Families often associate summer learning with students’ need to make up for academic failures. Ideally, however, summer is a time to maintain skills and even get ahead. Parent involvement is critical to making this happen. As soon as possible, get the word out about summer programs that promote success in high school and beyond. For example:
- Colleges and other institutions of higher learning may offer summer learning opportunities for high school students—and some even offer college credit.
- Many post-secondary schools open classes to students who are not fully enrolled. If a student is considering a local college, it might be possible to take a class there. This is an exciting way to investigate a topic and a school.
- Governors’ schools can be an affordable way for high-achieving students to pursue their talents. More information about these state-affiliated programs is available from the National Conference of Governor’s Schools (ncogs.org).
- Local gathering places, such as theaters, museums and parks frequently host summer programs that let students explore their interests as participants, not just observers.
As parents and teens explore these options, encourage them to consider factors such as educational value, fun and financial aid. Provide guidance services that help with this process. Matching a teen’s goals to a successful program can have lasting results.