Developmental Milestones

Crescent Park’s educational approach provides a pathway for realizing the unique potential of all children in our diverse learning community, We look closely at each child’s disposition and learning process and recognize the value in examining the theory of Multiple Intelligences as described by developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner.  At Crescent Park, we believe that there is never just one way of knowing and learning; we must support each child’s unique journey to ensure an authentic and meaningful learning experience.  Loris Malaguzzi brilliantly expresses this notion through this profound poem, The Hundred Languages of Children, shown below.

We want to think about your child’s early learning experience as a vehicle for developing a love of learning; to deepen their inherent curiosity and inspire a sense of wonder and joy.  At Crescent Park, we also look carefully at new discoveries in neuroscience and child development research to consider developmental milestones beyond academic skills; rather, we look at executive functions of the brain that weave together each person’s social, emotional and intellectual capacities.  Considering the importance of doing all we can to provision for each child’s successful and happy life in the 21st century, we feel it vital to promote the Seven Essential Life Skills as described by Ellen Galinsky in her book, Mind In The Making:

  • Focus and Self Control
  • Perspective Taking
  • Communicating
  • Making Connections
  • Critical Thinking
  • Taking on Challenges
  • Self-Directed, Engaged Learning

These life skills, coupled with social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills are integrated throughout each child’s daily experience while working in our play-based setting.  Whether planting in the garden, digging in the sand pit, building in the Block Room, attending Morning Meeting or participating in a special Study Group, the opportunities to promote these skills are interwoven in each child’s daily experience. They, along with other developmental milestones are documented in each child’s portfolio, Learning Stories, Weekly Newsletters, Parent Teacher Conferences and Roundtables and highlighted at Back to School Night each year.

With deep respect for the child’s timing, individual dispositions and his or her own unique “language”, we find that Crescent Park children are not only prepared for the challenges of elementary school, but for an accomplished life full of curiosity and the joy of learning. 

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
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach