Summer school is a great academic opportunity for students. For students with learning difficulties, the summer months can be a valuable time to catch up. For gifted students, summer school can be an opportunity to excel in subjects they love. And for all, summer classes can be a chance to close the summer learning gap and stay engaged with their academic journey. Keep in mind, summer school should not have the same grind as the regular school year. Summer classes need to be more relaxed because, after all, it is still summer! Your homeschooled child deserves some downtime. Here are a few top reasons to do summer school for your homeschooled student.
Benefits of Summer School
With all the upheaval of last year, your homeschooled student might need more time to concentrate on their studies, due to an interruption in studies and the mental impact of the pandemic. Continuing studies year-round has many benefits for all students at every level.
Help With Difficult Subjects
Summer school is a great opportunity for your student to catch up on subjects they might have struggled with in the previous school year. Whether your student has learning disabilities or external factors that distracted them, sometimes the instructor doesn’t have enough time in the calendar school year to address all matters. Focusing on trouble spots can keep them from repeating a core subject the next year and falling behind their peers. But summer school can also be advantageous for students who are looking to excel in their studies.
Summer school can provide many enrichment opportunities for students who are looking to excel beyond the typical curriculum. Younger students can learn a new language or enhance their math and science skills with computer science or even robotics classes. The time between the old and new school year can allow students to explore topics they may not have time for during the regular school year.
Finding a homeschooling gifted child test can help you determine the best course of study for your overachieving student.
For older students preparing for college, summer school can be a chance to take advanced placement classes to graduate early. Taking college credit courses can also help with shaving a semester or two off college. Your student could use that opportunity to save money on tuition or enjoy a semester abroad.
If your student is looking to either take advanced placement classes or explore a subject matter they love, there are programs available for gifted children.
Is Summer School Effective?
Some studies have shown that summer school is effective if certain elements are involved. Summer school is usually effective only with small class sizes. A student’s interests should guide their summer class selection. If your homeschooled child is interested in creative writing, enrolling them in a computer science class would not be the best option.
Students are also more likely to read over the summer if they are assigned books that interest them. Not only that, but their reading comprehension will increase.
For students who are using summer school to make up for poor attendance or failing a subject, there isn’t a set method to tailor classes to their interests since a core class needs to be studied. For these students, incentivizing assignments has been shown to increase not only motivation but also comprehension.
Ways To Incentivize Summer School
Summer school might have negative connotations, especially for students who are playing catch-up. But it doesn’t have to be abysmal. There are ways to make summer school effective and fun for both students and instructors. Keeping the material light and fun can help prevent burnout for students and teachers alike. Let’s explore a few ways to make summer school more enjoyable.
Motivation will be hard to come by during the summer months; kids would rather be outside enjoying the sunshine. But there are ways to create a more upbeat classroom to motivate students. Here are some fun activities to incorporate into your homeschool classroom for the summer:
- Making most tasks into a game can be a powerful motivation tool to keep students’ attention. Use ice cream during a math lesson to teach your student about fractions. Time the student in a set course running, biking, or swimming. Then graph the results.
- For reading tasks, you can have students plan a vacation using travel sites and maps. Or they can create comic strips to enhance their writing skills.
- A fun way to learn science could be collecting bits of nature, like seeds, leaves, and flowers, and creating their very own natural history museum. Placing an ice cube in the sun and recording how fast it melts can be another great way to make science fun.
Learn more fun ways to incentivize summer learning.
Creating a bond between instructor and student is another way to make summer school fun. If the instructor is a parent, you can still take steps to create a stronger relationship.
For either, having lunch together and asking questions so the child feels heard is always hugely beneficial. Taking breaks from the curriculum to get outside or play games will also give your homeschooled student a much needed and deserved break.
Avoiding Teacher Burnout
If your instructor, or yourself, is burned out from teaching all year, you must find ways to keep yourself motivated. A teacher’s low energy can adversely affect a student’s engagement. Half-days and only teaching one subject with a planned curriculum can help keep the motivation going for adults.
A few weeks of summer school isn’t going to change students or their study habits dramatically. Summer school offers students the opportunity to catch up to their peers or engage in a subject they love. It’s not the only tool to help students catch up, but it will help them stay engaged with their work, making the transition between school years a little bit easier.
With these top reasons to do summer school, your student will benefit immensely. Remember to keep the curriculum light and incentivized for students who need more time. For your gifted child, find subjects they are interested in while keeping the work fun and engaging as well!