2009-01-23 / Schools

Adult school adds weekend parenting class

By Stephanie Bertholdo bertholdo@theacorn.com

Simi Valley Adult School has a reputation for its quality parent education programs, including once-a-week classes for parents and their young children.

Although the weekday classes are still a popular choice for these parents, assistant principal Michele Arso wanted to add a Saturday class for 2½ to 3½year-olds.

"Due to the economy parents may have to go back to work," Arso said. "We wanted to offer the Positive Parenting Program on the weekend so nobody would have to miss out on the class."

Teacher Meg Carman said the class is popular with parents for several reasons. Parents learn firsthand about the characteristics that are common to young children.

"Everything is 'about me,'" Carman said about the egocentric attitudes of 2- and 3-year-olds.

"If it's yours, it's mine; if you're looking at it, it's still mine," she joked.

Parents in the class also learn useful potty-training strategies to help their child achieve the developmental milestone. They participate in a variety of handson activities with their children as well.

"Play is learning," Carman said, explaining that young children learn through experience and the use of the five senses.

As an example of the rich, playful learning environment, Carman said children look at seashells under microscopes and "feel them, touch them and shake them."

"We let them touch everything," she said.

The developmental approach to learning focuses on what children should be doing at different ages. Parents, she said, learn from teachers and other parents.

"It's much more about play (for the children) and observation for the parents," the teacher said.

The parent education program is a bargain financially, Carman said. For $105, parents and their child can attend threehour morning sessions for 20 weeks. The class is scheduled from Feb. 7 through June 20.

"It's a great value for your money. You would pay that price for some (programs) for just a month," she said.

All teachers in the program are credentialed and cleared by the Ventura County Office of Education. "It is part of the public school system and open to everyone," Carman said.

The only requirement is that children must be between 2 ½ and 3 ½ years old by Dec. 2, 2008.

Registration for the class began on Jan. 20. The preschool is located at 1880 Blackstock Ave., in Simi Valley. For questions or information about enrollment call (805) 579-6288.

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