By Daniella Cornue, Owner and Founder of Le Village Co.
As we get ready for a new school year, I want to share a question that I was recently emailed about our curriculum. The person anonymously quipped in their note that our curriculum must be quite boring for our children since we repeat activities each year. The email made me chuckle, but within it was a real question that I think begs to be answered, “Why does Le Village repeat the same activities and crafts year after year?”
Each month has a different theme and over the years and our age groups, our children practice different skills within the same project or lesson. I believe foundationally as an educator, that when it comes to early learning (or really any learning!), the most successful teachers create an environment for supported practice.
Watch our video to see this in action:
An example of our curriculum in action is a snake craft that we do each June. It’s a paper plate that we let the kids paint and then cut into a spiral. It can then “hang” like a snake in the jungle. But, we really don’t care about the end product, we care about the magic that is happening when we practice making the snake.
Here’s what it looks like by age group:
For a child around one year old we place dollops of red and yellow paint on the plate. We watch as they get to experience color for the first time. We let them touch it, feel it, mix it on the paper and explore color. What a wonderful delight!
A two-year-old doing the same activity, they get a tool - a paintbrush - and get to mix the colors and use the motion of their wrists to put the paint on the paper. They are learning where and how to use the paint. They are building the strength in their hands to someday be able to hold a pencil and write.
With three-year-olds, we get out pictures of snakes and look at the patterns on their backs. We ask, “What shapes and patterns do you see?” Then we paint the snakes and add stickers to represent the patterns. The kids love stickers without realizing that peeling those stickers is more prep for fine motor skills like holding a pencil.
Finally, by four years old, the kids know that there are steps in this project, and they can look at the picture of the snake, draw the shapes, paint, and cut it out on their own. They’re confident and ready to take all of these skills off to school next year!
There is JOY and CONFIDENCE in doing the same activity over and over. We build the foundations to send kids to school as confident learners, confident in their own abilities. At Le Village, we prioritize practice - not the product. Practice - not perfection.