We understand how distance learning raises concerns for some families. Students are not able to see their friends like they use to and they may start to experience feelings of sadness and loneliness. Maintaining friendships virtually during these crucial years of their development, especially during COVID-19, may seem challenging but it does not have to be. We can help our kids maintain relationships with their friends and encourage them to stay connected with their classmates, even if they cannot be with them every day at school. We’ve came across Mental Health Association’s 2020 Back to School Toolkit with tips and resources for families and teachers on going back to school during COVID-19. Here are some fun ideas we found from the toolkit would help maintain our kids’ friendships with their classmates in a virtual setting:
- Create a book club with classmates and schedule meeting times to talk with peers about what you’re reading for class.
- Set up a time with classmates to meet over video chat to work on homework or class assignments together.
- Depending on the virtual format, participate in group discussion when the opportunity presents itself. Think about how you’d talk with classmates if you were back in the classroom together and be sure to ask questions on assignments if there are any confusion or if you are missing some information.
If you are interested in the Mental Health Association’s 2020 Back to School Toolkit, you can download it at https://mhanational.org/back-school!