Even with the world becoming ever-more open post Covid, many schools have still relied heavily on distance learning. It’s a great way to continue education if a school is still reluctant to dive head first into re-opening their doors. But it can also be a little difficult for kids who miss that new experience of being in a classroom, in person with friends and potential new friends. They may get bored easily sitting at a computer and crave that personal touch. What can you do as a parent to help foster this need?

Classroom Community

Children can form bonds quickly with one another, and nothing says it can’t be online either! Most students will feel a sense of community in the classroom though, feeling a sense of togetherness from their fellow students and teacher. The teacher is the main proponent in getting everyone to come together and unite, and can help them feel a sense of belonging. This calming, community vibe helps students dramatically in the learning process, being able to learn easier than stifled students.  

Keeping the Momentum Going

Even if your child’s teacher is doing everything, they can to give their students that sense of community, it can still be hard to feel that connection online, or at a distance. Try to bring your kid into the moment more often, engaging them in between classes as their fellow students might. If the distance learning is in place more as an ease and not as a restriction in your school district, think about having a get-together every month or more often so your children can form a better bond with their classmates. 

If schools do not want a lot of in-person activities or hanging out, this can prove challenging, but not impossible. Obviously, many schools and students had to get used to this line of learning for the last few years, and can continue to adapt. But that also does not mean that your kids can’t message each other or even Face Time after school. 

Old School

If your kids continue to feel fussy about limited social interactions, give them a taste of what it felt like “back in the day.” Have your kids write notes to each other and send them in the mail – yes, that’s right, snail mail! For many kids, they have not experienced receiving cards or letters in the mail, and it will definitely be unique for them! If they are a little too young to write, they can send a picture they took or (with assistance) cut out pictures from magazines that they like and send them to their friends. They may soon tire of this activity, but at least it gives them a true connection that’s fun and different!

Katie Kyzivat