This summer, Prepare to START SCHOOL SHARP!

Carol C. Wood, Founder & CEO, Total Learning Concepts, Inc.

Woohoo! School is out for the summer so learning can stop! Right? Wrong! Summer time provides the BEST opportunity students have to enrich their academic skills if they desire to get ahead before school begins again or catch up in skills if they ended the school year below average in an area. During the summer, because school has ended and teachers are not moving through additional curriculum, students have the opportunity to gain ground in their academics. Whereas, during the school year if students fall behind, they must catch up with what they have missed AND keep up with what is being taught on a day-by-day basis BOTH at the same time. This is difficult to do and can be stressful! So, parents, give the students in your family the opportunity to do what they can not easily do during the school year, which is to CATCH UP or MOVE AHEAD in their academics this summer and solve their STUDY SKILL weaknesses!

What you can do to get started for summer learning: First, locate your child’s recent school standardized test scores and determine the areas they are performing below, on, or above average as compared to his/her school grade level. This can be located in the column that reads “GE” for grade equivalency or “PR” for percentile. Any area(s) in which the student scored below 50th percentile or below their grade and month level in the GE column when the tests were administered, are ones in which the student was performing below average at that time. If the student scored above 50th percentile or above his or her grade level, he/she is performing above average so summer tutoring could entail enrichment work to maintain skills or further build on the student’s strengths in preparation for the next school year. By examining your child’s most recent test scores and determining which areas are below, on, or above average, you will then know which academic areas to build upon so the student can START SCHOOL SHARP!

Next, locate educational resources for your child with a track record of success should you decide to teach your children yourself at home. Purchase the appropriate levels of materials and teach your child on an established consistent, weekly schedule. Do not allow the student to skip around within workbooks and complete the “fun” pages first, as the material is purposefully presented in a sequential order. Select a study place for each student which is equipped with the learning supplies and tools needed. If you do not feel qualified or do not have the necessary patience with your own child, which is not uncommon, seek a full-time professional and experienced educational center. Schedule summer learning sessions on a consistent weekly basis with the same degreed and experienced instructor, who utilizes nationally recognized materials and proven teaching methods. Individualized instruction is best in an environment free from distractions and interruptions. A professional center is usually preferable since it focuses on providing an ideal learning environment, has many quality control measures to insure student improvement is maximized, and has a reputation and level of accountability to maintain to remain in business. Know the credentials of the instructor; such as his or her areas of teaching experience and educational degree and match this with your student’s academic area of summer instruction. Ask for references and contact them to learn about their experience with the professional center you are considering. Request to see the instructional area and observe sessions in progress.

Remember, SUMMER is the most ideal time for students to get a JUMP START on the next school year!


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