Covid-19 has changed our entire perspective on life. Nothing has been the same and part of this change is the online classes for the students. Online classes have been a lifesaver for the school and college-going students. When the entire world is under lockdown, online classes is one of the best sources by which students can continue to learn and gain knowledge. I ponder on a few questions.
- Whether online classes are equally important for preschoolers as it is for primary & secondary class students?
- Aren’t preschoolers too young to attend these classes?
- Can we not opt for homeschooling?
- What if we opt for homeschooling, will my child get admission in the next academic session in the standard she is supposed to go?
- Which is the best amongst online classes or homeschooling?
These are some of the burning questions many parents of a preschooler have. I am going to discuss these questions and about online classes and homeschooling further in the blog.
Let me share my experience before moving forward. My three-year-old daughter was attending playschool before the pandemic hit us all bad. She loved going to playschool and to her friends. At the start of the new session she was promoted to Nursery and at that time lockdown was imposed in the entire nation.
Like many parents, we were also not sure about online classes. After rounds of discussions, we decided to enroll her in online classes. We felt, it will help to set a routine and she will be happy to see her teacher and friends over zoom call.
On day one, Kids were excited to see each other and their favorite teacher (Only a handful of them took admission). Then the problems surfaced, network issues, kids screaming, not paying attention, lack of order, and whatnot. Teachers were trying their best to instruct and bring some order, but it was seemingly an impossible task. I often wondered how preschool teachers manage so many kids while I was not able to manage a single kid (lol). Parents too were struggling as they must also dedicate time with kids and make them understand the entire new scenario.
One week went on, I found that we were not enjoying it. I tried evaluating the situation. She loved hymning rhymes in her regular classes as it used to create a fun-filled environment for her. Kids singing, dancing, playing, crying, and what not but enjoying the whole experience. That magic and the fun-filled aura of a preschool was missing in the online avatar.
Kids are not in love with the preschool building but with the community, the comfort and warmth created by teachers and support staff, the whole environment. I feel that a fun-filled environment cannot be created in online classes.
After rounds of discussion with the better half, it was decided to discontinue online classes and homeschool her.
Based on this experience and experiences shared by other colleagues and Moms, I would like to highlight a few points of online classes and homeschooling
Online Classes: No doubt the online classes is the new normal in the current situation and till the time vaccines are developed and promulgated into the masses, People will have to stick to the online classes. There is no alternative to risk the health of One’s child. Below are some of the points to be pondered upon if you are planning or have already enrolled in online classes
- The maximum duration of online classes should be 1-1.5 hours with 2-3 short & long breaks.
- Pre-recorded videos of 10-15 mins is also a good way to start off with. In these videos, teachers can give an outline of the classes. Parents can watch these videos according to their convenience.
- Patience is the key. If kids are not sitting for the classes, give them some time
- The instruction given by teachers should also be in a regional language apart from the English language. In regular classes even if kids cannot understand the instructions clearly, they can interfere with the body language of teachers and fellow students. This is not possible in online classes
- Parents should always sit with the kids during online sessions.
- Give honest feedback about classes to the teachers. Online classes are a new concept for teachers also. Critical feedback shared by parents will help them to improve the experience of online classes.
Home Schooling: For many of us, homeschooling may be a new journey but maybe worth exploring. Not everyone from our generation has attended pre-primary or pre-school, however, that did not stop us from learning.
- The most crucial point is to make a schedule and try to stick to it.
- Make your schedule in such a way that it includes different activities on a different day like coloring, storytelling, dancing, rhymes, yoga, etc.
- Get the course details through online resources/school/fellow parents. We may be seeking admission in the next academic session depending on the prevailing situation. For that, it is important that kids are aware of the learnings of the target study level.
- Try to put your mobile phone out of the reach. I understand it is difficult, especially if both parents are working from home but give it an honest effort.
- If the child is inclined towards any activity, then try to include that more in your schedule. For example, my daughter loves painting, so I watch YouTube videos to learn more about kid’s friendly painting, and then we do it together.
- Listen to them.
- Try to make them learn in an engaging and practical way. Do not limit learning only to the study sessions. Engage them in household chores and make them learn. For example, if we are learning about “Numbers”. I will ask my daughter ‘Can you please pass three potatoes and two onions’.
- You can also join different homeschooling groups on FB to get more ideas about homeschooling methods.
Admission to the next academic session: Parents who are Homeschooling their kids are worried about admission in the next academic session. Admission in most of the formal schools is based on interview performance and different parameters. No school can deny you to take part in the admission procedure process if you homeschool them. Even if you are not able to get admission in your desired school due to any of the reason, you can always take admission in preschools (up to Sr.kg). Schools are also going to be flexible in their admission approach due to the prevailing situation.
Conclusion: There is nothing as good or bad between online classes and homeschooling. It matters what works right and best based on the child’s interests and the parent’s commitments.
Parenting is a never-ending journey worth to explore. Our motto should be “Enjoy the journey of learning”.
Our kids have a long path ahead in the pursuit of learning and gaining knowledge. Once they start going to the formal school, there is not much we can do, and will have to stick to the school standards. For the preschoolers, we have the flexibility and liberty to make their journey enriching and fulfilling with fun and enjoyment.
Let them enjoy these precious moments without being dictated by rules either by school or parents.
If you are the proud parents of twins then you can check this article to know about parenting tips for twins.
Thank you for reading. Your feedback and comment are valuable to us. Do share your experience with us in the comment section.