For a long time, I have praised the merits of taking a few moments to create small-scale play set-ups for your child to discover in the morning or when they come home from school. But it wasn’t until I began my work in a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool program that I found a word for what these are– provocations.
What is a provocation? Well, at its most basic level, a provocation provokes further learning. A provocation sets up a child for inquiry or learning. The best provocations– indeed, in Reggio philosophies, all provocations– begin by exploring the questions, wonderings, and interests of the children. As you observe how your child interacts with the materials and provocation, you can document learning and further questions, creating a spiral of provocations that continues for as long as your child shows interest.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Circle Time (such as though found in Seasons of Joy) vs Meeting Times, also called Morning Meeting. The two are often used interchangeably, although in my experience, have very different goals.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but the Spring issue of Seasons of Joy is one of my absolute favorites. I wrote it when I was pregnant with Daniel, and was so full of love and hope of new birth that my joy overflowed into the pages.
You can get lots of hints and clues about Spring Seasons of Joy here. Flower Fairy Circle Time is a magical experience, and there are lots of ideas for crafts and handwork to grace your Spring Nature Table.
This morning in the car on the way to preschool, the twins were talking about a spider they saw inside the house. Inside the house! I’m not sure how they’ve never seen one inside before, but for some reason this rocked their little world. Why was he inside the house? What did he want? Was he there for a reason? Didn’t he know he belonged outside? The questions were flowing fast and quick.
Last night, I found an article on using “I wonder” questions to foster inquiry and curiosity, so I decided to give it a go. “I wonder,” I said to the twins, “how that spider came into our house. Do you have any ideas? Any theories?”
Oh, Molly. What can I say about Molly? Often , half joking, I say that Molly is just like me if I had even fewer filters and no moral compass. But really, she’s a lot like me. It’s ridiculous.
As a baby, Molly was super serious. In fact, it became a bit of a Facebook joke. People were surprised when a picture of Molly smiling made an appearance!
Her best friend is still her twin brother, Matthew.
It’s hard to know what to say say about Matthew. When people used to ask (as people do when you have more than two children) when you’re going to stop procreating, I used to say “Oh, you know, when God gives us an easy one.” And then God sent me Matty… and, for good measure and to keep me on my toes, threw in Molly as well. Ha, ha, ha… good one, God!
I’ve recently been going through old posts on the blog, and I’ve realized that Daniel is my very first baby who was born while I was blogging here on Seasons of Joy! From his homebirth, fussy baby days to this happy, cheerful little guy, his infant and toddler days have been well documented here. But now it’s time for a bit of an update.
Daniel isn’t so little anymore. He’s a third grader and is just about ready to turn nine. NINE! I can’t believe it! He’s a lovely little guy and filled with a lot of joy, although he does have a bit of a Pokemon obsession. He also has a penchant for all things Japanese, which I find interesting.
It’s spring break week for all my kiddos. And luckily (???) I’ve been dealing with some fairly serious medical issues that mean I get to be here at home with them while they’re on break. And this little guy? He’s just the sweetest.
Nicholas is always there with a sweet hug and kind words. He goes through life with a pretty good sense of humor, and even when things do go wrong (like when I accidentally shaved him bald during the Great Lice Epidemic of 2015, he rallies nicely.
Oh, this little girl. I cannot believe how she has changed from this serious little baby with barely any hair
Katie Grace has successfully made the transition from homeschooling/cyber schooling this year. We were so pleased when she was accepted to the local public creative and performing arts magnet school as a vocal arts student. She’s 14 now– spunky, sassy, and such a comfort and friend to me.
She’s given up ballet classes and instead directs much of her energy towards singing, both at school and in the Concentio Touring Choir at the Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts. (Seriously, listen… It gives me goosebumps every time!)