Finding stability and connections through online classes
With schools reopening and closing, find out why parents are turning to online programs to provide the consistency kids crave.
As much as our kids try to argue otherwise, parents and teachers know that children need structure. Yet more than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, our children still struggle to adjust to the constant changes to schools, sports, and extracurricular activities.
If your child is struggling to stay engaged, you may want to consider online after-school classes to help fill the gap. Online after-school programs can support emotional resilience and stability by:
Providing a routine schedule amidst the evolving changes to school reopening;
Building emotional intelligence by developing interpersonal relationships in small-group settings; and
Giving families control over their kids' learning through interest-based classes.
Online programs withstand school changes
Consistent extracurricular programs are a great way to help kids stay active and regain a sense of normalcy right now. With varied reopening policies across states and school districts, many kids are left feeling isolated, confused, and at risk of falling behind.
While communities are working hard to get kids back to “normal” in-person activities, you may have noticed these abrupt schedule changes are still emotionally challenging for your child to process. Thankfully, online programs are not disrupted by changes to stay-at-home orders, so kids can look forward to attending an online class in Spanish, comedy, or poetry at the same time every week.
Kids develop friendships in safe virtual spaces
Online after-school programs also help students cope with the social isolation that comes with being at home. The small-group format (6 kids in average) of online after-school programs, such as those offered by Monster Education, offers a variety of opportunities for social connection:
Teachers provide 1:1 attention and support to students.
Kids have guided conversations with peers in a safe online community.
Children make new friends with individuals from across the country.
When done right, online programs can encourage social and emotional learning by helping students develop interpersonal relationships under the guidance of a trained adult mentor.
Families choose classes that fit their needs
On top of social isolation, our children are also busy managing increased stress levels. Neurologist and middle school teacher, Dr. Judy Willis, writes in Psychology Today that stress in kids can manifest as acting out, defiance, withdrawal, or heated arguments. Sound familiar?
Some of that stress can actually be caused by boredom, either from disinterest in the topic or assignments that are too easy or repetitive (i.e. an abundance of review worksheets). Other times, kids are stressed because they don’t understand the assignment and are struggling to keep up.
With so many great after-school classes available online, you can take control of your children’s learning by choosing activities that meet their unique needs, such as:
Targeted academic support in core subjects like math, reading, and writing;
Elective topics to develop artistic skills or learn a foreign language; and
Classes that explore new hobbies or dive deeper in an area of interest.
If you’re looking for a class to help your kids adapt to the ongoing changes in their lives, you may want to consider the “CEO of Your Life” Coaching class, which actually hones in on emotional intelligence skills.
Check out Monster Education for more highly personalized classes that can help your kids build connections in a safe virtual environment.
Janessa Schilmoeller is a global educator, writer, and program extraordinaire who specializes in youth development and multicultural education. A former K5 teacher, she has spent the past decade working with schools and organizations serving students ages 2-22 from over 30 countries.