Summers in Connecticut – particularly near the Shoreline – are idyllic. During a typical summer week, most teens work a few hours in part time jobs, have a dozen or so hours of high quality fun, and then immerse themselves in “fun” that amounts to immersion on their phones/computers.
Spending some time in productive activities will not ruin their summers. It will better their lives. And, research proves this point.
Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal work, Outliers, should be mandatory reading for all parents. He discusses a Johns Hopkins study of Baltimore City public schools. The conclusion: there was no difference in ability between lower and upper income children when students started elementary school. There was little difference in how lower and upper income children progressed during the school year. The major difference in how lower and upper income children progressed was during the summer. Lower income children – often with single parents who worked – had little to no access to educational programs. Upper income children either had parents who paid for outside educational programs, such as tutoring and test prep, and/or were able to spend time themselves educating their children.
We provide different educational enrichment programs for our students. During the school year, we almost exclusively focus on school subjects. During the summer, we focus on test prep and/or areas of enrichment (math and writing tend to be popular) that will help build our students. The success of our students helps proved Gladwell’s point.