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Summer School – It’s Not Just For Flunkers Anymore

Authored By: 
Maren Holmen, Director of The Tutoring School

“Summer school” has been the boogeyman of students in movies and schools for decades: “If you fail this course, you’re going to have to go to SUMMER SCHOOL!”  (Cue scary music and/or demonic laugh.)  But for a growing group of families, summer school (and, particularly, summer school for high school students) is not a punishment but an opportunity—a chance to improve skills, follow a passion, or jump ahead.

Are you worried about your middle-schooler making a successful transition to high school?  Have you noticed that your child is having trouble with reading comprehension?  Is combating the “summer slide” in math getting harder every year?  You might want to look into summer school tutoring or courses that will help your child work on specific skills.  If they don’t know how to take notes efficiently and/or effectively, it can be difficult to address this in the middle of a school year, when all of your child’s effort is focused on just getting the work done.  It doesn’t need to be something that takes up the entire summer (and shouldn’t—it’s vitally important that your child get some “down time” to relax and enjoy summer vacation!)  Contact local schools or reputable tutors/tutoring services to see what they have available.

Is your daughter crazy about Chemistry?  Does your son have a burning passion for history?  Why not take this opportunity to allow them to pursue these interests and advance academically at the same time?  There are summer camps that are cropping up all over that focus on these different activities, but it’s also possible to work with someone who can tailor a learning experience that will expand your child’s horizons (and also work around out-of-town trips).

The most popular (and hardest) opportunity is for credit advancement.  Do you want to take Calculus your senior year but haven’t taken Precalculus yet?  Take it over the summer!  Do you want to graduate early but have to take that fourth year of English?  Take it over the summer!  There are many summer classes for high school students at local schools (and colleges) that provide opportunities for credit advancement, but not all courses are created equal.  Check with the program (and confirm with your school) that it will fit your needs.