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Are Preschoolers Ready for Remote Learning?

Milpitas Christian School Continues Teaching Academics, Social, and Other Essential Skills

When preschools are closed due to COVID-19, are young children ready for
remote learning? The teachers at Milpitas Christian Preschool have been conducting remote classes for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds for several weeks. There is a significant adjustment period for the children, parents, and teachers. Remote learning helps continue the development of critical early childhood skills (academic, social, and emotional learning). This helps children to become confident and competent learners.

MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA -- When schools are closed, parents suddenly need to become the “preschool teachers” for their school-aged children. Elementary and middle school students seem comfortable with technology and remote learning, but what about preschool-aged children? Are 2-, 3- and 4-year-old children ready for video-based lessons at home?

“I’m pleased that our teachers are able to continue engaging and training our young students,” explained Sheila Tanimura, Preschool Director for Milpitas Christian Preschool. “Through remote learning, our young ones are excited about school. They enjoy seeing their teachers and interacting with other students.”

Ready for Zoom Remote Learning?
When the shelter-in-place first began, parents received a packet of tools and resources for their child to use at home. These included coloring pages, worksheets, and flashcards for home study. The detailed daily schedule suggested activities for each age level. Even when schools are closed, parents can set up regular schedules and activities to supply the framework and expectations for their children. “Consistency is important in helping young children feel secure and safe,” explained the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

After a few weeks, parents and teachers agreed it was time for Milpitas Christian Preschool to add video meetings to the remote learning experience. “This was a new experience for teachers and parents,” shared Mrs. Tanimura. “Children are the same, but communication takes a different format. Children may not do everything correctly, but we can give them the time and support they need to grow into this.”

“This year has been about trying to make sure my son is on the right course for kindergarten come Fall 2020,” described April, a mom of a 4.5-year-old. “COVID-19 shut down our preschool, but Milpitas Christian Preschool bounced back quickly. Now he can see the faces of his friends from home. His teacher emails the parents the weekly worksheets, then spends about 45 minutes each morning going over academic standards. This structure is helping my 4-year old work on his attention skills and gives him interaction with people outside our house.”

For the 2s, a nearby parent can provide guidance during the zoom meeting. With the 3s and 4s getting more comfortable with this new way of learning, parents may be able to get back to their own work. “There has definitely been an adjustment period,” continued April. “We are very grateful for his loving teacher who patiently works with the class as they work to establish a whole new learning environment. The communication from both the teacher and admin team at the preschool has helped smooth our worries. This transition has not been easy for anyone, but having a daily check-in is very valuable for our active little boy.”

Continuing Development of Critical Early Childhood Skills
Since young children grow and develop so quickly, missing even a month is huge. Missing several months of school can reduce their skills. Research shows that students who take summer breaks lose some of their development in reading and math during their “summer slide.” Even a ten- to twelve-week break is the equivalent of losing one month of classroom learning. “Remote learning can maintain and grow the skills they’ve already learned,” added Mrs. Tanimura. “This helps children to become confident and competent learners.”
“I feel like the pace is good and it’s surprising how much can get done in the hour on a zoom call (especially with almost 4-year-olds),” commented Hillary, a mom of a 3.5-year-old. “I’m pleasantly surprised with how much you guys are able to accomplish. It’s important for me to maintain a sense of structure so all the hard work you guys have done in the past year doesn’t come undone!”

“Milpitas Christian Preschool emphasizes educating the whole child,” elaborated Clark Gilbert, Head of School for Milpitas Christian School. “During these crucial early years of development, our teachers help children to grow intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. We’re excited to see them enjoy school and develop a love for learning.”
About Milpitas Christian School
As an independent, non-denominational Christ-centered school, Milpitas Christian School welcomes all families. Students with open hearts and spirits will find a safe environment to ask tough questions and pursue their spiritual quest. MCS accepts students of all races and nationalities and does not discriminate in any of its programs based on gender, race, or national origin.

Founded in 1974, MCS seeks to transform lives for Christ through excellence in education, relationships, and service. For over 45 years, MCS has educated thousands of preschool, elementary, and middle school students on its Milpitas and San Jose, California campuses. MCS holds dual accreditation from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
For more information or to arrange a campus tour (in-person or virtual), visit MilpitasChristian.org or call (408) 945-6530 x11209.

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