Taking time to look
Parent 4: Sometimes we don’t recognize how capable children are of drawing what they see and how much they take in and the value they give everything they see. And how they build upon what they know. Sometimes we have to provide help for that to happen. Children are very intelligent and we don’t take the time to realize their capabilities. We don’t build upon what we think they need to know in order to grow. Sometimes it’s easy, when the child hands you a picture, to say, “Wow this is a wonderful picture,” and then you put it away. But, you should take time to look at that picture as we are doing right now and look beyond that one picture and save it. And give it the significance that the child has given it. Do that with everything the child gives you.
Parent 2: You know, she’s absolutely right because just the other day my son drew me a picture of my family and I just threw it in a drawer without giving any thought to what he was really trying to say.
Parent 4: The children always try to be the center of attention, but as a parent sometimes you’re just too busy, you’re just trying to redirect them to do something else.
Parent 3: …Five minutes is not too much of your time to come work with a child who gives you a picture; five minutes to actually explain, and understand, and to take that time to ask, “What were you thinking?” “What are your ideas and why did you draw this?” …
Parent 1: …[A]s a parent, when a child gives you a picture, I think it’s important to document yourself, what your child said to you and what they felt and what that represented [to them] and write that on the picture. Because once that child has given it to you and you have placed it away, they might not remember it again and then that moment is gone.
— We Are All Explorers: Learning and Teaching with Reggio Principles in Urban Settings, by Scheinfeld et al.