Friendships are an essential part of life, especially while in school. As students help guide each other through problems, celebrate together when they’re successful and share in the experience of learning, they have a chance to forge close bonds with one another. These relationships are a necessary part of growing up, as they help children develop social and emotional skills — and ultimately, build their own identities.
These connections can last for life, but it’s not always easy for kids to initiate communication. Making friends with classmates across a computer screen creates its own unique challenges. Is your child struggling to learn how to communicate with peers? Fortunately, there are many ways you can help support your child as they navigate how to make friends in online school.
When it comes to education, social learning can occur separately from friendships. But making friends with peers will only enhance your child’s experience in online school. Here’s a guide to help your child learn how to build positive relationships with peers in their virtual classroom.
Why Should Students Build Social Connections With Peers?
Learning how to connect with other people by building friendships is a vital skill children use throughout their lives. Because kids aren’t born with social skills, they must learn how to form relationships through experience. Although it can be challenging, it’s a necessary part of their social and emotional development.
As children form friendships, they experience the following benefits:
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- A way to express themselves
- Less stress
- A sense of belonging
- Increased focus and engagement in the classroom
- A support system
- More receptiveness to diverse opinions and ideas
Overall, children tend to enjoy school more — and can even perform better academically — when they have a trusted friend group. Keep in mind that these benefits extend beyond their school years, too. If kids learn how to make friends when they’re young, they’ll carry those skills into their teenage and adult years.
Why Is Making Friends in Online School Different?
A common misconception is that online students miss out on socializing with other people. In reality, cyber students have many of the same opportunities as they would in a traditional school. Therefore, making friends is possible — it just looks a little different.
The only difference between making friends in a brick-and-mortar school and a virtual classroom is the physical aspect. While students in traditional schools can see each other in person during the school week, kids in online school simply have to communicate virtually with their peers. To some parents, it may seem like this difference will affect how well their child makes friends, but virtual students have as many opportunities to form bonds as other students.
Students in online schools still interact with their peers daily. Through group projects and discussions, they have a chance to collaborate and build relationships. There are also numerous ways to become involved in virtual extracurricular activities, where students can connect through shared interests. Additionally, field trips and other in-person excursions are easy ways to meet up with and make friends.
Although children don’t physically sit next to each other, they can still connect from miles apart!
Tips for Making Friends in Online Classes
Here are a few helpful tips to make it easier for your child to make friends in their virtual classrooms.
1. Collaborate in Online Classes
In virtual settings, teachers often utilize online discussion forums and break-out rooms to give children a way to participate in group activities. These environments are mainly for use during or after class for assignments. If your child needs help connecting with their peers, they can use these platforms to communicate with other students either via text or verbally.
2. Make an Online Study Group
Online study groups can create a win-win situation where your child can connect with other students and improve their academic performance at the same time. If your child is too shy to speak in a large group, studying with other students gives them a chance to interact with other kids in a more personal setting. They can practice collaborating with their peers so interacting in class feels more comfortable.
3. Join a Virtual Student Organization
By joining a virtual student organization, children have a chance to bond with one another over shared interests. Club activities like playing chess, reading books, playing video games or dancing can be an easy way for your child to build relationships with other people. CCA offers dozens of different clubs where children can socialize and have a good time while doing so.
4. Attend a Field Trip
Field trips provide a learning experience in the real world and a chance for children to interact with each other in person. CCA recognizes how valuable field trips are for building connections between students, so we schedule over 600 trips each year. Students can bond over trips to museums, historical sites, and the great outdoors. They may even bring back stories to share with other classmates when they return to the virtual classroom.
5. Go to a Community Volunteer Event
At a local volunteering event, kids can practice being generous and compassionate while learning how to build positive relationships with peers. Donating time and energy builds character and leadership skills your child can use to make friends. They can join a service organization at school or in their community and interact with their peers regularly. Additionally, students will have something to put on their resumes.
How CCA Promotes Student Socialization
CCA promotes student socialization in the classroom daily. Our real-time virtual classrooms allow children to collaborate with other students who are miles away. We create opportunities for students to develop the same social skills they would in a traditional school building, so they’re well-equipped with these skills for life.
There are many occasions where CCA students can socialize and develop relationship skills in person, as well. We schedule fun and educational field trips so children can bond over new experiences. Our various clubs and student organizations provide an exciting outlet where children can make new friends. We even offer mobile classrooms that travel across the state and regional Family Service Centers to serve as a location for children to learn and socialize with their classmates.
Students and faculty are constantly creating new ways to connect across the internet!
Learn More About Online School Socialization at CCA
If you’re interested in learning more about how CCA is dedicated to providing our students with socialization opportunities, you can request more information. If you’d like to hear from a current CCA parent, our family mentors can share their own experiences. Find the answers to all your questions by contacting CCA today!