One of the hottest – and most divisive – topics in modern schooling is the question of whether attending preschool online can be an effective way of teaching young children. These online pre-k programs initially became popular during the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting lockdowns, but they continue to be used by parents across the country.
Online schooling has its doubters, but time is proving that this is a truly effective form of early childhood education, particularly for parents who have reasons to keep their children out of traditional public schools.
What Does Attending Preschool Online Entail?
Simply put, online preschools utilize modern videoconferencing technology, like Skype or Zoom, to bring pre-k classes into your home. Rather than going to a classroom, your child connects to the teacher and other students over the Internet. Otherwise, classes proceed in very similar ways to regular in-person classes.
This does require some extra effort from parents. Your child will need a dedicated computer, laptop, or tablet with a webcam, along with sufficient Internet access and data/bandwidth to maintain the video connections. In addition, you’ll want a dedicated learning space that, in some way, simulates a classroom. This is so the child knows they’re supposed to be learning, rather than playing.
Do Online Preschools Work?
When conducted properly, attending preschool online can be just as effective as regular schooling!
There have been multiple professional academic studies on the matter. One recent study, published in Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, showed that a two-week online reading program effectively teaches basic letters, sounds, and the foundations of reading. The lead author of the study, who went into the project as a skeptic, even said that he was surprised and impressed at how well students in the online class performed.
Why Send Your Child to An Online Preschool?
There are numerous reasons a parent might choose an online preschool over traditional classes:
- You’re homeschooling your child and want to supplement their learning or help them become more socialized.
- Your child has particular challenges that would make in-person learning difficult.
- You want more direct control and oversight over their learning.
- You lack good or affordable preschool options in your area. Online classes can be conducted across the country, regardless of physical location.
In short, attending preschool online is a truly valid form of pre-k education and one which more parents should investigate as a potential educational option!