Middle schooling has established its position on the huge landscape of secondary education. The philosophy of middle schooling, as stated by Dr Rafiq in 2005, claims that middle school has the best organizational structure for meeting the (educational, emotional, social and psychological) needs of adolescents. With this in mind I believe that Riverside Distance Education along with the parents and careers give our students the tools they will need to be successful in their studies and in society.

Just lately more and more families have asked me about the social aspects of distance education or the lack of it for their children. Socialisation is important to a child’s growth and development. Having all the education one might muster can’t overcome weaknesses in the ability to relate to others. On the other hand, good social skills can do a lot to overcome academic struggles when it comes to obtaining a job or being a productive adult in society.

Socialisation is the ability to relate well to other people. It includes skills like greeting others, showing honour and respect to others, listening, carrying on a conversation, being able to recognise and decode verbal and nonverbal cues, being able to empathise with others and being able to address conflict in a productive way. All children, as well as adults, need these skills and parents can help their children obtain them.

Many people assume that the only way a child can gain these skills is through peer interaction. It is true that some social skills are developed this way but they are not always positive. Research has shown that one of the best ways to gain social skills is through a mature role model who relate to the child individually as an important human being. These role models encourage healthy interaction with others, and give the child an opportunity to practice relating skills. Mentors can help children learn to listen attentively, articulate their thoughts and ideas confidently, and resolve conflict in a wholesome manner. The best mentor a child can have is their parent or care giver.

Friends are very important to your child and they can interact with children of their own age through church groups, home schooling groups, sporting clubs, Riverside DE Workshops and Activity Days.