How to Create Effective Virtual Preschool Learning that Your Little Ones Will Love
Learning is wonderful, and goes on even when your little one grows older and older! For some, online platforms are becoming as important to their little one’s learning experience as in-person learning; it’s crucial to know how to use virtual preschool to the fullest extent in order to give your little one the best early learning experience possible. After all, it’s always easier to learn when you’re having fun! Virtual preschool learning has been proven to be a positive educational experience for toddlers that is cost effective, flexible, accessible, and time-saving. In order to create an environment that is best for your little one to learn at-home in, here are some handy tips:
1. Understand that Every Little One Learns Differently
There is no 100% effective way to use virtual preschool to help your little one! Each child finds strength or enjoyment in a different aspect of learning, and one key way to ensure that virtual preschool learning is successful for you and your little one is to make certain that you are familiar with how your little one learns best. One of the best ways to do this is to ask them lots of questions about their virtual preschool classes: which Zoom class did they enjoy most today? Do they have a favorite teacher? A favorite subject? By learning what your child likes, it will be much easier to personalize their learning experience to their strengths.
2. Use Visuals, Videos and Interactives
Many little ones are really strong visual learners, so forms of visual media are really handy tools to introduce and increase understanding of topics that your little one learns in virtual preschool. They can also make learning goals a bit more playful, which will interest your little one a bit more—after all, who doesn’t love to play? Music, vibrant pictures or images and interactive tabs are all super useful tools to boost your little one’s engagement with the material they learn. Supplementing their virtual preschool curriculum with additional videos and hands-on activities will help to engage their interest, and keep them going throughout the day.
3. Find an Easy-to-Use Site
Preschool at home is full of challenges in terms of learning, so why make technology another challenge to overcome? It’s much more conducive to learning if your little one doesn’t have to spend ages trying to decipher how to use the website, so try and find a webpage that uses lots of big letters, arrows and more that will help your little one figure out how to complete tasks or modules. Finding a virtual preschool program that is tablet-friendly is even better, because your child will be able to use their hands to navigate. If you find the right program, they might not even need your help!
4. Set Good Goals
It can be really rewarding to track your own progress when you complete tasks that are tough, and little ones feel similarly. Setting goals alongside your child is a good way to engage them in their own path towards success, and is a great way to help them understand their progress as well as motivating them to keep working hard! Some online preschool programs, like Playgarden Online, offer incentives such as fun printables at the end of a day of lessons.
In addition to this, the way your little one thinks and feels may be completely different than it was before the pandemic. When online learning was the only option, you may have noticed that your little one had a tough time focusing, or that they may have altered the way they interact with their peers. It is very important for you to take a key role in ensuring that your little one’s virtual preschool experience is geared towards their learning and enjoyment. No worries, though-there are some simple tips you can use as guidelines towards success!
5. Minimize Distractions
This is a tip even adults can use to help with a lack of focus. Like how many experts recommend sleeping in a separate room than your phone, it’s much easier to dedicate yourself to a task when temptation for distraction isn’t in front of you. The simplest way to achieve a study-conducive environment for your little one is to give them a space that is designated for studying or virtual preschool classes. If you have an area of your home that is distanced from the areas of your house where playtime or other distractions occur, try to set up a special virtual preschool space for your little one. If this isn’t possible for you, just be conscious of when classes are for your little one. We get frustrated when people disturb our work, so try and be mindful of your little one’s work time in the same fashion.
6. Keep a Steady Schedule
Daily schedules are more helpful than we even realize! Routines and consistency are really helpful for little ones, and will certainly improve your little one’s capacity to focus on their virtual preschool lessons by helping them understand that certain times of day are for learning or work. It doesn’t have to be an airtight, identical schedule each day, but keeping loose boundaries in place (such as “1:30-2:30PM is for playtime,” and whatever that means on a day-to-day basis) will help keep you and your little one organized. Just make sure the schedule works for both of you, not just you or your little one.
7. Stay Digitally Up-to-Date
We know that it’s tough to stay up on all of the constantly changing technologies that are being introduced! It can feel as if just as you’ve learned one thing, a brand new technology is developed. However, if you have a little one who is learning through a virtual preschool, it becomes hugely important to their success for you to know how the platform works! Your little one isn’t quite ready to be fully digitally literate, so the task falls to you. There are many classes and websites available to help guide you along, but the more you understand the platform you’re working with, the easier it will be for your little one to understand and learn from it, too!
8. Take Time Away From Screens
We know—it’s so easy to get distracted when you’re using your devices for learning. Games, other websites, and more are all welcome distractions when you’re trying to learn about something you aren’t 100% interested in. However, studies say that when technology is being used in classes, even if it’s in virtual preschool settings, it is distracting to at least half of the students in class. Because using technology in online classes is essentially unavoidable, it just becomes more important to keep an eye on how it’s being used, as well as scheduling time away from technology all in all. It’s important to schedule breaks away from devices, to provide some time away from the screens. You can also set your devices on some kind of “kid mode,” where they only have access to certain features while they’re working on their preschool lessons.
9. Emotional Support
If your little one is still using primarily virtual preschool for safety purposes, it may feel tough for them! Being away from their peers or even the different classroom setting can be very isolating, so it’s very important for you to provide your little one with a really strong and supportive environment for learning and emotions as they come. Be sure to spend as much time with your little one as possible, and be very empathetic towards their big feelings!
Start Virtual Preschool at Home Today!
It can be really hard for you to balance your own work with the online learning your little one is a part of! However, it is truly important for you to be there for them as much as possible while still making time for your own work and feelings. Try Our Online Preschool at Home for FREE! Playgarden Prep offers numerous educational videos from real teachers, and hundreds of DIY projects that support early learning and development.
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Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!