Each month, Scott Groza, Director / Co-Founder of Groza Learning Center and private school Groza Academy, answers parent questions regarding their student’s education. Have a question? Send to AskGroza@GrozaLearningCenter.com.
In the summer, the most common question I get from parents is “What can I do in the summer to help my kid with…” (fill in the blank). For every student, the answer can vary, but it usually falls under the following categories: filling gaps from prior school years, retaining skills and knowledge learned, or preparing for next year.
Here are some great ways to get the most out of your student’s summer break…
Reinforcement and Retention
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE School
Book Club – Summer reading is a great way to reinforce reading skills and nurture a love of reading. Get a group of kids together and choose a book they’ll love, or check to see if his/her teacher may have given a summer reading list.
Math Concept Review – Grade level math games and workbooks are a fun way to help students keep their conceptual math skills sharp.
Math Facts – Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts need to be reinforced year after year until automaticity is achieved, so incorporating them into a game of catch or H-O-R-S-E is an fun way to put some educational enrichment into your quality time. Try card games and board games with dice for the youngsters.
Study Skills – There comes a point for every student where she/he can no longer rely exclusively on her/his cognitive capacities, study skills must be learned and integrated as a structure to organize all the information they are required to process, retain and analyze.
Revisiting Subjects – For example, algebra is a fundamental emphasis of Common Core math, and the primary type of math tested on both the SAT and ACT. It is beneficial to the student in manifold ways to understand the basics so they are poised for the math that lies ahead of them.
Remediation and Gap Filling
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE School
Reading Remediation – Kids who are showing signs of falling behind with reading-based skills and activities including spelling, vocabulary and critical thinking can get on track and avoid years of struggle with some dedicated attention to filling gaps in phonemic awareness and comprehension habits. Starting early is essential.
Math Foundation – For kids who struggle with math at these early stages, giving special attention to building a conceptual understanding of numbers and their relationships can make a vital difference. Providing tangible models, real life analogies and critical thinking puzzles are excellent ways to develop a healthy number sense.
Retake a Course – For a struggling high-schooler, retaking a course can be just the extra push needed to fill those gaps and boost that GPA. There are many options to retake courses for credit both through the school and outside of the school. It’s possible to turn Fs into Cs in a matter of weeks over the summer.
Prepping for Next Year
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE School
Skill Advancement – To give your student a confidence boost, find out what skills will be taught in the early part of the next school year and start pre-teaching.
Take an Exploratory Course – There are some great courses, online and offline, for kids at these levels to explore an area of interest and/or get a jump on next year’s material. Some you must qualify for, such as John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, other you can be designed per your student. I’ll never forget the chance we had to design a course for a 4th grader who was passionate about Chemistry. We were able to foster his interest in the subject and explore concepts at the high school and even college level. Fun!
MIDDLE & High School
Get Ahead on a Course – Take or pre-teach a course from the upcoming school year early to make room for more sports, creativity, leisure, focus area study, test prep.
Standardized Test Prep (SAT/ACT/ISEE/HSPT) – If your student is taking a standardized test in the coming year, summer is the ideal time to put a test prep plan together and get started on prep.
School Applications Builders – Internships and volunteer activities provide enriching life experiences for students and look great on private school and college applications.
There’s plenty of time in the summer for academic enrichment and downtime, so make sure you leave room for a real break and calendar in the fun activities to get your student recharged and ready for the next school year. Happy summer!
Scott Groza, Director / Co-Founder of Groza Learning Center and Groza Academy, finds deep meaning in helping kids and parents successfully navigate the challenging world of academics. With a strong commitment to each student, team building, innovation, and individualized learning, he and his wife Christy Groza have created a multi-faceted educational company that specializes in Tutoring, Test Preparation, Reading Programs, and Private Schooling. The couple is thankful to have four children of their own and enjoys the wild adventure of parenting. Groza Learning Center and Groza Academy are based in Pacific Palisades, and have served the community for nearly 10 years.
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