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  • Is Online Preschool Worth The Tuition Fee? A Teacher Shares What To Expect

    Digital learning for young children is possible, she says.
    by Sam Sison .
Is Online Preschool Worth The Tuition Fee? A Teacher Shares What To Expect
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    We’re currently living in extraordinary times that call for unusual learning methods. With new education trends like online, blended, and modular learning for higher grade levels, preschoolers’ parents wonder what is best for their young learners? And if they do online preschool learning, how does that work exactly?

    Schools have done their best to recreate the same routines for preschool classes. But since the execution cannot be the same, the children now meet with their teachers and classmates often via Zoom. They sing and dance, read storybooks, and learn about various concepts. For projects and activities, these are usually given via external websites. Two of the most famous ones right now are seesaw.com and Google Classroom.

    Preschoolers have limited focus and attention span, so online classes typically last for 20-30 minutes only, depending on the school. The duration already includes allowances for technical glitches.

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    One thing is for sure: Parents will definitely have to adjust for their children’s learning, and changes at home will take place.

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    6 things to consider about online preschool

    Whether you’ve decided to enroll your child in an online preschool, still deciding, or are yet to think about it, here are six vital things to ponder.

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    Who will be supervising the child during online classes?

    Preschoolers need someone to watch over them during classes. Aside from troubleshooting technical problems, it will be best to have someone who ensures focus and understanding of the child of what’s happening. 

    Different adults may mean different levels of support for the child. For example, a parent may provide more encouraging and holistic support for the child. But a caregiver may only ask the child to pay attention to the teacher.

    How much time does mom or dad actually have? 

    Online classes equate to a stronger homeschool partnership. Teachers will need parents to help implement activities. Be prepared to allow at least 15 minutes per day for consultation. Make sure to exhaust your top concerns during short meetings with the teachers to ensure that you’re on the right track in guiding your child.

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    Whether it’s online classes or homeschool support, parents will have to spend time with their child to help follow up lessons. Different activities call for varying durations in completing them, so it’s best to create a routine with your child early on and stick with it.

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    Can you stock up on prescribed materials and supplies?

    While online preschools may provide materials and supplies for your child, it is still essential to have them readily available. These include papers, coloring pens, crayons, paint, scissors, etc. In the old normal, schools have all of these at hand. But in the new normal, replicate the same setting at home. Parents will have to make sure that they have access to and can regularly acquire these materials.

    Do you have a space at home where the child can sit down and listen to the teacher?

    Preschoolers’ senses are still developing. They could be easily stimulated by several things, so it’s essential to set up space where distractions are appropriately managed. Ideally, a study space must be somewhere with minimal to no toys and enticing gadgets lying around.

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    A point of concern is the children’s ability to stay focused during online classes. As each child is unique, and the home setting for each family varies greatly, their response to online classes must be tested out. 

    It is better to let kids experience online classes before enrolling them right away. Let the child try out a few online supervised sessions until they’re comfortable attending classes while being assisted by other adults at home.

    The testing phase may require time and patience, but remember that children can adjust over time just as adults could.

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    How much does online preschool cost?

    The tuition fees for online preschools are a pressing concern. Will there be an increase or a decrease in the fees? What exactly are the parents paying for? 

    Tuition fees, however, are not black and white. It depends on many factors, such as the number of sessions your child will receive, materials provided by the school, parental support, and consultation hours with teachers.

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    You may be paying a small amount, but receive only one to two sessions. Or you may be paying a little more but receive more sessions with one-on-one support from teachers for both children and parents. Asking for a breakdown may help your decision.

    Teacher Sam Sison is a UP Diliman graduate, currently in her third year of teaching. She is a licensed teacher both in the Philippines and in New Zealand. Together with her co-teachers in OLL CDC, she spearheaded the establishment of Bahaghari, an online preschool (go to Facebook @ollcdc.ph to now more). She is also a co-founder of an online tutorial center, Tutor Lab Manila.

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