As a company that provides independent tuition allowing children to learn at home, we’re only too aware of the importance of socialisation.
For most of our students, the tuition they get from our programmes is to supplement their school life, but there are some home-schooled children who use it too.
Part of the role a school plays is in helping children to learn to be social; to communicate and work with others successfully. Kids need to ‘rub along’ together well. Of course, there are bound to be differences of opinion and disagreements, but part of socialisation is to learn how to manage these effectively without war breaking out.
It’s all about wellbeing and emotional development, so the question is – does your child’s school offer social spaces where the children feel comfortable and relaxed?
It’s not that many years ago when schools consisted of classrooms that were functional with old desks lined up in rows and the ‘playground’ was simply a yard. Unless it was pouring with rain, the children were sent out to play no matter what the temperature. Today’s schools are very different.
Modern architecture with clever design provides lighter, brighter spaces for most schools. There are cafeteria style places to eat, where the children sit around small tables rather than the refectory-style long tables with rows of kids. There are seating areas indoors where the children can sit and talk or read, if this is how they prefer to spend their leisure time.
Part of socialisation is a feeling of belonging. What does your child’s school do to encourage that?
There are almost certainly houses or teams that compete for points, in sporting events and other competitive activities (debating, drama, music, etc), but how does the school help students to use other social tools?
While mobile phones are the bane of most teacher’s lives, it’s impossible to ignore them! They’re how most children socialise. As soon as they’re old enough, they’re on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social platforms. Does the school offer any advice or learning on the best use of social media?
Does your child’s school have a website with active updates, maybe blogs and certainly links to their social media?
Is the school’s social media active and up-to-date?
These are all part of a child’s socialisation. For children that are home-schooled, it’s important that parents ensure that their child has opportunities to mix with other children, either at sports or other activities or clubs or in some other way.
Socialisation has a direct impact on a child’s mental health and long-term wellbeing. So, if you’re at the stage of choosing your child’s next school, remember to ask about the school’s approach to socialising.