As a parent you may not be comfortable venturing out to classes and activities right now but you know it is important to provide options for your kids. Some parents just love the convenience of taking classes from home without having to drive across town and wait around. So, are virtual classes worth it?
No doubt about it, virtual classes attempted in your living room are not the same as classes in the gym environment—and we, as parents, along with our active kids, need to reset our expectations. For one, says clinical psychologist Christina Donaldson, who specializes in adolescence states classes in any form are about more than learning technique—they offer community. "And now, when kids aren't able to see their friends, community becomes paramount," she says. "Kids are actually getting more from these classes on a mental and emotional level."
If you are able to afford keeping kids enrolled, virtual classes can be helpful for everyone involved—even the parents." Here are the top three reasons for choosing a virtual class option:
1. Students benefit emotionally.The greatest challenge for kids, especially for those on the younger side—ages 7 to 12—is not seeing their friends or engaging in their normal activities. You may choose not to attend in-person classes yet, but we don't want to be emotionally distant—we need that connectivity. Letting our kids maintain their sense of community is the key to getting through this time.
2. Creative thinking is grounding. The way we can tolerate the unknown—and thus tolerate the pandemic—is to think creatively and outside of the box. Movement is good for the mind and it's a healing tool. It's crucial to help our kids access that.
3. Class times can give you, the parents, a much-needed break. It's challenging for parents who are working full-time. You may not be able to leave your 2-year-old alone in the room, but for older kids, you can potentially relax, knowing that when they're busy with a class, you have the next 90 minutes to get what you need done for work or otherwise.
What about the littlest kids? The benefits of enrolling our tiniest tots in virtual classes may vary wildly from kid to kid. But if your 3-year-old is getting even one thing out of the class even once in a while, it's beneficial. Not every preschooler has the patience for online learning: If it becomes a fight each time, it may not be worth the power struggle. But keep in mind that even virtual classes offer good opportunities to be around others and learn. And their brains are so spongy.
The bottom line: Children need some form of community and connectivity. So, if they love gymnastics, cheer, tumbling, or ninja and have friends from classes, the virtual classes are worth it just for that.