Connecticut Parents: Plan for the summer

By General Education Advice

As I wind up my meetings with tired teens ending the school year throughout the Connecticut shoreline, I remind parents to plan the summer.

The summer provides an unusual gift: free time.  Some part of the summer should be for complete relaxation and rejuvenation.  Most Connecticut high schools are ending this week.  Doing nothing but having fun for the last few weeks of June straight through July 4th weekend makes plenty of sense.  That’s 16 days of pure vacation. Should be sufficient!

For most of our client-families, July and August will each have a few built-in long weekends or full weeks of vacation.  That will put the number of pure vacation days somewhere in the 20-30 day range. Outside of our highly affluent Connecticut population, most people throughout time and cultures would view as a lot of vacation time for a full year, let alone a few summer months.

What happens to most students when they are not productive in the summer?  They get bored.  Boys play video games for so long that even they realize that doing something else would be better for them.  Girls manufacture drama through endless texts and chats and whatever other social media is currently predominating teen world. Neither lead to happiness and, of course, neither lead to success.

What should high school students do? Most every sophomore heading into junior year would be wise to engage in test prep.  The new SAT has essentially copied much of the ACT’s content and format. As such, test prep is now school enrichment since the work of these tests mirror much of what should be learned in school.

Other students would be wise to bolster their math and writing skills.  For those who are not naturally strong at math, the subject will still be 20% of your report card and 50% of your standardized tests.  As for writing, this area becomes increasingly important as students progress through high school and enter college.

So, while your student-children should relax for the remainder of June, parents would be wise to plan for the summer.