Parents As Teachers coordinator addresses R-II Board

Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

‘Children learn the most from those they love the most’

Debbie Wills believes in her job as the Parents As Teachers coordinator for the El Dorado Springs R-II School and in the necessity of parents being their child’s teacher. She communicated that well in her presentation to the R-II School Board at its Thursday, April 10, meeting.

Her first statement laid out the groundwork: Children learn the most from the people they love the most. This makes the parents the most important teachers in their child’s life.

When should a child learn?

At birth a baby’s brain is 25% the size of an adults. By the time a child is 3 years of age, it is 80% of an adult’s size. The rest of brain development is not complete until 25 years of age or older. That makes the first three years of lie the most formative.

How does a child learn?

The rapid development in a young child’s brain is due to a process called myelination. There is a pathway in the brain for everything, every number, every letter sound, and even every emotion. The more a pathway is used the thicker and more efficient it becomes. It gets covered with a fatty tissue that works much like the covering of an electrical cord. If a child lives in a home where books are part of everyday life, the child will enjoy reading and have a much easier time learning to read because it is a pathway that has been used and has grown.

If he or she sees lots of anger and frustration, he or she will be angry and frustrated. If he or she sees a lot of consistency and discipline, he or she will grow up consistent and disciplined.

The most important influence in brain development is a strong attachment with parents. At the age of six months, a baby’s brain is 50% the size of an adult’s. Some of the first areas to develop are the emotional centers in the brain and deep inside of these is the memory. If the baby is give lots of love those first six months of life, the pathways in the emotional centers will be more efficient as will the memory, the most important key in learning.

Ms. Wills told the board that the focus of the program is changing to the family well being where it has been focused primarily on the child and his or her development. She told the board, “Our efforts will be to gain the family perspective, help them become more observant of their child and learn to set goals for both themselves and their children.”

She said, “We have rearranged the PAT building with the goal in mind to provide four leaning centers: Literacy, Science/Math, Art/Music and Pretending/Construction making it a place that will be more family/child friendly.”

She thanked the board for “supporting the PAT program at a time when the State cut funding.” Some districts almost eliminated their Parents As Teachers programs. This year it is now mandated that the districts provide Parent Education again and our district is in a better position to maintain services to our families because of your support.”