Virtual schooling for a kindergarten student? Yes! Students of all ages, even kindergartners, are learning successfully in virtual schools—and loving it!
These days, kindergarten in any school is no longer equivalent to spending the entire school day playing with sand tables, coloring pictures, and playing house. Little kindergartners are now expected to do much more than in the past. So how do parents keep their young, squirmy children with short attention spans focused in a virtual school setting? This is how it can be done, and is being done, by thousands of parents each and every day in the virtual school environment:
- Kindergarten should be filled with varied learning opportunities, so include trips to parks and museums, craft projects that tie into a math or reading lesson, play dates with other children, singing songs, and other creative activities.
- Lessons that are designed for kindergarten students should have several transitions to break up the lesson. If a kindergartner is spending more than 15 consecutive minutes doing the exact same thing, he or she will not retain the knowledge. When doing a reading lesson, for example, have your child listen to part of a story, then stop to ask questions or do a picture walk to predict what might happen next. This is enough of a transition to keep your child engaged in the story and continuing to work.
- Your kindergarten student is learning to write his or her letters and numbers this year. A fun activity is to have your child help make a shopping list. Have your child write the number of apples you need to buy and then, depending on his or her abilities at the time, either draw a picture of apples or write out the word while you spell it. Your child will feel a sense of accomplishment for helping and will also be practicing some of those key developmental skills.
- Many kindergarten students love to do artwork and create masterpieces. A wonderful writing lesson would be for your child to make several paintings or drawings and then on the back write a letter to Grandma and Grandpa or some other significant person in his or her life. Not only will your child feel proud of the artwork, but also someone else will receive a personalized gift they’ll treasure for years.
The key to your kindergarten child’s learning is to make the most of everyday opportunities. Your child might have a hard time sitting through a lesson some days, and that is fine. One of the benefits of virtual schooling is that your child can learn even while hanging upside down off the couch. Learning should be exciting, new, and rewarding, especially at this age—and not only for your child, but also for you as well.