When people think of words associated with summer, most think of vacation, relaxation, sunshine and ice cream. School? Not so much. The phrase “summer school” can’t seem to shake the negative connotation that it carries. Summer school is often associated with poor academic performance or something to be endured indoors while other kids get to spend the warm months outside.

What most parents don’t know is that learning-free summers cost students two to three months of learning, according to John Hopkins School of Education, meaning it takes 8-12 weeks in the fall to relearn everything taught the previous spring. This can be especially stressful when your child is trying to balance countless activities and the looming pressure of college.

To prevent the dreaded “summer learning slide,” experts recommend students to participate in summer school programs, such as credit recovery classes, academic camps, and college/career exploratory initiatives. These educational programs help children stay focused, develop new social skills, instill confidence, and prepare for their future.

During the school year, most students are involved in numerous extracurricular activities and are constantly having their attention pulled in many different directions. Balancing all these commitments can be overwhelming and stressful for your child, which can lead to their academic work suffering. With most summer programs, students take one class at a time, meaning they can devote 100% of their attention to a particular subject, such as English, World History or Geometry.

Students also have the chance to build up their confidence and develop their social skills during summer programs. Due to smaller class sizes in the summer, your child can benefit from more one-on-one time with teachers and small-group time with their peers. For students who keep to themselves, academic camps that incorporate fun group activities offer a comfortable setting for them to make friends and gain confidence when communicating with their peers.

Summer school can also prepare your child for college and future careers. Whether they are taking a class to get ahead or making up a credit, summer classes help students stay on track for graduation. In addition, many schools offer camps and initiatives that develop skills and training to help your child achieve their future college or career goals, such as practicing interviewing or researching college degree options.

Regardless of academic record or what age your child is, summer school programs are a positive experience and give you the opportunity to invest in their future. There are a wide variety of summer programs for you to choose from, so do lots of research to ensure you pick the one that’s the best fit for your child! At Hill School, we strongly believe that summer school programs will help your child grow and learn, not only academically, but also personally.

Hill School is a college preparatory, full-service school for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, high-functioning ASD and other learning differences. Hill School is launching its new-and-improved summer school programs in June 2019, which will be open to Hill School and non-Hill School students entering K-12 in fall 2019.

Located in southwest Fort Worth, Hill School’s 40 faculty and staff members teach grades K-12. Hill School focuses on intensive small-group instruction in core subject areas to ensure that all students have an opportunity to reach their full academic potential. Students also explore interests and affinities through athletics, fine arts (drama, visual arts, music) and a wide variety of community involvement activities. For more information, visit www.hillschool.org or www.Facebook.com/HillSchool.