Do you have a kindergartener attending school virtually? How are they doing?
Virtual learning is the new normal for kindergarteners. This life changing experience may affect their learning development positively or negatively. And the way us mompreneurs/single moms deal with this adjustment will affect them mentally and emotionally as well.
After a month of virtual learning, my 4-year-old daughter is finally adjusting. On the first day of school, she felt a bit shy and nervous about speaking. Now she gets excited to see her teacher and classmates. She is even eager to participate and complete the projects.
Prior to the first day of school, I explained to my daughter the difference between kindergarten and pre-k as well as the difference between virtual classroom and in person classroom. As much as I prepared her for virtual learning, she had to experience it to understand the difference. This form of learning is new and challenging; however, her skills will develop, and she will be more confident. She’s learning how to type, use the touchpad, record, and navigate learning programs like Seesaw and Zearn. Although the lessons and screen time can be overwhelming, she gets several breaks to help her regain focus. As any good mother, I want my child to excel. I also want her to be confident and to have fun.
Here are three ways I encourage my daughter to feel confident about virtual learning:
I show patience - Learning new skills takes time, especially for a 4-year-old. I try not to pressure her. She is not an expert at using the laptop, and I don’t expect her to be. There’s a lot to learn and sitting in front of a screen all day can be draining. If she’s too exhausted by noon, I pull her away to let her sleep or play. If I sound frustrated while tutoring her, I check myself and take a break. Repeating several times is part of training. Her sanity takes priority over my expectation.
I speak positive affirmations - Speaking positive and biblical affirmations makes a difference in my child’s performance. Our thoughts are crucial, and her little mind needs to be filled with positive thoughts to believe in herself. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about her knowing she can and will do her best. Even if she isn’t in the mood to do the work, I still encourage her to try, and reassure her she’ll do well. The point of the affirmations are to encourage her to feel good about her own efforts.
I provide positive reinforcement - When my daughter participates and answers the questions correctly, she gets a reward. The rewards can be a sticker, candy, a sweet treat, watching her favorite movie, getting her nails painted, a girly gift, getting pizza, or doing something that’s fun. Many times, the reward is giving her high-fives, dancing with her, and giving her hugs. When she sees me getting overly excited, it makes her feel confident about learning a new word or solving a math problem.
As stated above, virtual learning has only been in session for one month, and we still have until June to complete this school year. Some days will be better than others, but making the best of this experience is how we will overcome it successfully. The benefit of this new normal way of learning are the skills she’ll develop. Kindergarten is an important milestone, and I want her to continue to be confident and excited as the lessons get more challenging.