Online education has long been popular in Australia. Recent statistics show that the market is valued at approximately $4 billion and is expected to rise in the succeeding years continually. While e-learning was initially in-demand among older students who desire to complete certificate courses for employment opportunities and career advancement, more and more parents are now opting for virtual preschool classes.
Enrolling young kids to a reputable online early learning centre offers numerous advantages, such as flexibility, savings, and convenience. As parents, virtual classes allow you to be fully involved in your child’s education. Nonetheless, it is important to note that this learning modality also has certain challenges that you need to address and prepare for. Below are three ways that could help you navigate and optimise your toddler’s online preschool experience:
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Create an Environment That Encourages Learning
Instead of letting your child take his virtual classes at various rooms in the house, it is best if you designate a specific space for this purpose. Having a place solely for online classes will help condition your child’s mind that is time for class. Over time, he/she will automatically enter into “student-mode” upon going into the room.
Once you assign a room or a portion of the house, it is time to transform it into an ideal learning space. Decorate the room with cute items or images like posters of baby animals and cuddly toys to help boost concentration and focus as found by a recent study.
You should also be mindful of the colours of the room as it can affect your child’s mood and behaviour. For instance, seeing red can help your little feel more alert, excited, and creative. Green, blue, and purple evoke relaxation and serenity. Yellow and off-white, on the other hand, can inspire positive feelings and creativity.
Make sure that the study area is also clean and organised as it can affect your child’s creativity, problem-solving skills, and productivity. One survey revealed that around 83 per cent of students could accomplish their tasks more efficiently and 77 per cent are more creative when they are working on a clean desk.
Pay Attention to Your Child’s Needs
Keep in mind that your child can’t sit still and watch the presentations on screen from start to finish. This behaviour is perfectly normal for young kids. Instead of criticising or scolding them, you should pay attention to the clues they are giving you.
For instance, if your toddler is having difficulty focusing on what the teacher is explaining on the screen, you may want to step in. Watch the materials beforehand and have days when you introduce the activities yourself without turning the screen on.
Do not forget that learning does not stop just because you are not connected online. Unplug when necessary and let your young one enjoy music, arts, play, and other activities.
Keep the Line of Communication Open
The teachers at the online early learning centre are your partners. They create the learning modules, determine the activities, and track your kid’s progress. Since they only observe your child when the computer camera is on, it is best to give them feedback on your observations when the camera is off. Your inputs are crucial for content creators and teachers.
The strategies given above are just a few of the things you can do to ensure that your child benefits from his/her online early learning classes. Keep in mind that unlike conventional preschools wherein you simply drop off your toddler, virtual learning means you have a more active and significant role in your child’s academic life. Take the challenge and cherish the experience.