From pregnant bellies to finger painting

Child development is a class that everyone should take in order to prepare for the future. The class is taught here at Hillcrest, by Mrs. Heath and Mrs. McCloud. The class covers a variety of topics from childbirth to family dynamics.

Sophomore Zach Rolfson says, “I like being able to learn about children and being able to understand them more.”

In the first unit you learn about parenting, genetics, bonding, self concept, and the five areas of development, and reproduction. In the second unit you learn about birth defects, the stages of labor, the female reproductive system, and pregnancy.

In the third unit, you learn about the physical development of infants, social and emotional development, cognitive development, crying, and safety.

Towards the end of the first quarter every student has to wear the “empathy belly.” The belly weighs 25 pounds and simulates what a pregnancy feels like. It is very interesting to see how exhausting it is being pregnant, even if it just for a hour.

Junior Jordan Gonzalez says, “It made me feel like I had to go to the bathroom, it was interesting to see what a woman has to go through.”

In the class you do many activities that younger kids do such as finger painting, reading children’s books, planting seeds, and making snacks.

Freshman Charles Hooper says, “It’s fun to do children’s activities and to play with toys. It makes me feel like I’m back in kindergarten.”

During second quarter, each student brings home a “Real Life Baby.” The babies are activated from 3p.m. to 7a.m. the next day. They cry when they are hungry, need a diaper change, or need to be burped. Being a student and seeing how exhausting it is having a baby for a night makes you have more respect for those who do it.

The babies have computers inside them, which sense you are there by a bracelet that gets put on once you get the baby. The bracelet detects how fast you respond to the crying, and if you correctly help the baby.

Senior Cameron McCleary has taken child development twice and says, “It’s a unique experience that gives you a look into problem solving with a baby.”

Learning all of these skills are essential for all future parents. It is good to take and have notes on the subject matter that you can look back on when you are expecting your first child.