This month's featured class is Child Development. Mrs. Schlautman teaches this class third hour for any interested 9th-12th student. Child Development is a one semester course that is usually doubled with the popular Foods class.

Students in Child Development study all aspects of a child's growing process including physical, social, and emotional. Emphasis is placed on younger child development and the critical first few years. Participants in the class have the opportunity to "raise" a baby for a day or two with a plastic doll called "Baby Think-It-Over". These dolls try to simulate real babies and cry, need to be fed and have their diaper changed, and react to physical abuse. Like real babies, they ignore schedules and will cry anywhere, even when their parent is trying to sleep. The purpose of the dolls is to show kids the work involved in raising a child and encourage them to wait until they are ready to have a baby.

Recently, the child development class could be spotted in the kindergarten room spending time with the youngsters. They are learning more about the different ages of childhood and the learning that occurs at each age. They played with the kindergartners, put on a puppet show, and taught them songs. The song part was the most interesting display as a foreign exchange student taught them how to sing a song in German and a state wrestler taught the kids how to sing "I'm A Little Tea-pot". I would have paid to have seen that!

While Child Development is not a required class, it is a good one to take. Students learn important life skills and are able to understand and relate to children better. These traits are helpful in lots of different jobs in today's world and taking this class well benefit students of all ages.

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