The PROs & CONs of Online Preschool, & More!
These days, with many more parents working remotely or with reduced office hours, online preschool has been growing in popularity. In many cases, it can be much more convenient for families to send their children to an online homeschool like Playgarden Prep for their learning experience.
As one of today’s foremost online preschool and kindergarten programs, we’ve collected some of the PROs and CONs here of sending your young learner to an online preschool!
What Exactly is Online Learning?
Before diving in, it’s important to understand precisely what online learning entails. In the simplest of terms, it’s when students rely on the internet and use their computer or wireless device to interact with their teachers and peers. Often, class materials are provided prior to the class or online while it is happening.
Many educational institutions take advantage of online platforms like Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, and other services, making it easy to log in and learn. In many ways, virtual learning can be more fun and engaging than learning in a traditional classroom setting.
What Are the PROs of Online Learning?
There is a number of advantages to preschool online including:
- It’s Affordable: For many, sending their child to a brick-and-mortar preschool each day can be costly, especially when factoring in transportation costs and other time lost driving to and from preschool. That’s why many prefer sending their child to online preschool. Often, materials are shared online, reducing paper costs.
- Improved Attendance: Learning from home makes it easy to get to school, children simply need to log onto their devices in their chosen learning space in the home. Since your child can learn from any location, there’s never any need for them to miss one of their daily lessons.
- Great for Numerous Learning Styles: Every child learns differently. Thankfully online preschools can accommodate many different learning styles. In many cases, it can be tailored to your child’s needs, whether they’re a visual or hands-on learner.
- Parent Involvement: Online homeschool makes it easier for parents to get involved in their child’s learning by enabling them to observe how they behave in the virtual classroom. Additionally, online preschools often plan activities where parents can get involved hands-on in the learning process with their child.
- Convenience: As mentioned above, online homeschool classes can be taken anytime, anywhere, making them very convenient, especially for families that might always be on the go. Children aren’t restricted by geographical boundaries as so often happens when attending preschool or kindergarten in person. You can also record your classes to have an easy way of reviewing with your child what they learned that day.
- Efficiency: When it comes to learning, you can’t get more efficient than online learning. This is because teachers can easily distribute things like pictures, graphs, PDFs, and other things while teaching their lessons, making the learning experience more immersive. Additionally, having the internet as a resource to incorporate into lessons can help retain the attention of young learners more easily.
- Dynamic Interaction: The interaction that takes place between students, teachers, peers, and parents online can be much more in-depth and interactive than what the traditional school setting offers.
What Are the CONs to Online Learning?
Depending on the setting and style of your online preschool, as well as the setup you have at home, there can be some downsides to online homeschooling such as:
- Technology Issues: It’s important to remember that even in this day and age, not everyone has the latest smartphone, tablet, or computer. Often, technology issues can play a frustrating role when it comes to online learning. Those living in more rural areas may find it difficult to maintain a steady connection, and in all areas, there can be times when the wireless signal drops.
- Lack of Training: Lack of training can also present online learning issues, especially for older teachers that aren’t as experienced with the use of technology. Additionally, the technological resources that have been provided to them might not be as adequate as they should be. However, proper training is relatively simple and inexpensive.
- Added Screen Time: Before the pandemic, many parents tried to reduce their child’s screen time and encourage them to get out in the yard or play with friends. However, with many more moving toward online preschool, they’re having to increase their child’s screen time as well. It can become easy for children to get distracted when spending long hours in front of the screen, which is why many classes are designed to get children away from the screen for a time and encourage them to take breaks.
Online Learning During COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is receding in many areas and becoming less of an issue, many are still being impacted by it. To follow suit, preschools, and kindergarten programs all over the world like Playgarden Prep have begun offering online homeschool curricula. This is something that’s likely here to stay, even after the pandemic diminishes.
What Makes Online Learning Effective?
At this point, you might be wondering whether online learning is effective or not. Although still a relatively new thing, in terms of recent studies, online preschool can help children retain much more information. One study focused on retention found that when compared with traditional classroom learning, online learning students retained 17-50% more of what they would have retained in a traditional classroom.
It’s important to note, however, that the success of online learning depends upon the child’s age. Online preschool students that are younger will have a harder time concentrating, so it’s up to the teachers and parents to ensure they stay on task.
Online Preschool Tips for Parents
- Adjust Your Schedule as You Go: You can be flexible when scheduling your child’s online preschool enrollment, especially if you’re working from home or have multiple family members to care for. It’s important that you do create a steady schedule for when learning takes place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work it around the times when you have to spend with them if they need help.
- Always Provide Positive Feedback: When your child does something right, let them know how proud you are. Giving children positive feedback is a great way to inspire a love of learning and show them they’re on the right track, as well as how good it can feel to meet certain goals. You can also provide them with some sort of an award system to further motivate them.
- Get In Touch with the Teacher: Being in contact with your child’s teacher is essential for the online preschool process. Doing so will allow you to help your child if they’re struggling and also seek out additional tips and suggestions. It’s also a good way to keep informed of areas where your child might be having a hard time.
- Manage Time Wisely: As parents, it’s easy sometimes for the day to run away from us, which is why time management will serve you well when it comes to online preschool. This is because setting down set times and a structured day will help hold both your child, as well as yourself, accountable. Try to set learning hours during traditional school times if it works with your schedule.
- Schedule Breaks: It’s difficult for younger children to concentrate for long periods of time, so schedule regular breaks for your preschooler. It can be for a quick snack or brief playtime to burn off some energy. Having a short playtime before preschool can also be a good idea to help promote more physical activity throughout the school day.
- Reduce Distractions: It’s important that your child has all they need to focus, and this means minimal distractions. Whether they lose focus while having their favorite pet running around the house or get distracted by open tabs on their computer, these need to be cut out while online learning is taking place. Set up a room that’s nice and quiet, with minimal visual distractions, and have this be their learning place each day.
Contact Playgarden Prep today for more about our online preschool and homeschool!
School Readiness: What Really Matters?May 18, 2023
How Does Community Support Contribute to Education?April 24, 2023
Potty Training Tips from Miss BethSeptember 28, 2023
5 Homeschool Activities for ToddlersSeptember 19, 2023
Time-Out vs. Time-InSeptember 14, 2023
3 Ways to Ensure Toddlers Are Getting the Nutrients They Need
Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!
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!