Between the coronavirus outbreak and various other issues at the moment, an increasing number of parents are choosing to embrace virtual and digital learning systems for their young children. Virtual preschool learning is absolutely viable and can produce results as good as in-person preschool - but it needs to be done right.
As one of the premier online preschools in New York, we spend a lot of time helping our parents create great learning environments for their at-home students. Here are a few tips.
Four Do's and Don'ts When Setting Up a Virtual Preschool Environment
1 - DO invest in tablets
A tablet is a perfect device for enabling modern virtual preschool. They're larger than phones, with a lot more screen real estate, while being able to display a huge range of educational materials. They can be used for videos, slideshows, e-reading, or even video conferencing.
Plus, they don't have to be expensive. Even something as basic as a Kindle Fire can be sufficient for learning purposes.
2 - DON'T allow too much non-educational gaming
We strongly recommend keeping your educational tablets and other devices separate from any purely recreational devices. Your child shouldn't associate their learning tablet with game-playing - otherwise getting them to switch tasks and stay on-task can be extremely difficult.
If possible, give your learning devices a distinct look, such as matching rubber protective covers, so they come to mean "education" to your child, rather than "games."
3 - DO engage in digital storytelling and creative endeavors
Along with being a vehicle for education, tablet-style devices are also amazing creative tools. There are, for example, websites online that allow children to engage in digital storytelling - allowing them to quickly assemble storybook or comic-book-style presentations with graphics, text, even sound.
Likewise, there are a huge range of creative tools in every possible artistic field. Make use of them and encourage your child to embrace their creativity!
4 - DON'T forget to enable parental controls
Honestly, a child under the age of 13 (at an absolute minimum) should not have unrestricted access to the Internet or mobile apps. There are just too many ways for them to go astray, and too many scammers looking to exploit them. Enable parental controls, don't turn them off, and always be willing to monitor and discuss your child's online use.
If you're looking for a quality virtual preschool to enhance your homeschooling, Playgarden Prep has numerous success stories.