CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. — Infants may be adorable, but can they actually learn anything at such a young age? Or is it a waiting game until they reach kindergarten?
The Renaissance Child in Cliffside Park focuses on educating kids as young as 18 months.
"For some reason, a lot of parents think at this age it is just a waste of time and money," said Oksana Tesker, co-partner of The Renaissance Child.
"They don’t think that children can actually learn and how important it is."
The Renaissance Child is an extracurricular school that's inspired by the concept of "the renaissance man," a person with a variety of interests in different fields.
The classes are structured to specific regions of the world such as France, Italy, Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece. Throughout a semester, kids explore each facet of the civilization, including art, music, history and related activities.
For example, a course focused on Spain features an arts and crafts activity where kids replicate the "Cubism" style of Pablo Picasso.
Another class could focus on the music of that region and go over basic concepts for music theory.
The programs are intended to reveal to kids at a young age what they may be interested in as they get older.
"People don’t think this is the age they should sign up for classes. They think 'just let them play,' they don’t need anything else," Tesker said.
"The earlier you begin the better for the child. They start to understand what they like."
The organization was founded by Elena Melamed and has locations in Cliffside Park and Hoboken.
Currently, The Renaissance Child has primarily Russian-speaking families attending. As such, most classes are taught in Russian. However, the organization wants to open its doors to English speakers.
The Renaissance Child will host a free demo of their Little Explorer class for English-speakers this Sunday. Little Explorer is intended for infants aged between 18 and 36 months.
The class will take place Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. It will take place at its Cliffside Park location, 665 Anderson Avenue.
Interested parties are asked to email email@example.com before attending Sunday's class.