Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Reggio Emilia approach and Montessori or Waldorf or other types of early education?

Follow this link to download a PDF article by Carolyn Pope Edwards:Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia.

Does my child need to be potty trained?

Your child does not need to be potty-trained to attend Rosalie School. We have diaper-changing facilities available. Children do not become "ready" to learn in school when they start wearing underwear. They are born learners, and we embrace each child and each family's uniqueness. We are happy to happy to help with the transition to underwear when the right time comes for all parties involved (child and family).

Can I bring my child's sibling when it is my turn to help out in the classroom?

Siblings are part of the social context of many children. They have the potential to contribute greatly to the educational experience at Rosalie. While their presence during open hours must be evaluated on an individual basis, we are, in most circumstances, able to figure out how to appropriately integrate a child's sibling into the days in which a family member is teaching. The sibling remains the responsibility of the family member and is expected to follow the expectations at Rosalie in an age appropriate way.

Can Grandma (or other family member) help in the classroom in place of a parent?

Yes. Any adult family member who your child loves and trusts as a significant caregiver in his or her life, is an appropriate choice for a cooperative teacher. The family member(s) who help regularly in the classroom should be someone who believes that this setting is the best place for the child to be. S/he should be able to attend some of the evening reflective gatherings as well as one or more parents.

Is it okay to start a child in preschool younger than three or four years of age?

It is a Reggio-inspired value that children are born as citizens of today who have voices and rights in democratic society (rather than someday citizens who will acquire their rights when they turn 16 or 18 or 21). It is a right of citizens to participate actively in community organizations where their voices can be heard and where they can hear the voices of others. A Reggio-inspired school works to meet this right of children. Rosalie School has opportunities for our youngest citizens from infancy until kindergarten. The question of "what is wrong with (quality) school for children younger than ___" is out-of date. New research on brain development, morality and how learning occurs suggests the question we should be asking is "what is right with (quality) school for our youngest citizens."

The process of starting school at Rosalie is individualized. It is designed to make the transition smooth and easy each individual child, and it looks different for reserved children than it does for outgoing children.

In answer to the similar question, "will my child be bored if she goes to the same school for three years?" The answer is no. If your child is going to a program that is based on a culture of listening and the view of a child's right to a stimulating intellectual environment, the program will be responsive to who she is in the present whether that is during her first year or her third year. The curriculum, the environment and the materials may look very different each year because they are based on who she is becoming.

My child is only one, should I put him on the waiting list now?

I tell people to get on early childhood waiting lists (whether for Rosalie or elsewhere) as soon as you think you might one day be interested. Some families wait-list their children when they begin to plan to get pregnant or just after conception. Better to be offered a spot too early and ask the school to keep you on the list for another year than to miss out because you got on too late. If you are just starting to look at schools for an older child, don't assume there won't be a space available to you. Waiting lists are very unpredictable and family situations change all the time. When we call families on the waiting list to fill a spot, there is no guarantee that any of them will be in the position to take a spot at that time. There is no waiting list fee at Rosalie School, so there's nothing to lose. Just remember to keep your contact information up to date.

I want to learn more to prepare myself for potentially joining this program. What should I be reading?

The resource I recommend to parents above anything is the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham. It is not specifically a Reggio-inspired resource and unlike the title suggests, it is not only about curing adult yelling. The Reggio Approach is based on respectful relationships, particularly between adults and children. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids is the most empowering resource I have found to support us in our quest to maintain truely respectful relationships with children. The respectful relationship is the foundation to all of this work. That is why I recommend this resource first and foremost over any resources specifically described as being about the Reggio Approach.