Siblings in the same class? Online learning makes it possible for families to reap the benefits.

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In honor of National Siblings Day 2020 - and the fact that siblings have a unique chance to get closer than ever given today’s "stay at home" circumstances - enjoy the following potential benefits of siblings learning alongside each other!

Have you ever had two of your kids in the same classroom at the same time? Does that make it easier on you, or harder? How does it impact the kids themselves?

Well, today is National Siblings Day, and it got me thinking about how, unless twins, siblings aren’t going to be in the same classroom and learning together. 

But now, as families dive into exploring different online learning tools for kids from their homes to supplement any formal distance learning from their respective schools, siblings could be learning the same concepts, right alongside each other.

While such an experience can certainly introduce new challenges, there are a host of potential benefits that could make it worth your while. 

Advantages of siblings learning together

Now, of course, this is assuming both kids are learning the same specific concepts and through the same materials at more or less the same time, which might be the case if both are new to a particular subject. 

Meaning, if one kid is an intermediate coder and the other is just getting started, they’re going to be diving into and working with different concepts. But if both are starting from square one, leading them down the same learning path could introduce a new and valuable dynamic. 

1. Talking about learning points could assist in retention

It’s often said that having to talk about newly learned information assists in the retention of that information. I mean, even muttering to oneself could be valuable!

If you have both kids going down the same learning track, it’s only natural for them to revisit and talk about the different things they’re absorbing. Now, you'll know better than I do if this might lead to more arguments than anything, but remember, constructive debating can be very positive as well!

2. Each child can hold the other to certain standards

Going off the point above, let’s face it, sibling competition is fierce—and that’s normally just around something like who can do their chores better than the other, or who is the better TV remote operator.

So when you have two kids learning the same thing at the same time, you can bet - even if not readily apparent - both are looking to outdo the other. And there’s no denying the power of the competitive fire to push us harder than what we might experience when competing against ourselves.

3. Conversation can lead to positive reinforcement

How many times have you learned something new and have wanted to rush and show someone this cool new thing you've mastered? I mean, I get it daily with my kids—”Look daddy!” is a familiar phrase  that most households hear exclaimed often. 

It’s all about positive reinforcement. To be able to put new skills on display, the positive responses we get in return fuel us to do even more. So, if your kids can in fact have constructive conversations about what they're learning, they can give and receive valuable positive feedback.

4. Learning alongside each other gives siblings a unique bonding opportunity

With our kids stuck inside all day these days, one might have thought they would naturally gravitate towards each other. Unfortunately, many families are probably realizing this isn’t the case, with one child still in their room doing something, and the other child still in their room doing something completely different. 

So, by having kids learn with each other, it’s an invitation for them to come together, and experience the benefits listed above and below; but also to grow their own bond with each other.

This time together might even have a more dramatic effect than normal given that kids aren’t able to socialize with friends as they typically would during these times. 

5. Talking about learning can increase engagement

I’m using this as the last point because it seems to tie together everything talked about above. 

As mentioned, if you have kids taking in the same instruction and learning the same things, they are going to naturally talk about these things after the fact. In doing so:

  • They’ll be helping themselves retain information
  • They’ll be, proudly, telling their sibling just how much they learned 
  • They’ll be, hopefully, met with head nods and positivity
  • And if not, they’ll be met with counterpoints leading to debate

Each of these outcomes points to one big result—engagement, and that retaining more, receiving positive reinforcement, and engaging in healthy debate can all increase buy-in.

Something else to celebrate

To help celebrate siblings and help you get your kids learning together, we are making our Virtual Tech Camps a family event!

When paying standard tuition for one student, parents will receive $100 off for each additional student. (The same $100 discount can be applied to multiple courses for the same student, for those only children out there!). Learn more here

Not to mention that with our Online Private Lessons, your child can bring a sibling (or friend) to their sessions for free. 

So, best of luck with the kids these days, and again, Happy National Siblings Day!

A photo of Ryan

Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!