Summer is almost here and I have mixed emotions about summer school. Can you help? My child is not struggling in school, however, it might be a good opportunity for her to learn some new things in a smaller setting that she has not been exposed to before. On the other hand, I don’t have to work in the summer time so I hate for her to miss out on family time. Do you recommend summer school to your students?
Sometimes there is a negative view on summer school, but that should not be the case. Summer school is a great opportunity for students to be involved in a more creative learning environment.
Summer school is very different from the traditional classroom experience- class sizes are smaller allowing for a more concentrated focus on learning, there are field trips and more hands-on learning experiences incorporated. Summer school is a small portion of the summer so it still allows for family time.
I would ask, if my child is not attending summer school during June, what will they be doing? In many families, both parents work and do not get the entire summer off. If you do have summer time off, it can be expensive to keep them entertained for 2 1/2 months. If your child is going to spend most of their time in the month of June hanging out at home or the pool, it would be a better choice to have them attend summer school. They will still have time for relaxing during July and August.
The good thing about summer school is that is ends mid-early June, and if I am not mistaken, the water is still cold at the lake at that time! I always “strongly encourage” my children to attend summer school. Here is why:
- My child can develop additional relationships with peers that they would not normally spend time with at school.
- The curriculum is focused on a central theme…at my school it is science this year!
- Field trips are usually included and I can go with them and help!
- Class size is usually smaller and my child may gain additional attention with classwork.
- My child gets to see teachers in a more relaxed atmosphere.
- Statistics show that children will lose some of what they learned by the time school starts again in August because of not attending in the summer, so I am only giving my child less of a chance to forget what she/he learned.
- I used the time I am not with them to focus on things at the house that can make our lives easier when school starts AND It gives me some time to pay attention to my husband who many times gets put on the back burner because my kids need me.
Is summer school necessary for my child? A question that many parents ask themselves every May. My advice is examine your child and his/her needs and consider the following as you make the best decision for your child.
Summer School is a wonderful opportunity for students to continue to grow and learn. Summer School offers learning opportunities that aren’t offered during the normal school year. A laid back, no pressure environment enhances the learning environment. Summer School, for students who need continued support, is highly recommended to continue learning without the gaps in instruction that summer provides. The “summer slump” is real and does result in learning gaps over the summer. Research shows that a child can lose the equivalency of 1-3 months worth of learning over the summer. Parents who provide opportunities for students to learn through family activities, library programs, and learning opportunities help to limit a loss in learning that summer school provides. Summer school can also help to keep students from getting bored over the summer. Summer school provides opportunities to learn, grow and form new relationships. A new teacher, new curriculum and new friends can be invigorating for a learner.
On the other hand, if a student does not struggle in school, give them a break! As a teacher, I do not teach summer school, because I need that time to energize myself, enjoy hobbies, and spend time with family. As academics are extremely important, so is reconnecting and spending time with family and enjoying activities and hobbies that normally are limited during the school year. A family hike, trip to the zoo, weeks spending time at grandma’s house or a family vacation can be much more valuable than attending summer school.
When making the decision if summer school is necessary, consider your child’s needs and make a decision on what is best for your child and make that decision fun and exciting. It is all in the approach and how it is presented to the child. Happy Summer!
If you’re like us, you are probably constantly on the hunt looking for ways to improve your child’s education and help them reach their full potential. Our anonymous panel of teachers have some great advice. If you have a question for the teachers, email us and we’ll send it to them. Then look for your answer here. Email to: info(at)SouthwestMissouriMoms.com.