To Summer School or Not to School: Why You Should Consider It

When I was approached about sending my son to summer school, my first reaction was definitely no! Did I want to have a schedule, force him to go to bed early, miss out on summer plans because of a routine?  No! But when it came down to it, Drew was put on the bus and sent to summer school.

According to Beverly Stewart, President and Director of Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc., summer programs are crucial for children with special needs, as many children with special needs struggle to retain information. Here’s the advice that helped me last year:

1. Summer school can boost self worth. When students are successful, they feel better about themselves. Knowing they are prepared for the next grade can help students feel more positive about school come fall.

2. Summer sessions have less students, so tailored instruction is easier for teachers to do. Immediate needs can be addressed, so students can focus on target areas.

3.  Summer school is only a few hours in the morning, and only certain days of the week. Ms. Stewart advises offering something enticing for your child on school days. Brainstorm some of the fun activities your child is looking forward to this summer, and schedule them into the school day. Maybe those are the days you serve ice-cream for lunch. While parents might be hesitant about such “bribery”, Ms. Stewart reminds us we need to do what it takes to help our students succeed, and if these treats after school helps, then don’t hesitate to do it.

Ms. Stewart states that regardless of how you address academics over the summer, it’s important to be consistent. Commit to the routine that you create, and remember the payoff come fall will be worth it!

Julia Garstecki

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