With the current Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced by the government in most states in Malaysia (at this point of writing), children are recommended to take online preschool classes from home.
Besides the main reason for keeping children safe, taking online preschool classes can bring advantages like flexibility, convenience, and experiential learning.
However, we understand that it can be difficult for you to facilitate the time to learn for your child at home. After all, it’s a relatively new experience for you and your children.
That’s why, in this post, we’ll share some tips for you to support your child to learn from home. Let’s dive right in.
10 Tips for Supporting Online Preschool Classes At Home
1. Teach Your Child to Set Up for Online Preschool Classes
With most online preschool classes being conducted on online meeting platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet, it’s just about repeating the process before your child becomes familiar.
To ensure a smooth learning experience for your child, have your child pick up the habit of preparing at least 10 minutes before class starts.
This would mean setting up the necessary equipment for the online classes, such as having a microphone, webcam, preschool materials, a pencil, and a paper ready.
Teach them to independently join the online class, including picking up essential online class habits such as muting and un-muting the microphone when it’s time to listen or speak.
While online preschool classes allow children to see their teachers and friends via video, it’s also important to teach them to be mindful of digital privacy.
Teach them the importance of covering the webcam after the class has ended.
2. Provide Alternatives to Screen Time
The downside to online preschool classes is that children are exposed to more screen time.
While it’s recommended that children should not be glued to the screen throughout the day, it’s inevitable that screen time will increase for them.
According to a report, two hours of screen time every day can cause inattention to children. And in another study, it’s revealed that having too much screen time during the day potentially causes children’s sleeping problems at night.
The solution is to include activities that take their eyes off the screen. This is why we provide print-outs and worksheets that your child uses as they follow the online preschool classes at Q-dees Malaysia.
Shifting to doing occasional hands-on activities help to take the attention away from the screen and relaxes the eyes too.
On top of that, schedule some time for evening walks with your child whenever possible to offer them a change of environment.
3. Create a Schedule at Home
Having a routine means your children will know how the day will unfold, giving them the ability to anticipate the fun things that will happen throughout the day.
There are two schedules you need to establish, a daily and weekly schedule.
Depending on your work schedule and daily responsibilities, draft a schedule around your time for your child to learn.
It’s good to have this schedule as something that can be physically seen every day. So we recommend that you create a schedule that you can hang on your refrigerator, for example!
Identify the times to know when your child is most active and plan for them to indulge in learning activities that require them to pay attention during those times. But of course, don’t forget to include breaks for them to relax and you to connect with them.
The change of schedule from going to preschool to learning from home can cause built-up stress in children. Therefore it will be helpful to talk to them about why they are staying at home, and what to expect.
4. Blend Learning with Fun during online preschool classes
Play is far more powerful for children than many parents realize. In fact, playing is the key to effective learning.
Through our years of providing childhood education, it has been shown again and again that play enriches learning for children to develop basic skill sets such as self-expression, social and academic skills.
This also brought about the Link & Think methodology, adopted by all our preschools in Malaysia, where a child’s learning is accelerated as they link their logical and creative minds.
So on top of academic-based classes, make sure to include time for your child to do art & craft activities and learn through fun songs and interactive multimedia.
Singing songs helps children to understand the meaning of different words and master pronunciation. More importantly, music also brings joy to children, making them more interested to learn.
You can find educational music and fun activities through Q-dees Fun Learning Hub – an online learning platform built to provide continuous learning for your child even while at home, anywhere in Malaysia.
5. Get Your Family to Participate
Learning is more fun and better together. A downside to learning from home is that your child may feel lonely when he’s learning by himself.
But children love sharing their knowledge and telling other people about their experiences. So a good idea is to get your entire family to join your child’s learning activity. This will make your child feel more supported and indirectly also allows for a quality bonding session at home.
At Q-dees online preschool classes Malaysia, we offer home activities designed for the entire family to take part together with your child.
The activity includes some print-out worksheets that will be required to follow the activity.
6. Help Your Child’s Social-Emotional Needs
We understand that learning at home is a new experience both to you and your child, so know that it’s alright to take time to adapt to the online preschool classes environment.
To help your child adapt to the new learning experience faster, use familiar preschool classroom items whenever possible, such as blocks and puzzles, art supplies, calendars, and play cards.
There will be times when your child will refuse to pay attention during online preschool classes or complete their work. When this happens, try to avoid getting into a power struggle with your child over their preschool classes or homework.
Instead, remove yourself and give them space to calm down before getting back to work. Understand that it’s normal for children to experience stress or boredom when their typical routines are disrupted.
7. Take Breaks in Between Lessons
Taking breaks in between lessons to allow your child to refresh will help them not lose focus due to prolonged sitting hours in front of a laptop or TV screen.
The average attention span is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child’s age. That means a child aged 4 years old would be able to concentrate on a particular task for up to 20 minutes. But don’t be misled by children’s attention span when watching TV, as that isn’t accurate.
So make sure you and your child take breaks, where you put work and study down. Children are usually bursting with energy, so use the opportunity to encourage some physical activities during break time.
The physical activities during the break could be a simple playtime for children, but it offers both cognitive and emotional benefits towards their development.
8. Collaborate With Other Parents
Supporting your child as they learn from home is a new experience for many. As we write this, our research and development team is hard at work, exploring methods to conduct effective online preschool classes.
Because of this, we recommend parents to connect with other parents to share ideas and strategies to support children learning from home.
Sure, the movement control order (MCO) means you should refrain from meeting other parents face-to-face. However, there are many online groups and forums on parenting topics that you can join to learn from.
9. Dedicate a Space for Online Preschool Learning at Home
Another downside of learning from home is that there are many potential distractions, such as other family members and the sound from television. This affects your child’s focus during classes, especially when your home is not made to be a classroom.
Luckily there are ways to make this better. Instead of just using random spots at home for your child to study, dedicate an area or space that serves as your child’s learning space at home.
If choosing a room, select a room that is further away from the living room, which usually presents the biggest distractions. And if choosing an area at home, make sure the area has enough lighting and is comfortable for your child.
Environment plays an important role, so we advise paying extra attention to creating an encouraging environment for your child to learn. Generally, avoid dimly lit and noisy areas around your house whenever possible.
10. Manage Your Expectations
Most parents working from home are trying to balance responsibilities from work, childcare, and right now, as a teacher.
That is to say that you must set realistic expectations for your child’s learning. Your child’s experiences at school won’t perfectly match learning at home, so be prepared that your day-to-day activities will change.
Be flexible, and prepare for different situations. Yes, putting time and effort to support your child to learn from home can be difficult. But know that your actions today play a huge role in helping them to live better lives tomorrow.
Final thoughts about online preschool in Malaysia
Staying at home and following standard social distancing procedures can appear like an inconvenience. But remember, it’s the best way right now to keep your family safe.
Online learning may not be able to replace physical classes. That being said, there are benefits to taking online preschool classes and learning from home.
Learn more about how Q-dees’ Fun Learning Hub platform provides exclusive online preschool classes in Malaysia to maintain your child’s learning momentum, along with tons of other fun materials such as printable art & craft templates and worksheets.