A new and unique ‘Moms and Tots’ preschool program at RARE Learning offers parents the opportunity to accompany their two-year-old to early childhood education classes. The program will be offered at the Mustang Park Recreation Center in Las Colinas locales of Irving during the summer and will be extend to the Cimarron Park Recreation Center in Valley Ranch in the fall.Using a preschool curriculum that introduces children to pre-reading and pre-math concepts, such engaging programs help strengthen the intimate bond between parents and children. They also simultaneously deepen children’s understanding of foundational academic concepts by involving parents in the responsive learning process.
While the concept of a parental presence inside the classroom may be a nontraditional one, a growing body of research suggests that it can have a deep and profound impact on the way that children learn.
Programs that have a parent staying with their child throughout the class can reduce distress and separation anxiety that may disrupt the fluidity of their learning process. Having a familiar and comforting presence close by also helps young children build up their self-confidence, leading to a faster rate of growth in a variety of language, problem solving, and social-emotional skills. With parents present and actively encouraging their child to complete classroom tasks, children are more likely to stay continually interested in learning and improve their time-on-task management.
Such interactive emotional involvement in early childhood learning is linked to a parenting style known as ‘responsive parenting’. It stresses the importance of providing positive verbal encouragement to your child, maintaining and expanding their individual interests so as to support eventual learning outcomes. Using the method of ‘parental scaffolding,’ where parents provide responsive support to a child actively engaged in problem-solving provides a structure or a ‘scaffold’ for their developing attentional and cognitive abilities, explains an article by psychologist Susan Landry at The University of Texas Health Science Center.
The techniques have been correlated to higher levels of learning in preschool aged children, with evidence linking early responsive parenting with increased volume in brain regions responsible for socio-emotional regulation such as stress control. Additionally, young children’s “acquisition of problem solving, language and social-emotional skills is facilitated by interactions with their parents, ” says Landry.
Through this enhancing of the parent-child relationship, responsive parenting techniques and initiatives truly provide learning that binds. The new ‘Moms and Tots’ program employs such techniques to provide children and parents with a unique and fulfilling learning experience. The class meets three times a week for two-hour sessions with small, intimate class sizes of 8-12 students. The cost of the class is $99 for four weeks -with 6 hours of instruction each week.