If your child is doing a little extra learning this summer to catch up or to move ahead of the class, they have a number of options available to them. We look at the pros and cons of each approach to help you make the choice that will help them succeed.
Pros: These work really well for students who don’t suit a traditional classroom teaching style. Students are able to work at a pace that suits them and the flexibility means that they can balance social lives, sporting commitments and learning far easier than if they had a set classroom schedule.
Distance learning is often more affordable and allows students to study the courses that the want to rather than those offered by their nearest educational institution. Good distance education facilities offer video lectures that students can watch whenever they need to, flipped classrooms which allow for interaction with other students for discussions and a wealth of online resources for students to draw from.
Cons: Students must have the requisite technology and know how to effectively use computers, tablets or smart phones to participate in their courses.
Without an instructor, students who are struggling may not have the support they need. Instructors aren’t there to pick up mistakes or to catch misinterpretations of the material.
Students may miss out on peer-based learning which takes place in discussions and group work. They may also fail to develop essential critical-thinking skills without the benefit of interacting with their peers.
Students have to be very disciplined and dedicated independent learners in order to succeed in online courses.
Summer school classes can be held at school or in a classroom setting at a tutoring facility.
Pros: Students get to interact with their peers which means that discussions and group work add positively to their learning experience.
Discussing opinions with others, defending their ideas, teaching others and explaining their ideas is a great way for students to deepen their understanding of the material and improve their communication and comprehension skills.
Having an instructor present means students can ask for help when they don’t understand and teachers can catch misunderstandings or errors which students may not be aware of.
Classroom summer schools are usually cheaper than one-on-one tutoring.
Cons: If your child is struggling with school, then more school is probably not the answer. Classroom settings don’t suit every kind of learner.
Students may feel too shy to ask questions or for additional help when misunderstandings occur.
Students can easily lose focus without the teacher noticing as there are other students in the room.
Too many students mean not enough personal attention for your child.
Another option to consider is one-on-one in-home tutoring. Only working one-on-one with a tutor will help them to find the missing building blocks and understand difficult concepts. Find a tutor who integrates executive skills training into their tutoring sessions so that your student isn’t just gaining knowledge, they are learning the skills they need to be effective independent learners.
Pic by Maria Grazia Montagnari