Hello, parents! We are excited to be in the space that gives your little one focused, quality pre-school education, which is a crucial step in your child’s early learning and development.
In this new turn of events that has brought into popularity the culture of remote learning, many schools have adopted it as we all move into a new academic year. The FirstCry Intellitots Preschools are no exception. We strongly believe in the merits of virtual learning because, out of its many uses, it is mainly a means to kick-start or continue your child’s early education.
We’re sure you have plenty of valid questions about how we will conduct our remote learning. Let’s get right to them!
What is remote learning?
Remote learning simply means that your child’s academic lessons are being conducted in an online or virtual setting that requires an Internet connection, instead of in a physical classroom setting. This virtual setting, like a learning platform, can be accessed from a remote location, such as your home. Apart from that, there isn’t much difference in how your child will experience his lessons: there will be interactions between the teacher and her students as well as between the students themselves, lessons will be taught according to a curriculum and syllabus, and homework will be given out on a regular basis. Sounds the same as physically attending a school, right?
What is the method of learning – is it homeschooling, blended, or online learning?
This is not a method of homeschooling, parents. Just because your child is learning or studying from home, does not mean that he is being homeschooled. Let’s look at the basic definitions of these terms:
Thus, the method of learning for the remote learning of FirstCry Intellitots is blended learning, in which the teacher will conduct the lessons online over a virtual network, and the parent will be required to help the child complete activities and worksheets at home, which build upon the lessons being taught.
How will the lesson be taught online?
Our teachers have been trained in how to conduct a class online. They will primarily be teaching on live sessions, and might record short videos to be sent as well. Even though the medium of learning is different (online as opposed to a classroom), the actual lesson does not differ in content or how it’s taught. Our teachers will use a variety of props such as presentations, stories, music, pictures, and videos in their lessons. These elements are designed to help your child understand new concepts, absorb and retain information, and develop key skills such as active listening and attention.
Additionally, to make the learning experience even simpler, Student Kits will be provided to each student. These kits are divided into two parts. The first part, with essential learning materials such as books and worksheets, will be home-delivered on priority as soon as the academic year begins. The second part, with additional learning material and activities, will be home-delivered soon after the essential Kit.
What is the curriculum for these classes?
FirstCry Intellitots has its own scientific and holistic learning model called SPARKZ™ that focuses on the child through 8 key aspects of learning and development. It aims to inculcate a Love of Learning in the early years of the child, as that is the period of time in a child’s life when his brain is developing at its fastest, and is able to absorb and retain a lot of information and knowledge.
Find out more about our curriculum here!
What will the duration of the online lessons be?
Our goal is to make our remote learning as close to traditional classroom learning as possible. In a classroom setting, a lesson for toddlers and nursery students is 3 hours, and for Pre-Primary programs 1 and 2 (PP1 and PP2), it is 3.5 hours. This is inclusive of the actual lesson plus activities.
The duration of the online class will be 45 minutes for toddlers and nursery students, and 1 hour for PP1 and PP2 students. This should be followed by a minimum of 2 hours of doing activities and worksheets at home, to build upon the lesson that was taught. This is highly recommended, so that your child can get the most out of each lesson every day. Give nursery students 2 hours 15 minutes of activity time, and PP1 and PP2 students, 2 hours 30 minutes.
What is the classroom strength like?
To keep students, teachers and parents stress-free, our classroom ratio is 1:16 – every classroom will have one teacher and 16 students. This enables the teacher to give adequate time, energy and focus to each student, while the student feels like a part of the group without the fear of being left out. This ratio is maintained for online classes as well as traditional classrooms (when students will be able to physically attend school again).
How can I prepare my child to sit for the online classes?
There are two factors to consider here: maintaining a daily routine, and being comfortable with technology. Let’s take these one at a time.
It is very important to create and maintain a daily routine for your child and yourself. Repetition of activities is crucial in helping your child establish good habits, and this repetition needs to happen at the same time every day. This is something your child will carry with him as he grows up! A school routine can look something like this: waking up at a certain time, having a bath plus breakfast, getting the study area ready by setting out notebooks, pencils/crayons and laptops, spending a few hours attending online classes and doing worksheets, keeping designated meal times (lunch, dinner and snacks), playing or doing hobbies in the afternoon/evening, and going to bed at a good time. When such a routine is maintained, you as a parent can also work out your own schedule around it.
It’s safe to say that most kids these days are familiar with technology, and they are quite comfortable with screens of all sorts. As your child is being introduced to online learning, make sure that you are comfortable with technology, too! Children can pick up on their parents’ energy quickly, so if you are nervous, anxious or jittery, your child will be so, too. Do your best to learn about the virtual platform through which the lessons will be taught. If you have doubts or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the teachers to ask for help. Also, it’s a good idea to designate one gadget in the house for learning or work purposes, such as a laptop or a tablet. Teach your child that this gadget is only for learning, and not for watching movies or cartoons. This will help him focus on the tasks at hand!
Will homework be given to the students?
Yes! But don’t worry, it will be simple and fun, and can be done with supplies found at home. The homework is designed to build upon your child’s cognitive and motor skills. Homework will be in the form of easy-to-do activities and worksheets. Activities can be sorting grains and pulses, opening and closing bottles, drawing and painting with vegetables, etc. Worksheets will be in printable form, and will serve to develop your child’s reading and writing skills. It is highly advised that you do these activities with your child daily, as they are crucial in his early learning and development.
My child cannot sit still for a long time. What can I do?
It’s normal for a young child to have a short attention span, parents. There are so many new things around them, and there’s so much to do and learn! Thus, it’s not really reasonable to expect your child to sit still for a 40-minute online lesson or home activity. Schedule little breaks for your child every 20 minutes. Have him walk around for a bit, do a little dance, or some jumps. Keep him active and energetic!
At the same time, make learning fun for him. Our teachers use various props to make lessons fun and relatable, and it’s a good idea for parents to employ the same when doing activities and worksheets with your child. Use stories, pictures, art, music, or your own creative ideas to keep your little one engaged and excited about the activities!
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your child should not be left alone during the online lessons. A 4 or 5 year old being left by himself to watch a screen that doesn’t have his favourite cartoon on it is bound to get bored, distracted, or cranky. One parent must be available to sit with the child during each virtual lesson. This will help him stay focused and engaged with the class, and you can even help if he has trouble understanding a concept or navigating the screen!
I am a working parent. How can I help my child in his lessons?
As a working parent, you are sure to have your own work-from-home routine laid out. However, as your child will begin to have online lessons and homework activities and worksheets, you need to take out a few hours from your work schedule (a maximum of 3 – 3.5 hours) to dedicate to your little one. Make sure that there are no distractions and interruptions during this time, as your child will need 100% of your attention. If it’s difficult to spare 3 hours at a stretch, divide that time over the course of the day. But, it’s important for you to maintain the same time each day, to establish that routine for your child!
Also, if you are unable to sit for the live sessions of the classes, don’t worry – the recorded versions will be sent to you the very same day, for you to go over with your child. However, it is suggested that you try your best for you and your child to attend the live lessons, because that way, your child can experience the student-teacher and student-student interactions that are required to develop social and emotional skills.
Will there be traditional classroom learning as well?
Yes. However, we are, as yet, unable to give you a definite timeline as to when students will be able to physically attend school. We will be updating you as and when the dates are finalized.
We hope that you’ve found the answers to your questions, parents. Please reach out to us if you have any doubts, concerns or suggestions! To know more about FirstCry Intellitots Admissions, visit here. We’re here for you!
Disclaimer: The reopening of schools is contingent on the government’s orders.