Summer Lovin': Making the Most of June, July, and August to Maximize 2018-19 Success
As the days grow longer and the temperature warmer, the last thing most of us want – especially teens – is to plan for next year. Before ditching backpacks for bikinis, though, older kids can make the most of next school year by mindfully approaching the end of this one. As always, parents play a pivotal role in the process.
Last June, I shared some end-of-school-year rituals for parents and teens; you can find them here. Today, I’ll share three tips on what to do during June, July and August to maximize the 2018-2019 school year.
Combat Summer slide with intention
Many of us associate “summer slide” – the loss of one or more months’ worth of learning that occurs during extended time away from school – with younger children. Nevertheless, research from the Brookings Institution suggests that kids of all ages can lose the prior year's knowledge and skills during summer.
Moreover, organized activities like summer reading programs don’t often extend beyond middle school. Older teens’ summer pre-professional, athletic and volunteer experiences often leave little time for preserving previous academic gains.
Solutions? You and your child should pick two or three goals for summer and devise a plan to achieve them. Concentrate on one subject that your child struggles with and another he enjoys to signal that maintaining skills and knowledge in both areas is important. Check out Khan Academy for free tools in every academic discipline and, of course, the local library for pleasure reading. (Summer reading should not be limited to the books assigned by next year’s English teacher.) If you need help with developing a plan or your teen needs more structure to implement, contact me. We can develop a solution to combat summer slide together!
Submit the FAFSA by June 30
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is due June 30. You can fill it out online here. If your child’s not yet college age, familiarize yourself with the application here. If your family won't qualify for federal aid and you're hoping for scholarship money, your child's college application -- in particular, his essay -- should shine. Contact me if your child needs assistance crafting a superior essay. Last year, one family's $2000 essay coaching package yielded their son a $60,000 annual scholarship -- a 12,000% Return On Investment!
If your teen regularly gets home during the school year at 7pm, summers may be the optimal time for college prep. Student-athletes and performers, in particular, have little time during the week for anything other than homework. Games and rehearsals often occupy weekend hours and, when they don’t, teens need weekends to catch up on sleep and see friends. Even if your rising 11th or 12th grader works as a camp counselor or interns 9-5, she might want to carve out an hour or two per week to study for the ACT or SAT. Brief windows in even busy summer schedules (e.g., a train commute; fifteen minutes before bed) provide opportunities for this essential preparation -- all the more valuable because students won’t have to share mental bandwidth with Spanish, Physics, and AP US History as they would during the school year. If you and your child decide that this summer would be the ideal time to concentrate on test prep but aren’t quite sure what he should do when, contact me. Together, we can design a self-study program for your child, which can be supplemented with as many or as few online or in-person check-in sessions as your teen needs.
Finally, if your family is vacationing this summer, consider visiting a nearby college or university. During my recent 25th college reunion, Harvard College Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons encouraged families to get a sense of what colleges are like today, even if it means touring campuses in your own hometown. Visiting one or two at a time will help narrow your child’s focus later – and may help your family avoid the unenviable “vacation” of one family who visited 37 colleges during a single spring break!
A self-proclaimed “beach bum,” I’d never want to rain on students’ summer fun. Taking just a few minutes a day to set goals and work toward achieving them can make next school year easier, less stressful and more rewarding for the entire family!
Dr. P. (Dominique Padurano, Ph.D.) is an author, speaker, educator, and Founder and Head Coach of Crimson Coaching LLC. Crimson Coaching™ provides expert academic assistance in all subjects for students aged 12 to adult.
Please feel free to contact us with feedback and comments on this post and to encourage friends and family to sign up to receive this newsletter via email every month by forwarding them this link: http://eepurl.com/dePJP2