The Impact of Virtual School to Preschoolers – Flexibility
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual learning has become the new normal. Schools across the world have shifted from traditional in-person learning to virtual classrooms, and preschoolers have not been left out. This shift has come with its own set of challenges, including the impact on preschoolers’ flexibility. In this article, we will delve into the impact of virtual school to preschoolers, focusing on flexibility.
Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing situations and environments. Preschoolers are at a stage where they are developing their flexibility, and virtual school has had a significant impact on this development. The sudden shift to virtual school has disrupted the routines and structures that preschoolers are used to, making it challenging for them to adapt to the new learning environment.
Preschoolers’ flexibility has been impacted by virtual school in a variety of ways, including their capacity to manage their time, adapt to diverse timetables, and adapt to various learning styles. We shall go into more detail about these effects in this essay.
Impact 1: Preschoolers thrive on regularity and routines
Preschoolers who study traditionally in person follow a regular schedule and are aware of what to expect from the day.
However, virtual school has disrupted this routine, and preschoolers have had to adapt to a new schedule.
Virtual school requires preschoolers to manage their time independently, which can be a significant challenge for them. Preschoolers are not yet adept at managing their time and may struggle with tasks that require them to prioritize or manage their time effectively. This struggle can result in frustration and a lack of engagement in virtual learning.
Furthermore, virtual schools force preschoolers to sit in front of screens for long stretches of time, which can be bad for their development.
Prolonged screen time has been linked to various developmental issues, including attention problems,
language delays, and poor sleep.
Impact 2: Adjusting to Different Schedules
Virtual school has also disrupted the schedules of preschoolers, which can affect their flexibility. Preschoolers are used to a set routine, and any changes to this routine can be challenging for them. Virtual school requires preschoolers to adjust to a new schedule that may differ significantly from their previous routine.
Moreover, virtual school requires preschoolers to be available for synchronous learning sessions, which may not fit into their usual schedule. Preschoolers may have to wake up earlier or go to bed later to attend virtual learning sessions, which can affect their sleep and overall wellbeing.
Impact 3: Adapting to Different Learning Styles
Virtual school also requires preschoolers to adapt to different learning styles, which can be challenging for them. Preschoolers are accustomed to engaging in hands-on activities and social interactions during traditional classroom instruction, which can aid in their learning and memory.
However, virtual learning requires preschoolers to engage with content in a different way.
Virtual learning often involves watching videos, completing worksheets, and interacting with a computer screen. This learning style can be challenging for preschoolers, who may struggle to engage with the content or retain information. Additionally, the social development of preschoolers may be harmed by virtual learning because it lacks the same social interaction as conventional in-person learning.
learning, including providing breaks during virtual learning sessions and engaging them in hands-on activities that support their learning.
One way to support preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual school is to provide a structured routine that incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. A structured routine can help preschoolers understand what to expect during the day and create a sense of predictability. The routine should also include regular breaks, which can help preschoolers manage their time and reduce the negative effects of prolonged screen time.
In addition to a structured routine, parents and educators should also provide preschoolers with opportunities for hands-on learning activities. Hands-on activities can help preschoolers engage with the content and retain information. Parents can engage preschoolers in activities such as cooking, crafting, and exploring nature, which can provide a break from screen time and support their development.
Parents and educators can also support preschoolers’ flexibility by providing opportunities for social interaction. Virtual learning can be isolating, and preschoolers need social interaction to support their development. Parents can arrange virtual playdates with friends or family members or incorporate social activities into their daily routine.
Finally, it is essential to recognize that every preschooler is unique and will have different needs during virtual learning. Together, parents and teachers should identify the unique needs of each preschooler and adapt their strategies to meet those needs. By providing a supportive and flexible learning environment, parents and educators can help preschoolers adapt to virtual learning and continue to develop their flexibility.
Another way to support preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual school is to use a multi-sensory approach to teaching. Preschoolers learn through all their senses, so incorporating a variety of sensory experiences can help them stay engaged and focused during virtual learning. For example, parents and educators can use music, movement, and visual aids to support their learning.
Music is an excellent way to engage preschoolers during virtual learning. Parents can incorporate songs and rhymes into their preschooler’s virtual learning sessions to help them remember important information. For example, singing the alphabet song can help preschoolers remember the order of the letters. Movement is another effective way to engage preschoolers. Parents can incorporate movement breaks into their preschooler’s virtual learning sessions, which can help them release energy and refocus their attention. For example, parents can lead their preschoolers in a quick dance break or yoga session to support their learning.
Visual aids are also an effective way to engage preschoolers during virtual learning. To aid with their preschooler’s learning, parents, teachers, and caregivers can use images, diagrams, and movies.For example, showing pictures of animals or plants during a science lesson can help preschoolers understand the content better.
In addition to using a multi-sensory approach, parents and educators can also incorporate play-based learning activities into their preschooler’s virtual learning. Preschoolers can learn while having fun by engaging in play-based learning activities that foster critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
For example, parents can incorporate games and puzzles into their preschooler’s virtual learning sessions to support their development.
Another way to support preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual school is to provide them with opportunities for independent learning. Preschoolers must develop self-regulation skills, and virtual learning can give them the chance to do so.
Parents can provide preschoolers with learning activities that they can complete independently, such as a scavenger hunt or a puzzle. These activities can help preschoolers develop their self-regulation skills while also supporting their learning.
Finally, parents and educators can support preschoolers’ flexibility by providing them with opportunities for creative expression. Preschoolers need to develop their creativity and imagination, and virtual learning can provide an opportunity for them to do so. Parents can provide preschoolers with art supplies and encourage them to create their art during virtual learning breaks. Parents can also incorporate storytelling into their preschooler’s virtual learning sessions to support their development.
Another way to support preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual school is to incorporate outdoor learning opportunities into their virtual learning sessions. Outdoor learning can provide preschoolers with a break from screen time and provide them with an opportunity to engage with the natural world. Preschoolers are able to discover their neighborhood by going on walks through the outdoors or taking part in outdoor scavenger hunts, with the help of parents and teachers.
Parents and educators can also incorporate science lessons into outdoor learning opportunities, such as observing the growth of plants or learning about local wildlife.
Additionally, parents and educators can support preschoolers’ flexibility by providing them with opportunities to make choices during virtual learning. Preschoolers who have choices have a better sense of control over their learning and can improve their decision-making abilities. For example, parents can offer preschoolers a choice of learning activities or allow them to choose the order in which they complete their virtual learning sessions.
Another important aspect of supporting preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual learning is to involve parents in the learning process. Parents can support their preschoolers’ virtual learning by creating a supportive learning environment at home. This includes creating a designated learning space, minimizing distractions during virtual learning sessions, and providing their preschoolers with the necessary technology and resources. Additionally, parents can communicate regularly with educators and participate in virtual parent-teacher conferences to stay informed about their preschooler’s progress.
Finally, it is crucial to provide preschoolers with a sense of community during virtual learning. Preschoolers need to feel connected to their peers and educators to support their development. Parents and educators can create a sense of community by incorporating group activities into virtual learning sessions, such as virtual show-and-tell or virtual storytime. Parents and educators can also encourage preschoolers to stay connected with their peers outside of virtual learning sessions by arranging virtual playdates or encouraging them to write letters to each other.
Another important factor to consider when supporting preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual school is their social-emotional development. Preschoolers’ social-emotional skills are crucial for their overall development and can be impacted by virtual learning. Parents and educators can support preschoolers’ social-emotional development by incorporating activities that promote emotional regulation, empathy, and social skills into virtual learning sessions.
For example, parents and educators can encourage preschoolers to identify and express their emotions during virtual learning sessions. They can also teach preschoolers strategies for managing their emotions, such as taking deep breaths or taking a break when feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, parents and educators can incorporate activities that promote empathy, such as reading stories that teach about emotions and discussing how characters might be feeling.
Another important aspect of supporting preschoolers’ social-emotional development is to promote social interaction during virtual learning sessions. Preschoolers can be encouraged by their parents and teachers to participate in group activities and virtual conversations with their peers.
Additionally, they can give young preschoolers the chance to collaborate on tasks and solve issues as a group.
The effect of virtual school on preschoolers’ physical development should also be taken into account in addition to its promotion of social and emotional development.
Preschoolers need opportunities for physical activity and movement to support their overall health and development. Parents and educators can incorporate movement breaks into virtual learning sessions, such as stretching or dancing. Preschoolers can be encouraged to engage in outdoor pursuits that stimulate physical activity, such riding a bike or playing in the park.
Additionally, preschoolers must have access to wholesome meals and snacks while engaging in virtual learning, according to parents and educators.
Preschoolers need proper nutrition for their growth and development, and parents may make sure that their preschoolers have access to nutritious foods while they are learning at home.
Additionally, they can include their preschoolers in meal planning and preparation while also teaching them about healthy eating habits.
Another important aspect to consider when supporting preschoolers’ flexibility during virtual school is the importance of play. Play is a fundamental aspect of preschoolers’ development, and it is essential to their overall well-being and success in virtual learning.
Parents and educators can support preschoolers’ play by incorporating play-based learning activities into virtual learning sessions. For example, they can incorporate interactive games or simulations that engage preschoolers in virtual play and promote learning at the same time. They can also encourage preschoolers to engage in imaginative play by providing props or materials that stimulate their creativity.
Furthermore, parents and educators can support preschoolers’ play by providing opportunities for unstructured playtime. They can encourage preschoolers to engage in physical activity, explore nature, or create art or music independently. Unstructured play allows preschoolers to develop their creativity, problem-solving skills, and independence, which are important for their overall development.
Finally, parents and educators must consider the potential challenges that virtual learning may pose to preschoolers’ mental health and well-being. Virtual learning can be isolating and stressful for preschoolers, and parents and educators must take steps to support their mental health and well-being.
Parents and educators can support preschoolers’ mental health by creating a supportive and nurturing environment at home. They can encourage preschoolers to express their emotions, provide opportunities for social interaction, and create a predictable and stable routine. They can also provide resources and support for parents and preschoolers who may be experiencing mental health challenges.