Virtual schooling for Early Years
- 20 June 2021
Raising children has never been easy and the present pandemic has only made it worse for young parents. With parents juggling home chores, work-from-home, wellbeing concerns, financial and emotional stress, the education and learning for their tiny tots takes a back seat.
Convenience and cost became the driving factors to decide on what children will learn, while schools are closed. However, this may not be the best decision.
Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child, highlights ‘How early experiences affect not only early learning and school readiness but also lifelong health’.
“Investing in quality Early Childhood Development interventions also makes economic sense: every $1 invested in it can yield between $6 and $17 in returns” – Annette Dixon, Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group
So, what can parents do?
In today’s situation, online classes appear like the go-to solution. However, poorly designed online classes can do more harm than good. Apart from the ill effects of passive screen time, children may lose interest in learning altogether. Hence, it is critical to select an Early Years Program that is designed based on research and delivered by trained facilitators.
“The carefully planned timetable at Oakridge is a seamless blend of various well-planned lessons, break times, offline engagement activities and social interactions that allow students to stay engaged and aids their holistic development. Our well-structured routine is known to positively influence a child’s emotional, social & cognitive development”, explains Ms. Dimple Thompson, Cambridge Early Year Head at Oakridge International School, Visakhapatnam. Oakridge learners have access to a rich repository of thousands of shared resources, which have been created by their peers, curated and quality assured by a dedicated Global Education Team.
“My son loves to join his virtual classes. His class teacher is so amazing. She doesn’t miss even a single student in the class. Even after the class is completed my son wants to join again for the class. We wanted our son to have the best education and here we are in the perfect place”, remarked Ms Bhavya, Parent of EYP child at Oakridge
A good program has a balance of online and offline activities. Physical activities elevate their mood, helps reduce negative behavior and plays a huge role in developing their social and motor skills. “I share my Play-Based and Project Based learning activities with the parents well in advance, this allows my students to stay completely away from the digital screens on certain days to perform these enriching offline activities, yet remain focused on learning”, disclosed Ms. Swathi Y., a certified Early Years expert at Oakridge.
Home-schooling children at this age might give them a good academic head start, but this may fail to develop their social and emotional skills that are critical for their future. Virtual school is an opportunity for them to be in a structured setting with teachers and groups of children where they will learn to follow instructions, raise their hand when they want to ask a question, take turns, and share the teacher’s attention. “Our Virtual school provides a place where children will gain a sense of self, explore and build confidence”, adds Ms Shaila Bhamidipati, Principal Oakridge International School, Visakhapatnam.
As a parent, we need to understand that if we do not provide the right environment and simulation at the right time, we will be hampering the child’s brain development in the long run.