Road to College: Learning to Make the Most of Summer

Students can devote time to reading, relaxing, exploring the outdoors … or all the above. Photo by Tonny Tran on Unsplash

With summer upon us, parents and students should take time to assess their approach to new learning challenges, including the sudden shift to online learning and the cancellation or modification of standardized tests.  

The best way for students to remain on track for the upcoming school year is by identifying and confronting these issues strategically, as soon as possible. 

The first step in addressing content gaps is to clearly identify them.  

TEACHER OUTREACH
For parents of younger students, this may involve reaching out to teachers to discuss any academic challenges your student may have exhibited over the past few months.  

Students should focus on third- and fourth-quarter content, homing in on the specific topics and material that may have been overlooked or proved difficult to master during the transition to online learning.  

Utilizing available online resources, such as Khan Academy, students can build on current knowledge and practice to apply key skills or concepts.  

Summer also is an excellent time for students to get ahead on upcoming topics, ensuring preparation for the content students can expect to face in the coming school year.  

PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE
Engaging with private academic consulting services can provide additional guidance to students and parents on the most productive ways to manage summer learning efforts and address potential learning gaps. 

As difficult as it can be to separate students from their digital devicesnot all learning has to take place on screen 

Have your student devote time to reading (using real books!), working on creative writing or art projects, journaling, or exploring the outdoors.  

ALTERNATE ACTIVITIES 

Balancing screen time with alternative activities off-screen is essential to students becoming active, well-rounded learners.  

For high school students, the coming months offer a good opportunity for robust experiences. Whether working on a safe and impactful volunteer project, virtual internship, or other digital experience, students can attain valuable skills and knowledge related to recent classwork, future majors or career paths, or other interests.  

Rising seniors can use this time to get a jump on their college applications. Drafting a personal statement now will reduce stress before heading into the fall and allow plenty of time for one or more rewrites. 

Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D. is an educator and founder of Novella Prep. He has twenty years of experience working in admissions, development, teaching, and research at various universities. You can reach him at tony@novellaprep.com.

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About the Author: Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D.