Benefits of a Peer Buddy for Struggling Kids
Kids who are struggling academically or socially in school can make huge gains from having a peer buddy. Creating a peer buddy system is an easy way to support students and grow a caring community within a school. So what is a peer buddy and how can you get one for your child?
Here's everything you need to know...
What is a peer buddy?
A peer buddy is a student chosen by you or someone at your child's school to help your child throughout their day. Usually a teacher will suggest someone who is a leader in the classroom and would set a good example for other students to follow. They may help them stay organized, reminding what to take to each class or they may help socially, making sure they have someone to sit with at lunch. Peer buddies can rotate throughout the school year or change depending on the time of day.
Who needs a peer buddy?
Any student who is struggling socially or academically can benefit from having a peer buddy. A peer buddy is a great way to give your child a little extra help without having to designate more staff to your child at school. Whether they are receiving special education services or just need a more support to get through their day, your child could greatly benefit from having someone their own age assist them. If they are getting help from another student, your child may feel more comfortable needing support and even make some new friends along the way.
How can you get a peer buddy for your child?
Ask! Many classrooms do not use a peer buddy system so you may be the first parent to bring up the subject but it never hurts to try. Explain what you think your child might need some extra help with and how having another student help them may be more beneficial than having a staff person. Start with small ideas, like someone to help your child find his bus or study spelling words. If that works well, you and your child's teacher can decide to expand on the buddy system you've created.
You can suggest students you already know or ask that your child sit near someone who will set a good example, whatever makes sense for your child's situation. If there are areas that your child is stronger in, volunteer them as a peer buddy for someone else too. It's a great way to build confidence!
Is there a peer buddy program in your child's school? How well is it working?