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3 Ways Online High School Students Can Make Friends

Written by Des Sinkevich on Tuesday, 11 January 2022. Posted in Helpful Tips

Teenage boys hanging out outside.

There are many benefits to enrolling your child in an accredited, online high school program, from allowing them to learn at the pace that’s best for their needs to ensuring they have a safe learning environment. But one worry many parents – and online students – have is that they won’t be able to make friends and build relationships the same way kids in traditional school settings would. However, online students can, and do, make friends in a variety of ways that don’t include bonding over sharing the same class schedule. In fact, having to make friends in a slightly different manner can even help them build strong emotional intelligence, have a more diverse circle of friends, and be more accepting of others. Whether you’ve already enrolled your child in an online high school program or you’re considering doing so, here’s how you can help your student thrive and make friends as an online student.

1. Participate in non-academic activities

While focusing on schoolwork is a priority, it’s important that your child has the opportunity to participate in non-academic activities. Besides helping them become more well-rounded and build new skills, this participation allows them to meet others in their age group. Activities can include things like:

  • Recreational sports. Signing your child up for a sport they’re interested in can help them stay active, learn important teamwork skills, and gain new friends along the way.
  • Fun classes. Students enrolled in online high school can not only make new friends by attending fun, after school activities, they can find hobbies they love. Classes in areas like art, dance, or gymnastics can help them discover new interests and bond with others who share those interests.
  • Scouting. Another great option to allow your child to make friends and learn more outside of the virtual classroom is scouting. Both the Boy and Girl Scouts offer an opportunity for kids to meet, work together, explore new skills, and make a difference in their communities.
  • Volunteer in their local community. Another great way to make friends and make a difference is to volunteer in the local community. Besides helping others and meeting like-minded people of all ages, volunteering looks great on a college or job application.

2. Keep in touch with friends they had before online high school

The friends we make when we’re younger can often be friends for life. While your child may not be going to school with them anymore, it doesn’t mean they still can’t hang out and have fun together. However, since they’ve lost a big thing they had in common – the school they go to - it may take more effort to remain in touch once your child is learning at home. Making an effort to schedule outings, meet ups, and activities with these friends is important.

3. Take advantage of technology

When your child is enrolled in a program like James Madison’s flexible, online high school, they have plenty of opportunities to take extracurricular classes and make friends outside of school. However, they can also make friends with other JMHS students! Through our online community, which is open only to enrolled students, your student can connect with others their age through engaging posts, study groups, and more. They’ll also be able to join groups that align with their interests, whether that’s movies, art, or almost anything you can think of, allowing them to bond and socialize digitally.

Signing up for the Student Community is easy, too! Once your child is enrolled with James Madison, they can create an account and start making friends. Even better, the community is a safe space for students of all ages. Our dedicated Community Manager is there to monitor and ensure everyone is kind and respectful, as well as answer questions new students may have about using the community.

Learn and make friends with JMHS

Online learning doesn’t have to be a lonely experience, especially when your child is learning online. With JMHS’s self-paced courses, you and your child can create a study schedule that allows them to successfully work through their classes while also having time to participate in outside activities, volunteer and more. And, as a JMHS student, they’ll have access to a diverse, caring, and fun group in our online Student Community. For more information on enrolling in James Madison, contact our Admissions Specialists at .

About the Author

Des Sinkevich

Des Sinkevich

Des Sinkevich earned a Bachelor's of Arts in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and loves applying what she learned there to her writing. Through her work as a senior markeing communications specialist, she is able to share information, advice, and more with students and alumni.