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Summertime: Should the Livin' Be Easy?

Authored By: 
Maren Holmen, Director of The Tutoring School

Summertime—a season that conjures up mental images of long, lazy days that you never want to end.   For some, it’s memories of sleepaway or day camps; for others, it’s recollections of family vacations far from school or work.

However, for a growing number of families, summer is a time to continue the work that students start in the school year.  As one parent once stated, “For us, the only difference between summer and the rest of the year is the name of the months.”  As a young teacher who would have enjoyed the opportunity to not spend six weeks in a classroom, I was taken aback by his seeming-unwillingness to allow his child to have a vacation.  As I’ve gained more experience, I can recognize his statement for what it is—an acknowledgment that one can’t spend three months trying to forget about school without actually forgetting your schooling.

So what’s the balance?  Everyone needs time away, and summer programs for high school students strive to balance the serious work that’s expected of our teens with the desire to have the opportunity to relax and have some fun.  Whether it’s coding camps, theater workshops, or journalism classes, summer programs can keep some structure and routine in your teen’s day (rather than letting them sleep in until noon every day while you’re at work) while keeping the ol’ neurons firing by engaging them in something that piques your child’s interests.

Finding summer programs for gifted high school students is just as important—rather than merely getting your teen up and out of the house to meet with other people, you want to make sure that the program is appropriately challenging and taught by qualified, experienced educators (which can be harder to come by in the summer months).  Contacting local schools or community colleges is always a good way to start, but there are plenty of professional organizations whose summer programs fit the bill.

As with anything, research is key—ask around, check community boards, and see what your preferred search engine brings up.  There’s a wealth of opportunities out there, you just have to go out and find it.

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