Summer school has gotten a bad rap. Back in my day, summer school meant that you didn’t do so well during the school year and had to make up a class or two. For most folks, that’s probably still the way summer school is perceived today. However, there are several compelling reasons to consider summer school activities for your child, and in this post we’ll take a look at some of those.
1) College courses offer a head start on college. Summertime is a great opportunity for your high school junior or senior to pick up a course. Local community colleges and universities have programs for kids this age to get some of their introductory courses out of the way. In addition, summer terms at college are usually a little more relaxed because the number of students on campus is way down. Taking a course in the summer is also a good way to get introduced to the college classroom.
2) High school credit can be earned ahead of its scheduled time. If college classes aren’t your goal, but you want to take advantage of the summer break, then why not use summer school to get an upcoming class completed ahead of time? Any class offered can generally be taken as long as you meet the prerequisites and pay the required fees to attend. This just might get you out of school early during your senior year, or if you play it properly you might even graduate in three years instead of four.
3) Remedial programs aren’t just for those kids who failed a subject. Maybe your son or daughter struggled with the concepts in one class and might benefit from an accelerated approach. Some schools also allow a grade received in summer school to replace a poor grade received during the year, thus boosting your grade point average.
4) Put together you own creative summer school activities at home. Attending summer school can be a pain because of the hours and rigid schedule, plus it costs to attend these classes. Doing it yourself keeps it flexible and allows you to make it fun. Here are four ways to get started:
- There are so many resources available online for parents to create their own program and help their kids get a step ahead for next year. To find ideas like this, use search topics like “fourth grade worksheets” or “lessons for fourth grade” but tailored to the grade that your child is going into. You can also add specific subject areas to your searches if your child is struggling in a specific area.
- You could also search for field trip ideas and take your kids on day trips during the summer to experience some of these places.
- Find a few crafts and tap into your kid’s creative side. The big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot often have free projects on Saturday mornings for kids. And Pinterest and other mom-friendly sites contain thousands of ideas that you might use.
- Encourage reading through summer library programs. I posted on this last year and my daughter is currently doing this for her third consecutive year. It’s a great way to read without the pressures of study and homework.
Summer school isn’t just for underachievers anymore. Nor is summer school strictly defined as a formal program any longer. If the summer break is used strategically as part of an overall academic plan, students can move ahead of their peers both literally and figuratively. And at home, it’s just a good idea for parents to do some kind of activity during the summer break to keep their kids motivated towards learning.
Application Question: What can you do to keep academics and learning alive for your child during the summer months? Comments are welcome!
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