It was only a matter of time. Online school classes for toddlers and preschoolers are here.
VINCI Education is offering what it calls a “groundbreaking virtual school” for youngsters, which was featured by by Dr. Gadget®, the nationally recognized TV and radio personality, on CBS’s “The Talk” late last month.
VINCI Education, according to its Web site,”is a pioneer in providing Blended Learning Curriculum, Assessment Tools and Data Analytics for the Early Childhood Education.” It operates preschools and day-care centers in Los Angeles, Ottawa and Beijing, which use technology and blended learning strategies to, the Web site says, “strengthen the main developmental areas of a child’s mind.” The company won the CODiE 2014 award (given by the software industry) for Best Game-Based Curriculum.
So what is the virtual school for toddlers and preschoolers? Here’s what the VINCI Web site says:
Let’s face it. You are not sure about how well your child will be doing in school. Now you can gain that confidence by preparing early. VINCI Virtual Preschool is a subscription based service. Use your own device or order one from VINCI Store to receive lesson plans, books and activity guides….
The Web site says that each teacher has at least an early childhood education degree. This is what it says about what is available for children 18 months to 3 years old, with the title: “Practical Life and Sensory Experience:”
Every week, you receive weekly lesson plan including activities, books and games as well as a lesson guide. You use a game to introduce a concept, such as “Same or Different”, read the included books on a daily basis to reinforce, and use designed activities such as playing sand and water to help your child to master the concept. The lesson plans integrate Montessori and Reggio Emilia approaches such as you interact with your child in a more purposeful way.
It says that VINCI tablets are not required, but if they are purchased, “you save time (and hassle) for installation, because it is already conveniently programmed.”
It also offers material for 4-year-olds, who the Web site says will turn into 5-year-old kindergartners expected to learn material aligned to the Common Core State Standards (which, incidentally call for kids to read in kindergarten). So 4 years old is almost too late to start getting prepared for the academic sweatshop that is kindergarten. The Web site says:
The preparation needs to start when your child is 4, if not earlier. VINCI Virtual School provides you with a ready-to-go curriculum to make your time more effective, with the structured lessons and with the focus on building literacy and math skills while broaden knowledge on science.
It should be noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity have recommended that children under the age of 2 get no screen time. None. Not from TV, the Internet or smart devices.
And, presumably, not from virtual preschool.
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