Category: 

Should My Child Attend Summer School?

A teacher working with a young student.
Children playing with blocks at summer school.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
There has never been a documented human death associated with a tarantula bite.  more...

April 19 ,  1775 :  The American Revolution began.  more...

The issue as to whether children should attend summer school is a complicated one. Some students, particularly from middle school onward may not have a choice if they have failed a class during the regular school year. They have to do enough to make up a failing grade or their ability to graduate from their grade, or from high school can be imperiled.

Other times, teachers in lower grades recommend summer school to parents when students are flunking in a particular subject or exhibiting overall poor performance in school. An alternate scenario is that a parent feels a child would benefit from school during the summer, but the school isn’t necessarily supportive of this. Some private schools don’t offer summer schools, but children may be able to attend classes through their public school district.

In a situation where you have no choice, there really isn’t much to answer unless you want your child not to graduate or move up to the next grade. Yet in lower grades you mostly have the option to refuse summer school, and you may have specific reasons for refusal. A child who visits a second parent in another state or area of the country during the summer may pose a very good reason why the child shouldn’t attend summer school, particularly when it is a choice and not a requirement.

Ad

There are also some parents who really don’t appreciate summer school because it cuts into their own plans, may be offered in an area not easily accessed, or because they feel a child’s failure was not due to academic issues. A child who has had a very stressful year and been through a parent’s divorce, the death of a parent or other extremely disturbing circumstances may have simply been unfocused during the year or had multiple absences that resulted in poor grades. Again, in lower grades, you can usually make a strong case that a child should not attend summer school based on a child’s life experiences, and particularly if they have usually been average to excellent students in the past.

It may be a little harder in a public school district in the lower grades to place your child in summer school because you simply want them to go. Normally, summer school is determined by teacher recommendation, and you will have to present a strong case to the teacher why your child should attend. Teachers often have certain “tests” for deciding when to recommend a child to summer school, which may be implemented at a district level. These include things like looking at the child’s ability to perform at grade level, and analyzing things like learning disabilities and scores or standardized tests. Keeping a record of grades and performance on tests, and knowing your child’s academic ability can help make a case for why your child should attend.

If you can’t convince a school district that your child should attend summer school, you may want to consider a transfer to a district that will allow summer attendance or operates on a year round calendar. When this is unavailable, look to classes offered by private learning centers or through various organizations that may help your child become more academically prepared for the next year’s work. If price for these programs is prohibitive, ask the school district or your child’s teacher to lend you some books that will allow you to teach your child over the summer and help them review difficult concepts.

Some parents feel very strongly that summertime is sacred. Formal learning should not enter into the process. Yet many parents also express how “bored” their children get after a few days or two of nothing but time on their hands. You can still preserve much of your child’s free time and have them devote a half hour to an hour in the morning to working on challenging concepts. It doesn’t take long to do a half sheet of long division, to fill out a multiplication table, to write a few sentences, or to spend some time reading aloud. By allowing brief periods of regular study at home and still allowing plenty of time for leisure, your children may actually appreciate leisure time more and be less likely to become bored.

Ad

Discuss this Article

subway11
Post 4

@Sunshine31 - I think that a little enrichment is good, but too much could be just as bad. The summer is a good time for kids to try new skills and maybe pickup a new hobby or sport. This way they still are learning something but having fun as well.

I really want to take an art class with my kids. I think it would be so much fun because we all love art and are very artistic. I just have not found anything like that yet, but I continue to look. Most classes are either for adults or children.

sunshine31
Post 3

@Sneakers41- What I do in the summer is continue to have my children read every day and go to a supplemental math program twice a week that offers homework every day.

This makes a difference when my kids go back to school because they continue to practice their math and reading skills in the summer and usually adapted quickly to the start of school year.

I usually have them read accelerated reader books so that when they get to school they can start taking the quizes for those books and develop points for their extra reading.

I also do a lot of activities like going to the beach and going to theme parks as well as museums. I try to have a calendar of activities planned so they know what to expect. I like to continue some of the structure from school so that they don't ask me a million times, "What we are going to do today?"

They also go to a challenging school and this helps them still a little ahead. I don't put my kids in summer school classes, but I do have them continue the basics just so they don't lose these skills.

sneakers41
Post 2

@BrickBack -I think that a summer school camp is a great idea because parents what their children to be educated while their having fun.

I know that even the community college offers summer school courses for kids from cooking, painting, guitar, and foreign languages. The nice thing about this program is that each class lasts four days for two hours each, so the children can try a variety of classes that fit the parent's summer schedule.

I like this schedule because I don’t always want to commit to a full summer camp schedule and just want to have my kids pick up a few fun courses. Each course is only $75 which is really not too expensive.

BrickBack
Post 1

I just want to say that summer school might not be a bad thing because children do get bored sometimes. I know that a lot of summer camps in my area have a combination of structured academics and play time so that the courses could be used as enrichment or remediation.

For example, one summer school program in my area offers two hours of math and two hours of reading instruction four days a week from 8:00 AM to 12:00PM.

After that the children go to lunch and enjoy the rest of the summer school camp activities. Some parents like this because the children get to continue to develop their academic skills, but also get to have fun with other children.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email