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6 Tips for Building Socialization Skills for Virtual Students

As online education continues to become more prevalent, an increasing number of families are aware of the academic and professional benefits it offers. But what about building social skills? Research shows that virtual students are just as socially adept as traditional in-person learners. In fact, some aspects of online education actually lead to better socialization skills among students


But building social skills for virtual students requires a more active, purposeful approach. Since in-person socializing isn’t built into the virtual academic environment the way it is in a traditional school, it’s important to intentionally seek out opportunities for social interaction.


Keep reading to discover how to build social skills in online learners!

What Are Socialization Skills and Why Are They Important?

african american and latina teens playing hand games in playground

Socialization skills are the tools we use to interact effectively and positively with those around us. We socialize in the world in many ways, including verbally, through body language, and through understanding social norms and cues.


Social skills are important for many reasons. Not only do they improve our relationships with other people, but they also give us the confidence and knowledge to succeed in many different areas of life. From personal relationships to everyday encounters to our professional and academic success, socialization skills are an essential part of the human experience.

How Social Skills Are Built


While you can learn about the mechanics of social skills, the best way to build them is to constantly interact with others. Childhood and adolescence are especially vital stages of life for developing social skills. Children learn about the world and how to navigate it through their connections with those around them. 


From spending time with family and friends to engaging with popular media and interacting with teachers and peers at school, childhood socialization is crucial to developing healthy relationships and confidence in adulthood.

1. Schedule Playdates

two elementary students playing with leaves in the park

Setting up playdates with other children is one of the best ways to help your online student develop their social skills. Contrary to popular belief, playdates can be beneficial both in-person and online. You can schedule fun playdates with friends, cousins, and classmates. You can also take trips out of the house to kid-friendly places to help your child meet potential playmates.

2. Participate in Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering as a family isn’t just a great way to build your child’s social skills, it’s also perfect for instilling values such as empathy, selflessness, and compassion. Whether you’re planting trees, providing food for people in need, or taking care of animals, there are so many ways for your child to socialize and learn valuable skills for the future.

3. Enroll in Extracurriculars

Extracurriculars are a great way for kids and teens to spend time with peers who have similar interests. With so many extracurricular activities, such as sports, art or music classes, theater groups, and more, you’re guaranteed to find something that your child connects with and enjoys.


At SLC, we offer enrichment classes for elementary students online and at the Eagle Creek campus. They provide a great opportunity to engage with supplemental materials and work with peers in person or virtually.

4. Try Role Playing

Building a social foundation starts in the home. If your child or teen is especially shy or struggles with social anxiety, practicing social skills through role-playing exercises can be a great way to break the ice. For example, you could take on the role of a friend, classmate, or teacher. This way, when your child is in a real social situation, they can feel confident knowing they’ve had practice.

5. Get Involved with Field Trips and Summer Camps

Field trips and summer camps offer unique opportunities for kids to 1) Engage in active play, 2) practice independence in a safe environment, and 3) interact with new friends. Many field-trip destinations and summer camps also have educational opportunities built in. Here are some fun field trip ideas that encourage learning and social-skill building in online students:


  • A botanical garden
  • The zoo
  • A science or history museum
  • An art workshop
  • The planetarium
  • A police or fire station tour
  • The aquarium

6. Set an Example by Being Actively Social Yourself

Our children imitate the things we do as adults. From our work ethic to how we treat those around us, children learn by example and copy our behavior. That’s why, if you want to encourage socialization in your child, one of the best things you can do is lead by example. 


Seek out new friendships, actively engage with your coworkers and neighbors, and consider joining a local club or volunteering at a local charity. Your child will likely see you engaging with the outside world in a positive way and naturally emulate your behavior by being more social themselves.

Summit Learning Charter is Dedicated to Fostering Student Socialization Skills


As a virtual academy, we understand that many parents have concerns about their child’s social development when attending online school. That’s why we make social interaction and collaboration a priority in both our courses and enrichment opportunities.


If you think online learning is right for your child, Summit Learning Charter provides quality education and a positive environment for each and every student.


Learn more about our virtual academy and contact us online to get your questions answered!

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Mr. Gallagher has been working at Summit Learning Charter since 2008, the school's founding year, and has been the Principal since 2014. Sean has been an educator for 27 years working in alternative education, teaching English, and school leadership. Sean's passion as a school leader is constructing Summit towards continual growth and student centered solutions.

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September 6 to June 16

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