Why Adult-Supported Learning
Research has shown that our children’s personalities are 90% formed by 6 years old, and experts tell us that there is no greater window for impact in early childhood than 18 months – 3 years old. so much is happening their little being and parents are the primary shapers of this time of development. What science has told us in medical settings, teachers see in school everyday, and the results I have seen in adult-supported learning programs for toddlers and preschoolers has been astounding. So much so that in a society that pushes parents in the workplace and children into childcare centers, The Studio Garden seeks to be a haven for families to experience the beauty and benefit of focused and devoted time for connection, learning and development during this magical and critical period for your child’s toddler and preschooler years.
The early childhood brain responds best to one-on-one interactions with the child’s parents. Child development experts call this dynamic responsive parenting. The critical importance of responsive parenting is highlighted by recent evidence identifying links between high levels of early responsive parenting and larger hippocampal volumes for normally developing preschool aged children. Increased volume in this brain region is associated with more optimal development of a number of psychosocial factors (e.g., stress reactivity). Links between early responsive parenting and increased volume in the hippocampal region also suggest that the early developmental period is an important time to facilitate responsive parenting practices, in order to enhance the parent-child relationship.
Adult-Supported Learning in The Studio Garden
The Studio Garden – with your child’s best development at the heart of our programming – structures our early childhood programming to ensure each child experiences all the nuerological, social and emotional benefits in their learning. Some parents switch off with their spouse, some have the children attend with their loving babysitter or nanny, or some combination of these. We have seen this structure work well with parents who are doctors, executives, teachers, artists and entrepreneurs and their children thrived under the caring support they received in class.
Here is how adult supported learning works in the classroom and at home with your child:
Becoming a role model for their learning. Your presence alone shows the importance of learning at school, and they experience and how exciting and meaningful their learning is for you. Your participation shows how school can extend the learning you began together at home. These early memories strengthen the foundation for a life-long partnership of learning and growing together.
Seeing what your child loves in school. School is an entirely different setting than home, and one that your child will gradually spend more time in as they grow. Your presence early on gives you a clear window into what your child enjoys most in school. Dalton Miller-Jones, Ph.D recommends, “One of the most important things a parent can do is notice her child. Is he a talker or is he shy? Find out what interests him and help him explore it. Let your child show you.” This first hand knowledge will yield benefits down the road as you seek to encourage his/her interests and help him/her explore new subjects.
Supporting how your child learns. Many children use a combination of modalities to study and learn. Some learn visually through making and seeing pictures, others through tactile experiences, like building block towers and working with clay. Still others are auditory learners who pay most attention to what they hear. And they may not learn the same way their siblings (or you) do. By paying attention to how your child learns as well as observe how educators utilize different learning strategies to engage your child, you more fully support how your child learns and become an empowered advocate in his future school settings.
Helping your child take charge of his/her learning. “We want to keep children in charge of their learning and become responsible for it,” says Dalton Miller-Jones, Ph.D. “We want them to be responsible for their successes and failures, show them how engaging learning is, and that the motivations for learning should be the child’s intrinsic interests, not an external reward.”
Connecting what your child learns to everyday life. Being present in the classroom with your child takes away all barriers to your extending their learning into their everyday life. You will have the same context for your child’s natural questions. You can sing the butterfly song when you see a butterfly walking in the park because you learned it together with her class. Ideas you explore at home may come to life in his pretend play with animals in class and you can deepen his understanding by what you bring to that learning moment. Your child benefits greatly from a unified and richly diverse learning context, which you help connect for them.