What you need to know before enrolling your child in summer school
By Dana Segur
As a parent, you are both glad and a little anxious about that end of the the year conference from your child’s teacher, and what the summer holds for your family.
Remember, communication is very important to have with your child’s teacher. You want to know exactly how your child is performing in relation to other children their same age, and grade level. Ask your child’s teacher to explain any testing in layman’s terms. Numbers or scores don’t have any meaning to you if you don’t understand how they relate in terms of grade level performance and plans of action.
Don’t’ be afraid to take leadership of the conference. Ask the teacher if summer school will make a noticeable difference to your child’s growth, or if they need more specific help. Summer school can be a waste of time and effort, if it does not address your child’s specific needs.
If your child is delayed in a subject, find out if they will receive targeted help in that area at summer school. If not, invest your time and resources in other areas, such as tutoring and/or mentoring.
Ask the teacher for references of people or resources that they believe will help your child. They may know of tutors and mentors that they have had first hand experience in helping children. Ask specific questions of your child’s teacher: Will this be enough for my child to be successful next year. Sometimes, parents get unexpected and serious news about their child in the middle of the year, or even at the end of the year.
If the teacher has not kept you abreast of needs that your child has throughout the year, you may be taken quite by surprise and dismay.
If your child does need specific help, interview the various resources that you have found online, or through teacher/other parent recommendations. Ask if they have specific training in the area that your child needs. For example, if your child needs math, ask if the tutor or mentor has a specialty in math. Also, in reading, does that tutoring company or service offer specialists in that area. What is their training?
Look for resources and people who have a willingness and a desire to see your child succeed.
Monitor their progress in whatever tutoring or resource you choose. Don’t assume that your child is receiving help because you drop them off and pick them up.
During the summer, allow your child to both study and have relaxing and fun experiences. Your child needs to develop in an all-around fashion, not just to become a high ranking student.
When your child becomes an adult, he/she will get joy out of many of the summer activities that they learned when they were a child. Remember your childhood?
Don’t take that away from them.
Dana Segur runs a reading improvement program Kids With Class. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.