How Should Students Spend Summer Vacation?

Updated June 20, 2016 |
How Should Students Spend Summer Vacation?
Public school teachers weigh in on how students should spend their summers. From reading lists to summer assignments, learn about teachers' ideas on how students can enjoy a productive summer.
While the first summer days always begin with excitement and anticipation, nearly all parents eventually begin to worry about their childs summertime video game, television, and computer gaming habits.Many parents want to find ways to help children find an appropriate balance between leisure and learning.
Teachers, similarly, are actively striving to boost childrens educational interests over the summer, as a large proportion of teachers argue that engaging in summertime learning activities helps to improve a childs progress throughout his or her formative years.In fact, studies show that by the time a student reaches middle school, a loss of summer reading can potentially account for a two year set back in reading achievement!Fortunately, to offer parents guidance and support, public schools across the country have developed new agendas and programs to keep a childs mind active while away from school on summer vacation.
Summer Assignments
While presumably all public school teachers encourage students to engage in educational endeavors over the summer, some school leaders have taken this hope to the next level with required public school summer assignments.Summer assignments in the past have typically been reserved only for the highly ambitious Advanced Placement kids, but schools are now gradually extending various assignments for all students.
Specifically, as The Chicago Sun Times reports, over 170,000 public school students, ranging from grades kindergarten through 7th, are being provided with workbooks, lesson plans, and reading assignments for their summer vacations.With a new program aiming to avoid students' historical patterns of education-free summers, Chicago Public Schools have dedicated $2.7 million towards helping students remain engaged throughout the entire year.Also, since many gifted or advanced students are already required to complete summer assignments, this new initiative is aimed solely at the kids who are not required to attend mandatory summer school programs or activities.
Public School Initiatives
Adding to new summer assignment agendas, the Traverse City Record Eagle further highlights new public school initiatives.As the report reveals, Traverse City Area Public Schools, located in Michigan, has updated its summer reading lists for all elementary and high school students.Posted for viewers to review online, the lists help students peruse recommendations for children and college-bound senior graduates.Adding to this, Traverse City Schools has implemented several reading initiatives, ranging from reading programs in libraries to providing take-home books for children.In fact, some of the areas most successful programs involve providing the incoming high school freshman with reading clubs, which provide students with weekly prize drawings and raffles.
Staying Smart duringSummer...Online!
Also providing extended summer opportunities, Wooster Public Schools, in Ohio, have created online forums for advanced summer programs.According to The Daily Record, a collection of Wooster-area schools have developed the Virtual Learning Academy, which is operated through the Tri-County Educational Service Center.This program also helps students catch up if they have fallen behind during the regular academic year.For example, students who have failed a course can retake available sections in order to learn the required material at their own virtual pace.As students can complete their work anytime and at any location, students are able to work through the course material while participating in weekly, and mandatory, instructor check-ins to assess their progress.
Best of all, educators assert that students engaging in the virtual courses are learning new definitions for precise and accurate work, as assignments that do not reach the required minimum standards must automatically be repeated by students.While the virtual programs are provided by the public schools' Educational Service Center, local public teachers, Serve as a support system for students taking online courses. They meet with students during the one day a week allotted to specific subjects, but communicate with them the remainder of the week by computer.
Summer is certainly time for relaxation, but to keep your childs mind sharp, it needs to be a time of learning as well!

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