School Projects Are Pure Gold.
Dr. Maria Montessori’s quote “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening but by experiences in the environment” resonated with me.
I have long thought the home-assigned school project was education’s way of connecting children back to process by providing parameters that kids could explore on their terms in an environment that was outside the school setting-thereby creating space to figure out the task in their time. Now, as a parent it wasn’t always convenient or easy for me and my kids to do the project but it was a vital way, I could see, that my kids could take all the information they had collected in their minds at school and put it together in their own way. I have my daughter, Maisy’s 4th grade mission project hanging on the wall at the studio. It was a shoe box, a sheet of thick paper and a few pieces of moss, drawn out and arranged to look like a diorama. That was a project that taught both of us that value of keeping it simple. We went over the concept of creating a curve in the paper that would serve as a background and by doing so, we created the illusion of a bigger space-just like at the Natural History Museum. We worked together to plan the project but she did all the drawing. Maisy figured out the details of her project in her own process and we had the space to trouble shoot it. I imagine if I asked her she would remember making it. I still do because it was a hands-on experience with various elements to include and parameters to keep. She learned so much more than Missions during that project and I haven’t forgotten it.
Today, we love having kids make their projects at the studio because it adds an element of fun and ease to the “to-do” of a home-assigned project that everyone (parent and child) would love to have check-marked off their to-do list. The time they spend together at CReATE, talking, planning, figuring and creating are rich beyond words. They are deep in learning which is food for the brain, and they always leave feeling a sense of achievement and pride and I like to think, a little bit of connection too. Dr. Montessori had it right, experiences in the environment are golden.
* learn more about our win/win school project program here.