development, and are able to regulate their behaviour, leading to enhanced school adjustment and academic learning.” (Bodrova & Leong, 2005).
Facilitating Independence and Decision Making
At Nest, learning is partially child-directed. This means that while we as teachers may initially choose an area of investigation, we carefully observe children during activities to adapt to their interests and decisions.
Teacher as Guide and Researcher
We are committed to listening, observing, and documenting children’s work carefully throughout their exploration process. By doing this, we’re able to provoke questions, stimulate new thinking, and encourage children to collaborate with each other.