Children need their peers
The idea of long-term social distancing is alarming for everybody. Especially so for parents who worry both about the practical aspects of their children’s education and also about the social and psychological consequences that social distancing has on children.
As we all know, school and peer groups are the focal center of socialization for children, after immediate family. That’s why, experts believe that stay-at-home orders can have a big impact on children’s social development if this lasts for more than a few months.
Online Greek School as an outlet for socialization
We’ve spoken about the matter with the worldwide online Greek School, Greek Lessons OnLine. The online Greek School saw a great shift towards online education after the Covid-19 outbreak and also noticed that a great number of parents wanted to increase their children’s lesson hours during lockdown to make sure that the children came in contact with someone other than their immediate family. This quickly led the school’s administration to decide that they needed to do something to help with their students’ need to socialize more.
MAZI Groups for Kids
“This is how our Greek Groups for Kids were born,” Mrs Stella Bompotsiari, the School’s founder and Director of Studies tells us. “Now more than ever we realize that our students need to be in touch with children their age. When we started our group classes for kids this year, we were amazed to see how excited our students were to be part of a group. They could not wait to connect in their virtual classrooms and be surrounded by their teachers and classmates from all over the world. What was even more pleasing to witness was the amazing progress they all had within just a few weeks of joining the group classes because the best way to learn is when you are having fun! And trust me, they had a blast!”
The popular Greek groups for Kids are back this October
The online Greek School kept receiving emails from parents, interested in the popular group classes for kids. This is why, according to Mrs Bompotsiari, they decided to open more group classes for kids this October. “During these daunting times we are all living, the sense of community is more important than ever. The Greek LOL students who join our group classes feel like part of a team, of a close-knit online family. They have their own little rituals when class starts, they have their own inside jokes, they make memories and they play games together.”
“Seeing students who met in the Greek LOL groups for kids and became friends who talk even after class and make plans to meet in person when it is safe again is truly one of the most rewarding experiences we have had as educators.”
Impressive learning outcomes
But despite all the social benefits that these groups have for children who are in great need of social interaction right now, the learning advantages are also impressive. Sofia, an experienced Greek LOL teacher who teaches one of these groups claims that the students’ progress is impressive. “At Greek LOL we have always known that you learn better when you are having fun and our groups for kids simply prove that. Of course we learn grammar and vocabulary, we study and do exercises but it is just so much easier to run a fun group activity together that will help us all remember the new things we learned in a group class,” she says. “The Greek LOL group classes focus a lot on communication and interaction between students and are student-centered of course. As a result, we have seen even beginners who made amazing progress and learned to speak basic Greek within weeks just because they absolutely loved trying to speak in Greek with their classmates.”
We Learn Better Together
The Greek LOL teachers cannot wait for the new groups to start in October because as they tell us there is nothing more rewarding than seeing their young students interacting with each other in Greek, asking about their new friends’ hobbies and interests and wanting to show what the weather is like outside their window in the Cayman Islands or the UK, in the Philippines or the USA. The Greek LOL motto “We learn best when we are having fun” remains but it’s now added the adamant belief “We Learn Better Together!”