For more than a year, children across the country have been learning in atypical school settings. Faced with remote, hybrid, and in-person teaching and learning options along with major changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, some students have fallen behind academically. In addition, many miss their typical routines, others are suffering from Zoom fatigue, and the majority are longing for social interaction.
As your family prepares to wrap up this school year and makes plans for next year, consider enrolling your child in a summer enrichment program. Strong enrichment programs, even during a traditional school year, offer many benefits for PreKindergarten through high school students. Learn about five ways a summer enrichment program can help your child:
1. Strengthen academic skills
Research has shown that students who participate in summer learning maintain long-term retention of learned items. Summer programs also help children solidify concepts, improve their academic skills, and remain mentally sharp.
2. Discovering new passions
Because students’ schedules aren’t filled with full academic-year course loads, time opens up to delve into new endeavors such as art or drama. In some instances, students who thought they didn’t like a specific academic discover that they not only enjoy the subject, they’re also pretty good at it.
3. BUILD social skills
Summer courses allow children to make connections with teachers, existing classmates, and new students without the social pressures of a normal school landscape. Reduced pressure allows students to feel more relaxed. A calm educational space may be especially beneficial to students who are joining a new school.
4. Gain self-confidence
Small class sizes during the summer often lend themselves to creating an environment in which students are more comfortable. Increased comfort levels can help children feel more confident during the summer experience and the following school year. With boosted confidence, hesitant students are often willing to take more risks.
5. Prepare for future success
Whether students are headed to a new grade level, college, or a job, summer enrichment can support their efforts. Some high school summer courses are dedicated to standardized test preparation. Students who have developed passions in particular areas can enhance their knowledge and skills when taking summer classes aligned with their interests. By exploring new disciplines, students build flexibility and resilience, two skills that are critical in today’s job market.
We’re here to help
Sanford School has built a robust on-campus summer enrichment program for the summer of 2021. Designed to address the unique school year all families have faced, students may select from more than 40 courses that include academic, art, and athletic offerings. Classes have been created to be “summer-friendly,” meaning they are relaxed half days and run from 1–2 weeks. This strategy gives students time to chill in the afternoon or get involved in day camps or other summer programs.
In the end, what do we want for our kids?
Ask any parent and most will tell you they want their kids to be happy. After a challenging year, giving kids the opportunity to learn, explore, and socially connect is more important than ever. Individualized attention from a teacher and the ability to roam Sanford’s nearly 85-acre campus will give your child the sense of "normalcy" they have been craving.
Christine DiUbaldo received a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University with a minor in Urban Studies, and her graduate coursework was completed at the University of Delaware. After teaching third grade at Sanford for twenty-one years, she has taken her love of Sanford to the roles of Director of Summer Programs and Assistant Director of Admission.