6 ChaptEr onE It is easy to say the process is more important than the product. It is easy to say the children’s ideas will be valued and expanded. It is easy for us to say we recognize the child as an individual, yet it seems so hard to do. Here are some ideas that might encourage you. UsE ThE sponTAnEoUs momEnT Over the last few years we have encouraged educators to be mindful and aware and to plan what they will offer to the young children, often in response to an observa- tion from the day or week before. It has become a requirement in many situations that this plan or program be written into a formal document displayed for families to inspect. However, what we also encourage educators to do is to use spontaneous moments, those moments when a child comments on or shows us an object or asks a question about it. The moment can arise from an object a family has brought to share, a weather event that is currently happening, some birds that have landed in the tree, a butterfly that is visiting. These are significant moments; they hold the promise of creativity, and they are possibly the beginning of an interesting learning journey. We need to remind each other to value and use these moments, writing them into our formal program in a space we leave vacant for just such a purpose. A chance encounter with debris from the hickory tree on the brick paving means that, instead of sweeping up the mess, we provide some magnifying glasses, clip- Jack appreciates the invitation and returns the next day to represent the flowers. implications VOC_FINAL.indd 6 5/17/10 4:22:16 PM