Many parents wonder whether children will benefit from summer classes. Since there are often a wide variety of summer classes to choose from, at varying levels of expense, there can be some advantage to a child who takes one or more classes. A summer class can be anything from a formal branch of study in a particular school topic to less formal studies in art, music, dance, athletics, or individual interests like computer programming, how to become a DJ, theater classes that end in participation in a play.
Parents often make a strong case for their children taking summer classes because they have options available to them in summer that may not be available in their own schools, and they give children an opportunity to “do something” interesting, or to pursue an interest or hobby. Others want summer classes for kids to help them with a particular issue they’re having trouble with in school. In this case, classes could be offered at learning and teacher centers, or through formal summer school.
Other families argue to the reverse, and suggest the two to three months of summer may be the one period of the year where children have unscheduled time. They’ve seen their children make leaps in maturity in the past, through a relaxing summer, and they like giving kids a chance to purse any interests on their own. Families may also offer some form of “organic” learning over the summer, where the child learns as a result of his/her environment. If mom or dad is cooking a meal, the child may learn to make a salad, cook eggs, boil water or make dessert. Alternately, families plan visits to places of interest that have learning value such as museums of all types, national points of interest, or travel to any new place.
A number of families strike a middle road offering their children a class or two during the summer, but also offering them learning opportunities at home and some unstructured time too. You may want to gauge whether your child should take summer classes by talking with them about their interests, or you may feel compelled by a child’s poor grades to either dedicate part of your own time during the summer or enroll a child in summer school to help them with a school subject that is plaguing them. Alternately, you may feel that a total break from studies is needed to help the child “recover” from a stressful school year.
If you live in an area where people have pools and swim frequently, probably the one summer class your child should take is a swimming class. This will help a child learn how to confidently swim and help you assess the child’s level of swimming experience prior to swimming field trips or swim parties offered by friends. If you have rights to a pool or possess your own, you may be able to teach children to swim through frequent trips to the pool. Yet advanced swimming classes may still be of benefit to a child who has gotten down the basics through your teaching.
When you’re looking for summer classes for your children, you’ll find a number of them available. They are offered as school extensions, through Parks & Recreation departments, through clubs like the Boys and Girls Club, and also through learning centers, YMCAs and YWCAs, and a number of private facilities. Some classes are free and others cost quite a bit, but there are usually classes available in so much variety and price range, that you can find something to fit your budget and your child’s needs or interests.