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  • Mommy Launce says she and her husband were more excited for their little girl's online playschool class.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Launce Lauigan-Geronimo

    Are you still on the fence about enrolling your toddler in school, knowing it'll be conducted mostly online? One way to find out is to join a trial class. One mom from our Smart Parenting Village Facebook group shared her and her toddler's experience and insights. 

    Mommy Launce Lauigan-Geronimo's daughter, Maze, age 1 year and 4 months, was lucky to be invited to join a free online playschool class trial. One of her mommy friends' child was enrolled in the same class, which consisted of four 30-minute sessions via Zoom video conferencing call.

    "Fast and stable internet connection is very, very vital po for all participants to avoid blurry screens and choppy audio. It helps with the kids' attention and interest din," Launce told SmartParenting.com.ph via Facebook messenger. 

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    What happens in an online playschool class

    Before the class, she was asked to prepare materials in advance since her child is joining for free. The school also sent some materials needed for the sessions. The activities were similar to what kids do in an on-site playschool. They had songs, activities, and storytelling. Here are Mommy Launce's observations about her toddler's online class:

    Maze was so excited to unpack the art materials for her online playschool class

    Observe your child's attention span.

    Launce shared that her daughter "cut classes." The little girl wanted to sit in a box rather than the chair in front of the laptop. She also needed to be excused to poop, and then she turned off the computer when the class was about to end. 

    Here's Maze starting to lose interest in the class.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Launce Lauigan-Geronimo
    She wanted to it in a box, not a chair, during her online playschool class.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Launce Lauigan-Geronimo
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    "Obviously, maikli pa ang attention span ng 16-month old namin kaya 'di nagtatagal ang focus sa screen. Iba ang pinagkaka-abalahan at kinukutkot. Mas gusto niya maglaro at maglikot lang," Mommy Launce admitted. Maze's classmates, kids ages 3 to 4, were able to follow instructions and respond to the teacher. 

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    Time your online class sessions carefully.

    The time and length of the online classes are also crucial to help sustain your child's interest. Make sure it's set at the time that your child is awake and full of energy and not his or her naptime. "For me, 30 minutes is enough to keep parents and toddlers occupied while learning," Mommy Launce suggested. 

    Look for a low teacher-student ratio. 

    If you're looking to enroll your toddler in an online class, choose one with a small teacher-student ratio, Launce suggested. Like face-to-face classes, teachers can pay more attention to each student if there are not too many of them. It could even be more crucial since the teacher has a limited view of the students. Some video conferencing programs have a limit to the number of screens displayed.

    Parents may need to prep the child before class. 

    The activities in an online playschool class are the same — and it can be fun!

    Launce said it would be better if the kids knew the nursery rhymes and action songs used in the sessions. This helps ensure that the child will participate. Schools can provide these, along with the topics that will be covered and materials that the kids will be using in advance so the parents can prep their kids.

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    Maze completed the sessions, but her parents decided not to enroll her formally in online playschools. Launce had her try a recorded online playgroup session, but she lost interest after a while.

    "At her age, we believe that on-site playschool will be more effective kasi may actual interaction with teachers and students," she explained. Launce also praised teachers who had to do their jobs online and stretch their patience even more due to the pandemic. 

    Overall, Launce encouraged moms and toddlers to try it. "Apart from learning a lot from it, it's a fun experience and a great bonding time for parents and their children," she said. 

    Looking for learn-at-home options and wondering about tuition fee? Head to Smart Parenting Classroom now! 

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