Parent and Child class offers insight for studentsFor Hudson High School students and their family and consumer education instructor Deb Meyer, one unit pulls together all they have learned during their semester-long course, Parent and Child.
By: Margaret Ontl, Hudson Star-Observer
For Hudson High School students and their family and consumer education instructor Deb Meyer, one unit pulls together all they have learned during their semester-long course, Parent and Child.
The highlight of the class is the five-week childcare unit when students are paired up one on one with a child ages 3 to 5. Three days a week, students are responsible for ‘their child’ during the course of a class period — the children are there for three periods, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
Meyer’s classroom is converted into a day care center and the students must take turns making lessons plans and creating activity units that include story time, art, music and movement.
Each class period begins with free-play time, where students interact individually with children they care for. Then the group is broken down into small learning groups, where each day a different high-schooler plans the lesson for the day. After that, everybody returns to the large group.
As each of the three class periods end, the children relinquish their caregiver and wait for the next one to arrive.
Initially the children do not remember which high school students are their providers, but that changes quickly, and after two days the children eagerly await the arrival of “their student.”
“One of the things it does for the students is show the importance of being good role models,” said Meyer. “Within minutes, the students are influencing the kids.”
Kerri Owen said the class has taught her a lot about patience, and it gives students a lot to think about before becoming a parent.
“You learn how to adapt to the personality of the child you are working with,” said Owen.
“Every day is different,” said class member Rikkeena Willert. “A child can be very happy one day and the next day it can be a completely different story.”
Both Willert and Owen commented on how much the age of the child made a difference in terms of how they approached the youngsters. Part of the lesson is to show the older students that different children need different parenting styles.
The course leads up to the Childcare Center unit by first studying families, real baby care, child development, effective parenting skills and the importance of reading. After the childcare unit, the course wraps up with a unit on domestic abuse.
Meyer said the Parent and Child class is one that students never forget, even while they are in the class.
“My attendance is really good,” said Meyer, who admits very few of her students ever miss the Parent and Child class. She said the class is in its 11th year and just keeps getting better.