Having a little one who loves learning and exploring the world around them is really exciting! It’s important as such that you make sure your little one’s curiosity is being both encouraged and developed by the learning environment they are placed in. Preschool has been proven to have many benefits, including an improved vocabulary development, cognitive skills, and social skills. However, it can be tough to figure out where to begin when it comes to choosing a form of early childhood education for your little one to take part in. With the development of online preschool, you have the benefit (and stressor) of having more options than ever before when it comes to your little one's at-home education. If you’re someone who found the flexibility of preschool at home helpful, are in a location where public preschool is unavailable, or want to save money while keeping your little one stimulated and engaged, you may want to begin with online preschool. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to picking a program for your little one, read on!
The first question lots of parents have even before looking at curriculum or programs is simple: When should my little one begin preschool at all? Generally, children are enrolled in preschool from ages three to five, though this varies across the United States. It’s usually an age that’s perfect for your little one to begin learning before they reach kindergarten, and an age when they can more easily be potty trained. By enrolling your little one in preschool online or in-person, you will encourage them to develop a lifelong love and enjoyment of learning.
Once you’ve determined if your little one is the appropriate age to begin preschool at all, it may be time to consider the variety of options at your disposal. Which program would work best for your little one, specifically? There are a number of early childhood education resources out there, but broadly speaking there are two options for a structured school-day: online preschool or in-person preschool. There are many options for each, but there are some things you should look for no matter if you’re choosing an in-person program or online preschool. Before the pandemic, in-person preschool was definitely considered to be pretty standard. However, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic there have been lots of developments in order to present parents with the option to do preschool at home during periods of isolation. Because it’s a newer form of preschool, there tend to be quite a few questions surrounding online preschool, so it’s good to learn more about it in order to make a fully informed choice about what type of preschool program will suit you and your little one best. Not all little ones learn the same way, and nobody knows your little one quite as well as you do!
So what is online preschool, exactly? Well, we know just as well as you do that having toddlers at home can be really tricky, especially if you're working from home! Essentially, online preschool works to keep your little one entertained by using educational and hands-on activities that will not only keep those little hands busy, but will aid them developmentally as well. If you decide that preschool at home is a better fit for both you and your little one, online preschool acts as a sort of helping hand to make sure your little one stays on track to hit those important developmental milestones. Online preschool teachers actually plan out the curriculum for you and your little one, which can help busy parents who may also be working. Ideally, online preschool works to ensure that your little one is building an interest in their education, too! In short: online preschool is basically a tool for homeschool parents to begin homeschooling their child as early as they'd like. If you're in the market for a homeschool preschool program, keep an eye out for websites sharing "online preschools," as these could be incredibly helpful for your family.
If you’re choosing to do preschool at home, it’s important to have lots of variety in how each day's lessons are approached. Not only will this help your little one to have a more well-rounded early education experience, but it will make sure they’re hitting those important developmental milestones. Video lessons in key subjects, such as math, science, and reading are all excellent staples to a solid online preschool experience, but need to be supplemented by parents and teachers alike! Firstly, it’s always good to look for preschool at home programs that offer lots of live virtual lessons with the educators as well as asynchronous lessons. Most online preschool programs don't have many time options for these live sessions, and the majority will charge per-class. Do your research, and strive to find a program like Playgarden Prep's Online preschool, which offers many different time options for live classes, all at the same flat monthly price. These classes are a good way of making sure your little one has some socialization with their educators and potentially peers, even if they’re learning online. Hands-on activities are another indispensable part of a well-rounded online preschool experience. It can be all too easy for all of your little one’s learning to happen on a screen, so it’s crucial to bolster that with lots of fun hands-on materials so that your little one can develop their motor skills alongside their intellectual ones! Some preschool at home programs will even send materials to you and your little one for this purpose.
Looking at what sorts of classes or learning will be offered is great, but it’s also really handy to look into the types of enrichment activities your little one will be able to participate in with their online preschool. Your little one may or may not already have interests that excite them, but it’s important to nurture lots of different interests so that they can have a diverse range of studies to prepare them for kindergarten. Some standard courses you should always make sure your little one will be learning are math, science, writing, reading, and other language development classes. However, it’s just as important for your little one to have options to explore movement, dance, and other physical activities, as well as music, theatre and art classes too!
Finally, it’s good to check in with the online preschool programs you consider to see what tools are available for your little one to bolster their learning experience. Programs like Playgarden Online offer items like workbooks or cognitive learning sheets to help reinforce lessons learned, as well as libraries of content covered in former lessons and more! Each preschool at home program will do things differently, and it’s all about deciding what will work best for you and your little one.
There is so much for you to contemplate and consider when choosing an online preschool program for your little one. However, it will get easier as time passes, and you can always rest assured that you know your little one well, so the choice you make will be the right one!
Try Our Online Preschool for FREE! Playgarden Prep offers numerous educational videos from real teachers, and numerous DIY projects that support early learning and development.
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!