Is Summer School Right For Your Child?

Summer school doesn’t have to be drudgery. Options include local or residential programs, week-long to summer-long sessions, full-time academic forays, or academic/recreational combinations.

To determine if an academic curriculum will enhance your child’s summer vacation, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does my child enjoy academic, social, and behavioral success? Adolescents who thrive in academia, and find nothing more exciting than a new idea or an accelerated curriculum are perfect candidates for vacation education programs.
  2. Does he want to pursue a special interest not offered during the academic year? Children with recognized talents or interests in math, science, music, art, drama, writing, and similar pursuits often delight in immersing themselves in what they’re most passionate about during the summer. An added benefit is the opportunity to meet young people and professionals who share their interests.
  3. Does she struggle with academic, social or behavioral issues? Kids who need to upgrade learning or interpersonal skills often find comfort and confidence in the less stressful environment of casual summer classes. Different teachers and different teaching styles can instill confidence in students who are reluctant learners during the academic year.
  4. Does he have a special need that could be accommodated or remediated in summer sessions? Children who struggle with elements of the curriculum are often relieved to know that they have a second chance outside of the traditional classroom. Summer school can be a place to review previous material and preview subjects required in the fall, making the new subjects easier to understand.
  5. How does my community regard summer school? In some towns, attending summer school is a mark of shame; in others, a badge of honor. Are kids in your neighborhood who attend thought of by their peers as “losers,” or are they considered proactive go-getters? Stay attuned to the thoughts and opinions that might affect your child’s perception of summer school—and how he may be perceived if he spends his summer studying.

To make the best decision for your child engage him in the decision-making process. Begin your discussion with the critical question, “What do you think about going to summer school?”