From elementary school to high school, many traditional school environments can be difficult to navigate for shy students. From the time they step on the bus to the time they are back in their safe space at home, shy students navigate social interactions that may make them uncomfortable, which could affect their overall mental health—especially during the challenging middle school and high school years.
Well-meaning parents may wonder how to help their shy child at school or how to help them make friends in school if they are shy. Students who feel anxious about being shy may worry about how to be less shy in school.
While it’s important for students to learn social skills, trying to persuade them to not be shy in middle school or high school could lead to increased anxiety or self-esteem issues.
If your child is shy in school, online school offers opportunities where shy students can thrive during remote learning. Here are five ways online school supports your shy child:
1. Online School Takes Place in a Safe Space: Home
From finding a seat on a crowded bus or in a busy school cafeteria to being called on by a teacher in a classroom with 30+ students, shy students are faced with issues in school that may make them feel uncomfortable. Add to this the real fear of being bullied, and shy students may lose their motivation to learn or worse—they could grow to hate school.
Accredited public online schools like Connections Academy provide shy students with a safe learning space: their home. All of those daily interactions that may cause anxiety for your student now are eliminated in virtual school, allowing students to focus on what really matters —learning.
2. Students and Parents Have More Control Over Social Interactions
In a brick-and-mortar school, a student’s day is planned for them. Participation is often required even if the activities make shy students uncomfortable. Online school offers students the flexibility to plan their school day and participate when they choose, allowing them to prepare for times when they want to interact with others. In live virtual classes, students can turn their cameras off if they are not comfortable. They can also ask questions in the chat instead of speaking in front of the entire class. They can decide if they want to participate in online study groups, and, if so, at what level.
3. Online Teachers Really Get to Know Your Student
It’s hard for a shy student to get noticed in a classroom full of students who are not shy, which means your shy child may go unnoticed in a traditional classroom. At K–12 online schools, teachers are specially trained to teach in the online environment. They get to know your student personally and tailor learning to meet your student’s unique needs, giving your shy student the opportunity to showcase their talents and thrive.
4. Parental Involvement in the Online School Day
In online school, parents fill the role of Learning Coach and support students throughout their day. This helps shy students gain confidence because they know their biggest champion is close by, which can also motivate them to try different things because they feel safe and secure. A safe learning environment is more than just the physical location; it includes an environment where students feel they can just be themselves.
5. Online School Offers an Inclusive Community
In online school, students from all different backgrounds come together to create a supportive, inclusive environment where it’s okay to be yourself. This community extends beyond the classroom to the parents, teachers, and school staff. The Connections Academy community supports each other, lifts students up, and cheers them on, encouraging them throughout elementary, middle, and high school so they can reach their full potential.
Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum and Social Opportunities for Shy Students Online
There are many ways online school students interact with their peers and gain important life skills while learning in the virtual classroom. Beyond the social-emotional learning that’s infused into the curriculum, Connections Academy offers many online clubs and extracurricular activities to help students connect with others who share the same interests, which also makes them feel more comfortable when interacting. Parents may also choose to participate in learning pods with other online school families to help students bond with a small group of other kids. In addition to the live online classes, discussion groups, and online tutoring sessions, online schools may also offer in-person field trips and other activities to encourage students to meet and interact with their peers.
If you are interested in exploring online school, attend a Connections Academy Information Session to learn more about the benefits of online school. It’s never too late to make the switch to a new school experience.