....Parenting Program: 33 Greta St, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360••••Parenting Program, 805-492-8837

Frequently Asked Questions
What about Academics? I don't want my child to "fall behind."
What is my participation requirement?

What time are the classes offered?
How are the classes structured?
How big is the class, and what are the child-to-adult ratios?
May I bring my other children with me on my workdays?
What about diapering?
I think my child needs more "structure."
Why do you teach multi-age (3,4 & 5's combined) instead of individual 3's and 4's classes?
I'm not sure if my child will do well in the big TEAM class, it seems overwhelming to me.
I am a working parent, is this program right for me?
Refunds - Can I get my money back if I don't like the class?
I have another child in morning Kindergarten, and will need to leave early each day.
I heard that there are long waiting lists, how long will I wait to get in?
.What about academics? I don't want my child to 'fall behind.'
In The Parenting Program multi-age classes, we do offer academics - we believe that academics should never be forced or administered through "rote learning", especially in early childhood! The developmental approach to early childhood learning is supported by scientific evidence and endorsed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's largest professional association of early childhood educators.

Children "get" academics when their brains are ready to comprehend academics. This is determined by physical brain development, and each child is on a unique timeline. No amount of early exposure to academics will "help your child along" in any way until the neural connections in the brain are made and strengthened. This process is completed on Mother Natures' time line! Conversely, forced academics presented too early can turn a child off to learning - wouldn't you feel frustrated if you just couldn't "get" what the teachers were trying to show you, over and over again?

Here's an example of how The Parenting Program teaches "academics"...

At the Science Table...

Children might practice counting and sorting when we dump out a huge barrel of colored magnetic tiles on the station table. Besides counting and sorting, they physically experience how magnets work and how to cooperate together to create a tower to the sky! Kids can choose to participate if this interests them, or move on...

To the Snack Area...

Children may learn their ABC's by singing songs or shaping letters out of pretzel dough. Not to mention learning all about rising yeast dough (it's time to punch it down!) Counting and one-to-one correspondence are reinforced as children count how many apples to cut up, or how many cups to put out on the table. Children can choose to participate there, or move on..

To the Playground...

Three children are all swinging on the tire swing while a participating parent spins them. They all shriek with delight! Faster! Faster! Are they little thrill seekers? No. They are actually increasing blood circulation to their brains, so that those neural connections can grow! Children seek this stimulation naturally, and it's good for them! They can choose to participate, or move on..

(Ever wonder why you don't love to spin around in circles until you drop like you did as a child? Hate the Teacup ride now, but loved it as a child?? Can't really take the swings anymore?? )

To the Bikes & Trikes Area...

Right, left, right, left, how fast can I make this car go?

One child lines up as many cars as possible for the car wash. How many kids can he fit in his side car and still pedal it? What happens when his car bangs into another child's bike? Can he keep his bike inside the course without touching the sides? Believe it or not, this is the beginning of understanding physics and the mechanical world! A child can choose to participate or move on...

To the Sand...

This wet sand is heavy!! A little girl is determined to shovel a wagonload full of the wet stuff and wheel and dump it where the kids are building a city of sand buildings. Hey, she has an idea! "Maybe we could just bring the hose over by us! Let's ask the teacher to help us!" Children learn evaluation and estimation, critical thinking skills, cooperative relationships and how to ask for assistance... all while seemingly just "playing in the sand". A child can choose to participate, or move on..

To one of many other wonderful and fun opportunities for learning!!

.What is my participation requirement?
Parents attend with children in all infant, toddler and 2-year-old classes.

In the Multi-age classes, parents are given the opportunity to leave their children in class on non-participation days. We believe that part of being a good parent sometimes involves getting a much needed "break"!

Parents are always invited to attend class as often as they wish, but the minimum requirement per nine week quarter for Multi-age classes is:

1. MWF class = 7-8 days in classroom, 2 field trips (27 hours)
2. TTH class = 6 days in classroom, 1 field trip (18 hours)
3. M-F = 12 days in the classroom, 3 field trips (45 hours) a combination of the above

Additional participation is encouraged but not required-

•  Sharing Personal talents, skills, and hobbies with the children and other parents in the school. (That's what makes us so successful and unique!)

•  Participation in the Parent Support Group (PSG), a group of active parents that provide wonderful experiences for everyone through and personal endeavor such as snow day, reptile week, safety week and lots of other learning experiences! Utilize your great leadership skills (that may have become a bit rusty), or try out a new role in a forgiving environment. Get some good experience now, and hit the ground running at your public school PTA! See our PSG page for more detail on PSG.

•  Attendance at special workshops and lectures offered during the year.

•  Attendance at additional Children's concert series performances. See Children's concert Series Home Page (some concerts will be designated class field trips).

.What time are the classes offered?
Please see our online Schedule for specific class times. Parents who are scheduled to participate are expected to be a few minutes early to help set up the classroom and remain until the end of class. Exceptions may be arranged with the teacher.
.How are the classes structured?

Class routines vary with each teacher, but each class includes all the right things needed for the child and parent to grow into their full potential including both inside and outside activities. Some teachers use a flexible schedule where the class has snack together and goes out to the playground together as a class. Other classes use a free flow choice approach where snack and the playground are available all morning. All classes have group times for storytelling, music, and movement. Please see Our Curriculum and Our Philosophy for even more detail about how our classes operate.

.How big is the class, and what are the child-to-adult ratios?
All classes have the ratio of about 1 adult to 4 - 5 children. The Team class includes 3 teachers who teach together and have approximately 54 families with 14 - 16 parents participating each day. The portable includes 20 families with 5 - 6 parents each day. The other classes have 18 families with approximately 4 - 5 parents scheduled each day.
.May I bring my other children with me on my workdays?
At the discretion of the teacher, non-mobile infants in slings or backpacks may be brought as long as the parent can meet the needs of the class and teacher. Younger toddlers who are crawling or walking are not to be brought on the parent's participation day. Older siblings may visit occasionally with the teacher's permission. Please ask your teacher for specifics on our Sibling Attendance Policy if you have any further questions.
.What about diapering?
Changing facilities are provided for your use in all infant, toddler and 2 year old classes. In multi-age classes, if your child is not using the toilet independently when school starts, you will:

1) need to stay with your child on school days to take care of diapering needs, or
2) make arrangements for a scheduled participating parent to change your child's diaper if necessary. (Most classes offer a "diaper brigade" co-op of parents who wish to exchange diapering services on participation days!)

.I think my child needs more 'structure.'
In The Parenting Program , children do experience a structured program. The learning environment is "child directed and child initiated", meaning that the children create their own structure through their free play. As they grow and develop, they continuously find new and interesting ways to satisfy their thirst for knowledge and new experiences. The following was written by a founding Parenting Program teacher to help explain the concept: "They think I need more structure...."


.Why do you teach multiage (3/4/5's combined) instead of individual 3's and 4's classes?
Children may enter our multi-age classes if they are turning 3 years old, and will experience two to three years of early childhood learning before moving on to kindergarten. The environment of a multi-age class provides a natural setting, similar to that of a family where older children enjoy mentoring younger children and younger children are provided challenges to stimulate and encourage growth. In addition, the youngest child in a family may have the opportunity to be one of the "older" children at school and an oldest child may experience being "younger". By participating in a multi-age group, a child and parent have the opportunity to remain in the same classroom with the same teacher and many of the same friends for these years. This offers repetition and continuity, allowing for an increased sense of control and freedom for the child and a chance to nurture friendships. Teachers also get to know the parent, child and family. Knowing that children are not at the same developmental stage chronologically, the children have an opportunity to find playmates with similar interests.
.I'm not sure if my child will do well in the big TEAM class; seems overwhelming.
In The Parenting Program, we offer classes that fit all personalities, for both parent and child. It's important that you take both of your personalities into consideration! We have small group classes and large group classes. We have found that children take very little time to adjust to either circumstance. There are advantages to both, for instance:

In a smaller class, you and your child may have more time to bond with just one teacher, and create close friendships with a smaller group of children. As a participating parent, you will form interdependent working and learning relationships with a smaller group of adults.

In a larger class, children have a broader social range to explore and lots of concurrent activities to choose from. As a participating parent, you will have a greater network of parents from which to form friendships and learning relationships.

You may want to consider the advantages of both types of class for both the participating adult and the child before making a decision.

.I'm a working parent. Is this program right for me?
We have many working parents in our program. The questions we would ask of you are the following:

•  Is your work schedule flexible, part-time and/or can you easily arrange a morning off once (at minimum) or more often per week? (from approximately 8:30 am to 12:30 pm?)

•  Are you able and willing to make the time commitment necessary to be involved with and learn about your child's development and education? (see What is My Participation Requirement)

If the answer is yes to the two questions above, you should be able to join our program easily!

If the answers are no, then you have some other options to consider:

1. Have a relative attend the program with your child. (grandmas and grandpas are welcome!)

2. Find a local preschool that better fits your needs, (there is something for everyone in the Conejo Valley!) but consider attending one of our evening or weekend Parenting classes. There are many local avenues available for parent education! Here are some options:
Neighborhood for Learning, www.cvnfl.org;
CVUSD Early Childhood Center at University Center.

.Refunds—Can I get my money back if I don't like the class?
We strongly encourage all potential students to ask questions, tour, and voice any concerns regarding the class prior to signing up.

No refunds will be made to a student who withdraws voluntarily from a class in which he/she has enrolled.

.I have another child in the morning Kindergarten, and will need to leave early each day.
The staff at The Parenting Program is willing to work with you in order to accommodate your older child's schedule. Participation hours can be "made up" at the discretion of the teacher, and there are many ways in which you can fulfill the missed time. Prior to signing up, please note that smaller classes will be less flexible in this regard, as they depend on a smaller base of participating parents to run the class. The larger TEAM class will be more flexible, as they have a larger daily pool of participating parents to share the work load. Please advise the office prior to selecting a class that you will need to be leaving early each day, and they will help you in selecting a class that accommodates your needs.
.I heard that there are long waiting lists. How long will I wait to get in?

We do offer the service of wait-listing for our highly impacted classes. Depending on the time of year, there may or may not be a wait list for the class you select. If you are on a wait list, you will be called when an opening becomes available. How long you wait before being admitted to our program is directly related to how flexible you can be on choice of class days and times. If you are able to accommodate the next opening in a range of classes, chances are you won't be waiting very long at all! It is impossible to determine how long you might wait if your choices are extremely limited, as that will depend on the schedules and choices of the people ahead of you on the wait list (s).

For more information, call 805-492-8837, or e-mail Eilene Green at EileneG@ConejoAdultEd.org
Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, including dates and costs, on this website. We regret any inconvenience caused by inadvertent errors. For a given course, the student shall be responsible for the correct fee, rather than that which has appeared in error. NONE of the following shall be held responsible in any way for website or print-catalog errors/changes: Conejo Valley Adult Education / School, Conejo Valley USD, the webmaster, administrator, counselor, coordinator, instructor/teacher, secretary, or any other District employee.
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