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” The Hundred Languages of Children “

Published on September 15, 2017 under Reggio

The Hundred Languages

No way. The hundred is there.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

-Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach


This is what our preschool family philosophy is based on . What do you think ?

Reading this can you see why we spend more time listening and less time talking ?

Can you understand why we don’t just throw materials and toys out without considering what the children are interested in ?

Maybe this helps you understand why when a child asks us a question  like ” Why are the tree leaves green ?”  Instead of answering something long about chlorophyl  or talking about spring and summer or pulling out our phones and googling the appropriate / correct answer we might say ” Why do YOU think they are green ?”

If we give them all the answers they won’t know how to look for the important ones.

If we fill them with our knowledge we might miss something important that they know.

If we don’t allow them to imagine and explore the answers they might never feel the power of figuring out something on their own.

I am still embracing the Hundred Languages of Children but I know in my heart at this point in my journey it is the right way for me.  Some days I have to remind myself over and over  that this philosophy is empowering my children to learn ,  to be heard and to grow in a developmentally appropriate way.

I will honor the Hundred Languages of Children.  I will honor children.



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