10 Tips for Surviving Summer School

Published June 07, 2013 |
10 Tips for Surviving Summer School
For students who must make up classes in summer school, or simply want to get ahead of the game, there are simple ways to make the class time easier to handle. Check out these survival tips if you are summer school bound.
Summer school may be a requirement if your child did not pass one of his classes during the school year. It might also be a choice for a student that wants to get ahead for the upcoming academic year. No matter what the reason might be behind the summer school choice, it can be challenging to hit the books when everyone else is enjoying vacation time. Check out these 10 tips to help your child survive and succeed in his summer school efforts.
 
Avoid Learning Loss
Is summer school the right choice for your child, or would a break from the stress and strain of class be more beneficial? According to a 2003 study cited at GreatSchools.org, summer learning loss can be a concern for parents of struggling students. The study found students lost up to one month of learning by the time they headed back to school in the fall. This gap may be even higher for students who traditionally struggle with academics.
 
Choose the Right Class
Some summer classes may be filled with remedial students or students with severe learning disabilities that do not serve to motivate your own student to success. When searching for a summer class, consider the environment your student will be working in, to ensure it will breed success. The right class will be well worth the cost if your student is able to succeed.
 
Online or Classroom Choice
Today’s summer student has the choice between online and in-person classes. According to the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, there are a number of advantages to online classes, including the ability to tailor the school schedule around the family’s summer activities. In addition, online classes often pave the way for more interaction between a teacher and students. However, if your child typically needs plenty of personal help, a classroom situation might be a better choice, unless you are ready to spend your summer playing tutor.
 
Create a Schedule
While a summer class can offer more flexibility than the rigid structure of the regular school year, a schedule is still important to ensuring your student’s success. The website for the QCSD Cyber Program recommends that students and parents work together to come up with regular, specific times when school work will be done. Place the schedule somewhere prominent, such as on the front of the refrigerator, to remind parents and the student of when class time should take place.
 
Create a Work Environment
The right work environment is conducive to helping a student focus on the schoolwork at hand. Choose a location free of as many distractions as possible, and stock it with the supplies your child will require each day to complete his assignments. At the same time, set rules for study time, such as no electronic devices or friends over during that time.
 
Get Creative
Just because your child is in summer school doesn’t mean your family has to miss out on all the warm weather fun. Allow your child to complete an assignment outdoors or take it on the road with you. NY Metro Parents suggests incorporating play time with study time, by writing vocabulary words on a beach ball and reciting definitions during a game of catch. Take a day off from class to take an educational field trip to a museum, zoo or aquarium. This way, your child won’t feel that he is missing out on all his summer activities while he is busy learning. 
 
Take Time to Review
If your child is taking a summer class because he didn’t pass the course during the school year, take some time to review notes from the previous class before embarking on the new session. By reviewing the notes with your child, you may be able to identify weak spots where he might need additional help throughout the summer session. This also refreshes the material in your child’s mind and reminds him that while his grade may not have been passing, he does know at least a portion of the material he will be studying throughout the summer.
 
Review Your Child’s Progress
This is particularly important if your child is taking his summer class online. Check in with the curriculum and your child’s assignments regularly to make sure he is keeping up with the work load. If the course came with tracking materials, maintain them daily to ensure your student is performing all of the work for each day, and passing each lesson before moving on to the next.
 
Interact with the Teacher
Whether your child is in a small class or working online, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with the teacher. When a child forms a relationship with his teacher, it can make the summer school experience that much more pleasant. It is also important for you to get to know his teacher, so that you can more accurately track his progress and identify any potential problems along the way.
 
Make Friends
Both brick-and-mortar and virtual classrooms provide the opportunity for your student to make new friends. Positive relationships with other students will also make the time spent at summer school more enjoyable. It also gives your child the chance to interact with brand new students he might not have had the chance to meet otherwise.
 
Few students look forward to a summer in the classroom, but when summer school becomes the best option for your child, there are ways to make the time more pleasant. With a little preparation and effort, you can turn negative attitudes about summer school into a positive learning experience for the entire family.

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