Does Online Preschool Defeat the Purpose of the Classroom by Not Providing an Environment of Constant Interaction with Their Peers?
Online classes should be ‘supplemental’ to traditional approaches. Social interaction is important to a child’s success. Preschoolers especially, need social interaction to learn how to play with others, how to share, develop their understanding of language, develop their vocabulary, or to learn how to listen, to name a few.
Part time preschool and other social activities are prevalent for young children nowadays. Activities beyond the computer can develop much needed social interaction. Play dates as well as organized activities offer many opportunities for social interaction to supplement online classes.
I personally feel online classes will need to be used more and more in the curriculum moving forward. The caveat here is to not spend too much time on the computer. Online is not a tool for parents to use to occupy the child’s time to give the parents a break. Online classes are not an excuse for poor parenting.
But, the classes can be a great introduction or ‘supplement’ to academic success. Online classes are a great way for parents to monitor a child academically. Are they mastering the ‘benchmarks’ for their grade level ability, for instance?
I personally prefer for preschool age to devote more time to social interaction through play. This will carry them forward more to academic success once they enter kindergarten. Preschool is time to explore their environment and encourage creativity and problem solving that interacting with their environment provides.
But, do not forget the child of today also must learn to interact with computers as this is a big part of their current and future environment. As an educator, observing today as well as the future, I must acknowledge that online classes are here to stay.
The best advice is to strike a balance. Computer time should keep purpose in mind.
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