Many students and their families have turned to online summer school programs to make up high school credits. They are relatively inexpensive and sometimes very flexible. It sounds like the best of both worlds—so much so that the question might be, does a live, in-person, physical summer school have any place in today’s world?
Absolutely. And here’s why:
1. Accountability. If a student needs to repeat a course, one of the reasons could go back to simple accountability. Did he or she complete homework assignments and study for tests? If not, will he or she really do it for an online course? A small classroom setting provides much more accountability—the teacher is going to know your child’s name and the exact reason the work isn’t done. Speaking of the teacher knowing things…
2. Student-teacher interaction. Having a teacher in a class of 17 or fewer students means that teacher is paying attention to a student’s verbal and nonverbal cues. In other words, the teacher can tell whether a student understands what is being taught. If there is some confusion, the teacher can re-state it a different way or try a completely different method to get through to the student. In addition, that relationship encourages a positive change in the student—once a student knows a teacher cares, that student is more likely to try to do the work, so as not to let the teacher down. It’s more effective than yet another failing grade.
3. Peer-to peer interaction. Students might be able to chat with each other in a virtual classroom, depending on how it is set up, but they are probably not going to make lifelong friendships by chatting online. However, if a summer school program is set up right, they have opportunities to enjoy activities and meals together, and develop those strong personal friendships.
4. Self-confidence. Sometimes the school year just hasn’t gone right. It could be the result of personality conflicts between the teacher and the student, or personal issues at home that affect the school work. Whatever the reason, failing a class can be a huge blow to a student’s self-confidence. The positive reinforcement that comes from succeeding in a completely different school environment can do wonders in restoring that self-confidence.
If taking a summer classes at a live, in-person, physical school sounds like it might be right for you or your child, check out Randolph-Macon Academy’s summer program. But hurry, time is running out! Registration is only a week and a half away!