Forward-planning parents are already starting to look into summer school programs for their children. While this is primarily a field for high school students, I’ve been receiving a growing number of inquiries over the past few years from parents of children who are as young as 5th or 6th graders. With growing demands on students to be competitive with their college applications (take more math!), stricter course expectations, and reduced funding for summer programs (particularly within the public education system, although I’ve observed private schools scaling back on their summer offerings, as well), finding a good program that meets your needs can seem like a daunting task. So where do you start?
- Search on Google and ask the counselor/dean at your child’s school. Summer school programs can be found on the internet, so you can’t go wrong by trying a few different searches and seeing what you get. But utilize the expertise and resources of your child’s school in making recommendations or offering suggestions that may not have come up in your internet search.
- Do your homework. The next step is to speak with the school offering the summer class to determine factors like: are they accredited? By whom? What kind of course is it—remedial or for advancement? What is the profile of a typical student? You’ll also have to check with your child’s school to make sure that they will accept whatever credit is coming from the summer school. They may want to know things like: what topics are part of the syllabus? Does it meet certain requirements (seat time, lab time, Regents prep)? Is it graded, or simply pass/fail?
- Know what you want and know where you’re willing to compromise. It’s obvious, but bears saying: there is no perfect program. You may need to sacrifice your traditional family vacation mid-July or get some additional tutoring to meet your complete curricular needs, so think about what absolutely won’t work for you before you start looking at the various programs.
- Make sure your child is an active part of the conversation. Particularly for courses to help your child advance, the time spent in class and in doing homework is a significant investment. If your child isn’t completely on-board with this use of summer time, this will likely be an investment that doesn’t pay off.
The Beekman School/The Tutoring School offers summer programs in a variety of subjects and for almost any schedule. You can find more information by visiting www.beekmanschool.org/summer-school.