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The benefits of online preschool and how it works

Online preschool has several benefits, including less stress and greater flexibility. Here's how to try it for yourself.

Thinking about online preschool as an alternative to traditional preschool? 

Preschooling your kid can be very rewarding, but if you’ve never done it before, you may wonder how it works and whether you should try it. At Outschool, we firmly believe that if you go about online preschooling methodically, you can get excellent results while eliminating some of the stress of brick-and-mortar preschool from your kid’s routine. 

Here are some key elements to consider if you’re thinking of trying online preschool this year.

Online preschool: how it works

Before you begin online preschool for your child, you’ll need to plan out administrative and organizational elements. First, always check local homeschooling laws, as these vary from state to state. 

Most states will require you to apply to the local department of education to get legal permission to homeschool your child. The rules for preschooling will be slightly different. For example, different states may need an additional background check and/or have educational experience requirements.

While you’re waiting for more information and approval from your local education department, it’s a good idea to start setting expectations and creating a schedule for your online preschool curriculum. One of the most important things you’ll need to work out is how many hours per day you’ll be homeschooling. 

Remember that with online preschool you may need to be a bit more flexible with how many hours of schooling you’ll achieve each day, as preschoolers’ concentration ability often fluctuates. At the same time, it’s good to build up a routine with classes or activities starting and finishing around the same time each day.

Our top tip: Ease into it. Start with shorter days, perhaps only one or two hours at a time, but stick to the same or similar starting times to get you and your child into the habit of learning.

The benefits of online preschool

The numerous benefits of online preschool are what make parents choose this preschooling format for their kids. Online preschool offers many of the same advantages as traditional preschool while mitigating some disadvantages.

Online preschool offers more flexibility, which often makes it more suitable for parents who work from home or have irregular work schedules. Eliminating daily school pickups can save a lot of time and make the logistics of parenting much simpler.

Online preschool also allows for more one-on-one supervision and connection than brick-and-mortar preschool. 

Online preschoolers will always have the support and guidance of their parents and one-on-one classes should they need it. By contrast, in an in-person preschool, children are taught in classes of as many as 30 kids, making the learning process more challenging for introverted or shy kids.

Finally, online preschool can be cheaper than conventional preschool since you can enroll in courses you want rather than paying a set fee for a whole preschool year.

At the same time, online preschool still offers children the opportunities to socialize and be creative as in traditional preschool. Children who attend preschool benefit from making friends and engaging in creative activities. 

At Outschool, we offer a choice of preschool classesearly childhood classesreading classes, and virtual art classes, all tailored to the needs of preschoolers and their parents.   

Key preschooling homeschooling subjects to cover

Many parents will naturally want to focus on key subjects like math and reading, and acquiring the skills for these subjects is very important. However, if you’re just at the beginning of your online preschool journey, you may find that a more creative and playful approach will give you better results in the longer term.

At Outschool, we always advise parents to prioritize play when homeschooling children of preschool age. As the highly experienced homeschooler, Cassie O aptly puts it

In every homeschool group I’m in, when a new person joins and asks, ‘My child is five, what curriculum should I get?’ All the veteran homeschool parents say: ‘None. Nothing. 

Go to museums and the park. Buy them play dough, play outside, travel, and go on vacations.’ I think so much more is gained from playing at a young age with kids than the busy work.

You can always try a fun class to inspire their learning, like a virtual circle timeshow & tell, or shapes class. Or a music & rhythm session, preschool camp, or play-based class. Check out more pre-K ideas

Whatever your plans for the homeschooling curriculum, remember that strengthening the bond with your child and building memories and experiences should always be the foundation of all further learning. It’s a good idea to build each homeschooling day around a fun activity, so both you and your child have something to look forward to. 

Especially on days when you engage in math or reading practice, the creative and outdoor aspect will enhance everything else you do that day, whether it’s learning your ABCs or numbers.

When building the curriculum, try prioritizing social-emotional learning over academic learning. Reading a story together can be more fun and productive than just trying to get your kid to read, for example.

At Outschool, we have online preschool classes that focus on everything from learning about the ocean to storytelling and music. It’s all about engaging your kid’s sense of wonder about the world.

Tips for homeschooling preschoolers

One of the most important things to remember when homeschooling your preschoolers is that they still need to socialize. Socialization impacts both the emotional well-being of your child and the quality of your learning. 

Research has shown again and again that better-socialized children do better academically and are more well-adjusted later in life. 

Next, be inspired by the Montessori education method that encourages student-led learning. As a bare minimum, you can structure your lessons around your child’s individual needs and preferences rather than emphasizing a standardized curriculum too much. Ask questions and let your kids explore, encouraging independent thinking and inquisitiveness.

Finally, don’t forget that a bit of silliness and humor can go a long way toward making preschool much more enjoyable. Consider incorporating pretend play into your learning day. You can engage in pretend to play outdoors or by creating a play space inside your home. 

From hide-and-seek to mud kitchens, there are so many fun and creative preschool activities to explore and enjoy.

Outschool Staff

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