The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted every area of life, with education being among the most critical.
Halfway through the spring, school districts, administrators and teachers were forced to rapidly shift gears to continue providing education to students through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Meanwhile, childcare centers were also thrown for a loop and had to change the way they offered services to their communities.
This emergency, while stressful, also seems to have fomented a wealth of ingenuity as educators explored new ways of interacting with their classrooms and individual students using various modes of technology. With many school districts and preschools across the nation expected to offer either a remote classroom or some type of virtual/in-person hybrid this fall, that creativity continues to be invaluable.
While all parents are in a tough position as they navigate school closures and ensuring quality education for their child(ren) this fall, parents are of preschoolers are in an especially difficult position when it comes to finding virtual programs that are enriching and engaging for that age group.
However, multiple early education teachers have risen to the occasion and created online activities to stay connected with their students. Now, Go2s is stepping up to help provide support via a program featuring a myriad of preschool-centric enrichment activities and ideas.
Go2sLearnAtHome (G2LAH) is offered as weekly activity sets presented by different veteran educators. Each week focuses on a different, age-appropriate theme. Since the program started in early July, some of the themes that have been covered include:
- Colors I and II: Over two weeks, children are introduced to various colors, using them to count, compare, and sort. The theme is introduced with the book “Mouse Paint.” Other activities include art, singing, Spanish, sign language, making play dough, drawing self-portraits, a household hues scavenger hunt, and make-your-own sun-catchers.
- Family Vacation I and II: As many family vacations had to be canceled this summer, preschoolers are encouraged to use their imagination and a slew of fun activities to recreate their own. With travel bags “in hand,” children are off to explore new destinations, take in the sites, and visit relatives, playing the Sign Game while they “drive along.”
- Splish Splash I and II: Preschoolers can dive into fun with water-themed science activities planned for both indoors and outdoors. Kids learn about various waterways, such as rivers, oceans, lakes, and streams.
Whether its art projects, games, sign language activities, or scavenger hunts, these forms of enrichment are effective ways for preschoolers to play with purpose and grow academically while having fun. Additionally, the sets are kept in a Go2s group, so if you miss a week, you can easily go back to a past week and download the set of material for that theme.
Helping Out Preschool Educators
G2LAH is a unique program because it was created by preschool educators for preschool educators. According to Nick Caruso, who oversees the G2LAH team, they launched the forum to provide busy preschool teachers with quick, easy access to “ready-to-implement, remote-learning ideas.” However, parents who are part of a Go2s community can also download the materials for home or sign up to have weekly activities delivered straight to their inbox.
“We were surprised to see as many parents as educators asking for access to the content,” Caruso said. “Especially where virus cases are surging—55% of our signups have come from California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Parents are looking to online resources to keep their preschoolers on track for kindergarten.”
Melissa Fullerton, the director of Joy Kids Learning Centers in Edgewater, Maryland, said she started using her private Go2s classroom groups to offer virtual sing-alongs and story times because—despite the changing child care landscape in the face of the pandemic—young learners “still need enrichment, play with a purpose, and exposure to new ideas and learning.”
“Providing some distance learning activities for preschool children will allow families to supplement their child’s learning and keep their child on par developmentally,” she added.
Enriching Communities and Education
Go2sLearnAtHome is only the latest means by which Go2s is helping classrooms, child care organizations, and other tight-knit communities connect and thrive—even during the current public health crisis. A Go2s group provides you with a reliable platform to post messages, coordinate tasks, share files in a library, post videos and pics, and manage group events on calendars, all in one secure social network.