Last Updated On: April 29th, 2021
We all know this time of year comes in the blink of an eye. There’s the big push before the end of the school year and then it’s STILLNESS. For most kids, this is the long awaited break they’ve been longing for. However, for parents this is the most stressful time of the year. It’s important to find ways to keep your child’s mind engaged, yet don’t forget the importance of a breath. There are many resources available to help kids stay active physically and mentally, providing an exciting change of pace from the day to day schedule.
We have a unique experience this year in 2021. Now that the pandemic is slowly being managed, kids are being allowed to go back to in-person schooling in specific LA school districts. Most schools are offering hybrid options or cohorts a few times per week as they navigate this new landscape. While this is thrilling for kids that have longed for normalcy, it also isn’t the school routine they once knew. I’ve seen so many kids face anxiety about going back to school. It’s such a double edged sword. Most parents are ecstatic, yet kids are once again required to cope in an uncertain and daunting environment.
This summer will be an important moment in many of their adolescent lives. Teens and young adults will be able to gather again and interact socially. They will have time to catch up on academics and be allowed to find the joy in their world once again. While social interaction is very important for children and young adults, it’s crucial that we avoid any summer slumps. Students really need to continue absorbing new material and preparing for the fall to avoid any further learning delays, as most students are at a disadvantage from the previous year of online school. The best practice would be to find a balance between the social interactions and academic engagement this summer.
Here are just a few places to help avoid that summer slump:
- Start by sifting through LAUSD’s numerous summer programs available: Summer Programs 2021 / Summer of Learning 2021 They offer options for students from TK-12th grade throughout the entire summer.
- Encourage your high schooler to take an intro to college writing course. UCLA offers a three week online program that will keep your student challenged and focused on the future ahead: Writing Summer Institute: Introduction to College Writing | UCLA Summer Sessions.
- Consider other summer opportunities for high school students looking to be enriched during the summer. USC offers 4 week courses on a variety of subjects like Pre-law, Architecture, and Performing Arts. USC Summer Programs for High School Students
- There are so many great camps and resources for keeping your adolescent busy. Here are just a few more places to find exactly what your student is looking for—from day camps to overnight camps, academics of all kinds, including performing arts are plentiful in the Los Angeles area! Check out 2021 Summer Programs for High School Students + Teens in Los Angeles or Summer Camp Guide 2021 or even 2021 LA summer camps for a few good options.
And a couple ideas to avoid the summer cobwebs…
- Get thee to a tutor. Let’s be honest, most teachers did their best this past year teaching online, but there are definitely holes that need to be filled in. LAUSD is even considering changes to their school calendars:“With recognition that many students have suffered from learning loss, the LAUSD survey also queried parents on their feelings about summer school classes or extending the 2021-2022 academic year by up to ten days. That included a question about starting school as early as August 3.” LAUSD Schools Are Coming Back—but Who’s Going and What Will Classes Look Like?
- Most kids I have tutored in the last year would greatly benefit from a review of their course material. Perhaps that means going back through the book, taking tests for each chapter, and revisiting material that seems to have been missed. Maybe they took a recent final exam you can go over together. Retaking and going through old quizzes can even be helpful. Anything to revisit and relearn is essential in progressing.
- Get ahead of the game. Order a helpful academic supplemental book in the subjects you’d like to jump into. I really like Spectrum books for students from PreK-8th grade. They offer a large variety of subjects and the material tends to be really helpful in getting kids comfortable with the new concepts. Books | Teaching Supplies & Resources
- Focus on the tests you’ve pushed to the side: ISEE, ERB, SSAT, ACT, SAT. Many of these tests require you to be prepared in the fall, aka the endless busy season. It’s best to start working on test prep sooner. The best time for test prep is always the summer, as students have more flexible schedules and can meet more regularly. This boosts retention and pace of learning. Ideally it’s a great way to solidify your knowledge before the fall so you can spend the last few months in the fall just polishing and prepping for the test.
- Work on college essays! If you’re lucky enough to be a high schooler, application season is always just around the corner. Check out our blog on writing a personal, effective essay to help yourself jump into topics you could be asked: College Essay Examples: Effective Techniques. Use the Common App essay prompts to hone in on the topics and approach you will take: 2021-2022 Common App Essay Prompts.
- Complete your summer reading assignments…and then some. Most students feel bogged down by the time management demands during the school year. Use this as an opportunity to take your time, get ahead of your reading, and practice your critical reading skills. Being able to read and comprehend is important. So is being able to read quickly or skim. Even the ability to read and retain is a valuable tool worth honing and giving attention to. For more fun ways to practice reading and find the love, look at: How to Become a Reader: Tips for Becoming a Successful Reader in High School.
Overall it’s important to find the summer program or activities that work best for your child and YOU. I highly recommend asking around to see what others you know and trust have done. While resources are always valuable, there’s nothing like referral by word of mouth. As Los Angeles begins to reopen, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to avoid a summer slump and a hard jump into fall.
And don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a FREE consultation!