Welcome to Virtual PreSkool! I started the company in July 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we were all adjusting to this unprecedented and new way of life, I saw my family and friends struggle with childcare and their education.
Recognizing the need for fun, Hindi classes designed specifically for children growing up in the US + Canada I launched Virtual PreSkool.
What I Was Doing Before Virtual PreSkool
Before diving into EdTech, I founded ShaadiShop – the largest marketplace for Indian wedding venues. I made it easier for couples to find and connect with venues for an Indian wedding. Why is that a thing? Well, Indian weddings have a lot of nuances that most other weddings don’t have. Things like a ceremonial flame, space for the baraat (procession), capacity for several hundred guests and outside catering. Before I started ShaadiShop the only ways for couples to find out this information were to:
- call venues one-by-one
- if you’d attended an Indian wedding there
As you can imagine, the company was directly impacted by the spread of COVID which led me to think about what’s next for myself. I spent a few months processing a lot of emotions: anger, doubt, and hopelessness. And after I got that out of my system by thoughts started to shift towards the positive. Instead of looking at the situation as negative, I started to view it as opportunity to try new things.
How I Got The Idea for Virtual PreSkool
When the pandemic started I had a lot more time on my hands due to the impact on ShaadiShop. When everyone went into shelter-in-place I thought to myself, “what’s something I can do to spread happiness and cheer?” I organized a virtual fun class teaching kids Bollywood dance, taught them some Hindi phrases and took them on a virtual African safari using photography and video footage from my own trips to the continent.
I invited my friends’ kids – and about 20 kids attended. Afterwards their parents reached out saying how much their children enjoyed it and also that it was a nice break for them. It was then that the first inklings of the idea started coming together.
I built the Virtual PreSkool website myself and announced it on my Facebook page and within 1.5 weeks I had my first student. I started with one class, one day a week and today, 5 months later I teach 15 classes a week to students in every US time zone + Canada.
Why Hindi Classes?
My primary goal is to spark and enduring curiosity and interest in Hindi language and the culture. Children growing up in the US, Canada and everywhere else outside the Indian sub-continent, straddle two cultures and two languages. Parents have to make a concerted effort to immerse their child in Indian culture.
And for many of my friends who, like me, grew up in the US, that’s not easy. Our parents emigrated from India and spoke Hindi at home but most kids respond in English – resulting in a lot of kids who understand Hindi but don’t speak it. And now that those kids are now grown up and have kids of their own – they want their children to learn it but they’re not equipped to teach it.
What Makes My Hindi Classes Unique
My classes are fun! I storify, gamify, and use interactive tools to engage my students. I personalize lessons. And all of my classes are small groups so that each student gets personal attention.
In addition to Hindi my students are just learning. For instance to teach Hindi color vocab I teach about how rainbows are formed. And to teach the 5 senses in Hindi I teach them about dinosaurs. And in order for them to learn how to ask, “where is _______” (kahaan), I take them on tours across the globe.
All of my lessons are my original content and custom created to suit each class which take into account the different ways people learn, student personalities and virtual interaction.
All of my classes include at-home practice materials that are practical – meaning I teach conversational Hindi so I do a lot of audio recordings so students can practice speaking.
Lessons for Pre-K
For my youngest students – ages 4-6, that are not only learning Hindi but simultaneously learning how to read and write in general, I give them exercises to practice writing the alphabet and Hindi words phonetically spelled in English.
Lessons for Beginners Age 6-10
The lessons in this age group are focused on building a Hindi vocabulary as well as learning a lot about Indian culture. Students learn things like having a conversation in Hindi, counting, fruits and vegetables, how to politely ask for things, and about historical sites in India.
Lessons For Age 10-15
The lessons for the older students go more in depth into verb conjugation, understanding India’s hierarchical culture and history, when to use aap vs. tum, and more.
Thank you for your interest and again, welcome to Virtual PreSkool! I look forward to seeing you in class!