With our extensive background in online learning, we know that students’ social and emotional needs are critical to their success in education and mental health. We offer ample opportunities for students to connect with their peers, both online and in-person, so they can form valuable friendships that support their development and a well-rounded academic experience.
How Schools Help Students Socialize
Social development is a crucial part of quality education, and the same holds true for online school. Through interactive classroom discussions, clubs outside the classroom, field trips, and more, students at K12-powered schools discover how to thrive in an online learning environment.
Benefits of Online Socialization and Extracurriculars
Online school provides students with options for socialization without the possible negative experiences they may encounter in a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Bullying, teasing, and violence can be largely avoided in a monitored online environment.
Students who socialize online also get to safely:
Interact with peers across the country, broadening their horizons
Attend clubs and gatherings from their home*
Gather around shared topics of interest
Share ideas, learn new concepts, and get to see the world from different perspectives
Participate in competitions from the comfort of their home*
Attend events, even if parents or trusted guardians can’t provide transportation
Experience fewer instances of negative social interactions
Online Social Activities for Students
At K12, we understand how important it is for students to grow and succeed academically and socially. We emphasize providing social activities* and clubs for students, including:
In-class discussions and group projects
Online school clubs
In-person field trips
Contests and showcases
Leadership development opportunities
College and career workshops
Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students
Learning goes far beyond textbooks and lesson plans; it contributes to students’ emotional and mental health throughout the year and after graduation. Students carry lessons learned inside and outside the classroom as they grow into adulthood.
With plenty of opportunities to connect, students can:
Discover new interests
Learn about other cultures
Enhance social skills
Foster lasting relationships
Practice leadership skills and gain experience in leadership roles
Student Socialization FAQs
Social skills are essential for students because what they learn in school translates into their personal and professional adult lives. Not only is it beneficial to their mental health to have strong social skills, but it’s also beneficial for their future well-being and success. Strong social skills help students gain confidence, improve speaking skills, foster empathy, hone negotiation skills, build trust, refine interpersonal skills, and more.
Many experts believe homeschooled students have abundant opportunities to participate in meaningful social activities. Homeschooled children and children who attend online schools are not confined to their homes. Rather, they’re encouraged to participate in various outdoor activities and interact with friends and peers. This could include field trips to the zoo, a play, or a museum; playing a sport; engaging in an artistic activity; or otherwise participating in their communities.
Socialization allows students to function fully as children, teenagers, and adults. Exposure to various social situations and experiences can help students gain confidence and overcome shyness, allowing them more possibilities for professional and emotional advancement in the future. They also experience better mental health overall. Socialization allows students access to unique perspectives from peers who may have grown up differently, broadening their worldview and exposing them to greater diversity. These skills are largely derived from social interactions that begin from a very young age, and it’s why social interaction is vital for students of all ages.
The social component of learning does not disappear when school takes place online, but it does look different. Students participate in group projects through breakout sessions. They may also collaborate on homework assignments to solve problems and overcome challenges. Students are encouraged to treat the online classroom as a traditional experience, leaving their cameras and microphones on to help them connect more effectively. Outside the classroom, students gather for online clubs, contests, field trips, workshops, and other extracurricular activities.* These tools can be especially helpful for shy students, who may already have something in common with the other students enrolled in the club, therefore easing initial connections.
Foster Your Student’s Socialization with K12
The importance of social activities for students is evident. While online school may seem like it might decrease interaction and increase isolation, K12-powered schools provide a multitude of online social activities for students that help combine the safety and comfort of a virtual environment with the social interaction of a traditional brick-and-mortar school. We prepare students for the world ahead with essential skills and emotional health.