Monday, July 19, 2010

Making Memories, Montessori (& Malaguzzi) Monday: Family Fun at Area Museums

Peanut butter cup time...Memories in the Making and a Montessori (and Malaguzzi) tie in!
Memories...
This weekend, we managed to do several fun, family oriented activities...
On Friday, we welcomed Daddy home from his business trip and shared with him about our fun time at Celebration, near Disney.
Little Bro talked about how the water sprayed and Big Bro talked about playing hockey in the fountains.
Dear Hubby then shared with us about his trip to D.C. and how things were up in Northern Virginia and D.C.
We hung out and relaxed and had a nice roasted chicken and mashed potatoes dinner and even some dessert.
We stayed in and relaxed for the evening, as we were all tired from our busy day.

On Saturday, we went out and did errands, then spent some time at the pool.
It was a glorious time at the pool!
Did not bring the camera with us, as we were pretty much in the water the entire time...

Then, Saturday night, we headed to MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry*, to check out the cool telescopes they had set up to view the moon, Mars, Venus, and Saturn. We all especially enjoyed seeing Saturn, although both Dear Hubby and I were surprised at how tiny it looked...
You could see a small whitish - yellow circle surrounded by whitish-yellow rings...you could see the shadows from the rings, too, but the image through the viewer on the telescope only looked as big as a pea...we somehow expected the image to look closer to what you might find say if you did a Google Search for Saturn images.
*Please note: 
I am not getting any sort of compensation for providing a link to MOSI, but do think that you will enjoy checking out all that they have to offer. We had annual memberships last year, and this year, we get to attend as part of a reciprocal agreement with G Wiz, where we are members...
Dear Hubby took some photos, but it is hard to make mush out, as it was so dark and we did not want to use flash photography when folks were trying to view the planets and the moon through these amazing telescopes. He did snap this one, though, as it was partially lit in this area...


What Big Bro and Little Bro enjoyed the most while we were here wasn't the telescopes as much as trying to catch toads while and playing in the dirt while we were waiting in line...and playing with the dish outside the museum!

On Sunday, in the early afternoon, we headed down to Sarasota.
First, we went to Mote, a marine aquarium and laboratory,** where we viewed all sorts of sea life, from scorpion fish to sting rays, from clown fish to manatees. They have two main buildings, one that houses sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and the like...then, the main building that houses the fish, mollusks, sting rays, sharks, and so fourth, plus several laboratories, a movie theater, and then, there is also a Florida bird sanctuary on the property.
We had a great time checking all of the buildings and all of the sea and shore creatures living in each building. Was sad to hear about the blind sea turtle, who lost all of its sight and has to be hand fed, as well as some blind sea birds. They will most likely get animals affected by the oil spill at a later date, but we did not see any of them there yesterday... 
If you wish to donate directly to Mote to help with their oil spill disaster relief efforts, here is a link to their donation page.**
**Please Note:
I am not being at all compensated for this link, nor did they ask me to provide it, but the oil spill will affect so much of life here by the Gulf coast so I feel a moral obligation to say something and to suggest that anyone who wants to do something to help out, to give a donation to such a worthy organization. 


We then headed over to St. Armand's circle for a nice lunch, some great authentic Venetian pizza, baked in a brick oven hearth, along with some yummy gelato. 
(Little Bro liked savoring his gelato so much that it melted and he got it all over himself, so he  had to change his shirt!)

Then, to wrap up the time in Sarasota, we drove to G Wiz ***and took in all of the great interactive science exhibits and even a critter show.

*** Please Note:
I did not get compensated for providing a link to G Wiz. It is just a cool hands on science museum for children. We like it so much that we purchased an annual membership there. We also like that it offers some great reciprocals, including Mote and MOSI. So, it is like getting multiple memberships for the price of one! If you come to Florida, these places are all wonderful, hands on learning places for children, so be sure to add them to your list of things to see and do...


As we got ready for bed Sunday night, I asked everyone to share what their favorites were for the weekend...

Both boys said "the pool" for Saturday.
Then, for Sunday favs, Big Bro said that at Mote, he liked "the boat room and learning about Mr. Mote and that he was a good boater and liked to fish."As far as what he liked at G Wiz, Big Bro liked "the guitar, the machines with the lead ball, and the tiny baby tortoise."
Little Bro said that at Mote, he liked "the tank where you could touch all of the prickly sea life and the sea stars." His favorites at G Wiz included "cranking the ball, and seeing the animals."
Then, Daddy (aka my Dear Hubby) shared his favorites with the boys and me...
At Mote, Dear Hubby "liked seeing the sharks."
At G Wiz, Dear Hubby "liked the harp."
Then, I shared my favoritess...at Mote, I liked seeing the very tiny baby cuttlefish, along with a full sized adult one, as well as the octopus and the sea jellies.
At G Wiz, I enjoyed the critters show, especially seeing the baby tortoise and the frog nicknamed Pac Man...and was excited but a little grossed out to now have a purse full of Florida rat snakeskin from the show for out nature table and for the nature swap that we are doing with some other homeschool families.

When I started to reflect about our weekend, it dawned on me that we had all thoroughly enjoyed our time together, and yet, as far as what we liked seeing and doing the best, we all had our own unique list of favorites...

We had all gone along to the same places but what we all took from these experiences was different...


This is truly how life is, isn't it?

Now, for the tie-ins... Montessori and Malaguzzi...
I have been working on my own perceptions of how Montessori and Reggio Emilia can work hand in hand...
Was very pleasantly surprised to see that as far back as 2000, two college professors, Dr. Carolyn Pope Edwards and Dr. Paul Epstein, have also been exploring this concept, and they actually presented their findings to AMS, as featured presenters...
My hope is that there will be more people who will step forward to share their experiences and ideas of how these two frameworks can work collaboratevely to enhance a child's educational experience... 
The following blurb about them is from AMS
College professors, Edwards and Epstein, representing the Reggio and Montessori perspectives, respectively, reflect upon the complementary rather than contradictory nature of the two approaches and what they have to offer the other with respect to providing developmentally appropriate Early Childhood education. Summarizing key similarities and differences between the Montessori and Reggio approaches, the presenters discuss ways that educators have found to integrate aspects of both approaches in appropriate and unique ways. Reggio and Montessori are compared and contrasted along several dimensions: foundation sources, premises, images of the child, how children learn, physical environment and its use, curriculum, and roles of the teacher. Coming from different backgrounds and experiences, and differing in their interpretation of Montessori philosophy and pedagogy, they add an openness and sense of inquiry to the presentation.


Montessori
That is why following the child (as is part of the Montessori culture) is so important, as children all have their own unique interests, likes and dislikes...
Malaguzzi 
Loris Malaguzzi, the founding father of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, was quoted as saying this about a child's perspective:

"Children and their viewpoint are to be taken seriously."

In the coming weeks, you will hear more from me about Loris Malaguzzi, and the Hundred Languages of Children, as well as my perceptions of how the Reggio Emilia Approach ties in beautifully with Montessori and with homeschooling.
The longer and more in depth I have been researching Reggio Emilia, and the longer we have been a homeschooling family, the more I see where Montessori and Reggio Emilia can work wonderfully in tandem, as they are both very respectful of children.
Well, hope that you liked my Making Memories & Montessori (with a little Malaguzzi thrown in for good measure) Monday post!
Happy Monday, everyone!

We Play
 Also, FYI:
Will post the Wild About Your Blog and Sunshine Award blogs, along with the verbage that goes with both of these, tomorrow...so many awesome bloggy friends...should almost give one to each and every person!

13 comments:

Rebecca said...

Lots of fun and educational activities this weekend! I didn't know about these two museums in Sarasota. I have bookmarked them. This will be a fun trip for us at some point.

You have a very reflective quality about your posts. I'm sure that helps you to make the most of your home school experience - you can think about what went well, and how to improve as you move forward. You have inspired me to do more of this type of reflection with my own homeschool work. I think it would help me organize and focus.

Pip said...

What an action packed and fun weekend! I bet they learnt so much!
I wanted you to know i have an Award waiting for you over at my blog. I have only recently found your blog but so glad i have!
Thanks for the lovely momments you have shared and i look forward to many more! xx
Pipxx
@Worms-eye View

Pebblekeeper said...

Thanks for stopping by - you are already in my google reader! I love your stories and photos so much. :)

katepickle said...

sounds like a busy but great day!

Will be really interested to read more about Montesorri and Reggio working together - when I taught preschool I was very keen on both these philosophies

littlewondersdays said...

Busy weekend! All the museums look wonderful! Great tip on looking for memberships that are reciprocal too.

Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Wow! Looks like you all had a fantastic time!!

joyce:waddleeahchaa.com said...

Wow! I got tired just reading about all the activities you got into one weekend. My interest peaked when you talked about viewing Saturn. On a recent trip to Big Bend National Park I had the pleasure of viewing Saturn through a telescope. It was amazing. At 55 years old I felt like a child. Life is a journey and as long as we keep discovering new things we stay child like. Thanks for your post it made me smile. :)

Mom and Kiddo said...

Those museums look great!

Discovering Montessori said...

Learning and having fun at the same time, what more could you ask for. I am a museum type of person. Thanks for the photos.

Belinda said...

Hi Colleen,
Glad I found your blog. It looks like your kids get to do some really great things. I look forward to reading more about it. I love the photos from the aquarium. We've just been on a holiday and visited the Great Barrier Reef. It was an amazing experience for all of us. Your photos reminded me of it.

amandab said...

What an amazing weekend! So much to do and learn!

And those photos at the aquarium are awesome! I've never managed to get photos like that!

I've only had limited exposure to Montessori and don't know a lot about Reggio Emilia, so look forward to what you have to say :)

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Wow, a busy weekend which looks like it was lots of fun. Fantastic aquarium photos, we love the aquarium.

Nicole said...

Wow - all of my kids (and my husband and I too!) would have adored those museums. Glad you had such a great time. Thanks for linking up!

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