It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the image of the child that we need to hold.
Those who have the image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from this belief only for themselves. We don’t need that as an image of children. -Loris Malaguzzi
The image of the child is at the center of our work. Children are capable of so much. Think about how much an infant has learned since birth only a short time ago; think of how much they will learn in a year! Our adult brains are designed to do tasks efficiently; baby brains are designed to learn as much as possible. When we have faith in children's natural ability and desire to learn, we can give them the time they need to learn—not to learn quickly but to learn well.
Space to Grow
We grant space and time to young plants and animals because we know that, in accordance with, the laws that live in them, they will develop properly and grow well; young animals and plants are given rest, and arbitrary interference with their growth is avoided, because it is known that the opposite practice would disturb their pure unfolding and sound development; but the young human being is looked upon as a piece of wax, a lump of clay which man can mold into what he pleases. -Friedrich Froebel from The Education of Man
In an effort to push our children to achieve their potential, we push them to do too much before they're ready. By supporting children's natural development rather than interfering with it, pushing it, or trying to control it, we help them develop confidence in their abilities to learn and help them to reach her physical, emotional, and cognitive potential. Children are free to work at their own paces as we observe closely and wait nearby, ready to provide nurture and care when the children request it.
While learning during motor development to turn onto the belly, to roll, to creep, sit, stand, and walk, he is not only learning how to learn those movements, but also how to learn. He learns to do something on his own, to be interested, try out, to experiment. He learns to overcome difficulties. He comes to know the joy and satisfaction that is derived from this success, the result of his patience and persistence. I am, of course, always speaking of children who have not been stimulated, let alone pushed by adults to try a new movement. Only then can you see the quietness, the attentive, deep concentration which notices nothing else, the joy and satisfaction which characterizes the learning process. . . The child who is learning in that way. . . wants to learn independently, undisturbed, in her own way.-Emmi Pikler
Children were not born to wear shoes. In our concern for hygiene and safety, we develop amnesia. Give children a break! Remember how good mud feels between the toes? -Bev Bos from Before the Basics
At Portland Baby School, we provide as little interference as possible with children's motor development. Clothing should not hinder the moving child as he explores his new body and world. In learning to roll over or grasp an object, crawl or walk, coo or talk, children learn that they are capable of learning and developing on their own. We make sure the environment enhances learning with opportunities for interaction and exploration.
Portland Baby School provides education and coaching for parents and babies in Portland, Oregon because a good start lasts a lifetime.