Summer School: The Pros and Cons
For many high school students summer school is about getting ahead, not catching up. If your teenager is considering summer school here is a list of considerations to help determine if it will be a good fit for your child:
The Benefits (Pros)
Course Timetable Flexibility
Taking a class in the summer will free space in their timetable for the upcoming school year to allow for:
- A spare or lighter course load so they have more time to focus on their studies;
- More time to participate in school activities; and/or
- Space to take additional electives or courses outside the compulsory credits required.
With only one course to focus there are fewer distractions. They won’t have to divide their time and attention between subjects or juggle competing school priorities. This can lead to greater success in learning concepts, making connections between units, and preparing for tests.
Structure and routine
Many teenagers benefit from a routine that gives their days more structure. Summer school keeps them productive, active during the day – no sleeping past noon! – and helps minimize the “summer learning loss” so that they stay sharp and have an easier transition back into the school year come September.
The Challenges (Cons)
Summer Job Trade-off
Online or in class – summer school takes up a big chunk of the day. Students should be prepared to put in significant effort outside of the classroom to keep up with the workload leaving less time for a summer job. If a summer job is important to your child, or a necessity, they need to keep in mind that working and keeping up with their studies can be hectic and demanding. In some cases, it may not be possible to juggle a summer job with summer school.
For some teenagers, summer provides a necessary break from the stress, pressure and routine of the school year. It is a chance to relax, hang out with friends, sleep in, participate in activities they can’t fit in during the school year, and prevent burnout. Summer school means less free time.
Fast Pace and Intense
Summer school courses can cover up to a week’s worth of material from the regular school year in one day! Material is covered at a quick pace and with little time to review tests or for study groups, it can be overwhelming and easy to fall behind. Students shouldn’t underestimate the daily workload required to just to keep up, never mind excel. If your teenager doesn’t like fast-paced classes then summer school may not be the best choice for them.
There are many good reasons to consider summer school. Knowing what to expect can make it a positive experience for your child.