Summer school is usually associated with students who are behind or struggled to pass all their classes through the regular school year. However, more and more students are choosing to take summer classes not out of necessity but rather as a way to get ahead and take advantage of the many benefits that these summer classes offer. While one of the main benefits for students who take summer classes is related to catching up or reestablishing a good GPA, there are a number of other significant reasons why middle school and high school students may elect to take summer classes.
Receive Extra Help in a Troublesome Subject
Even if you aren’t behind on credits, taking an extra class or two over the summer can give students a little extra assistance in a tough class or in a subject they are struggling in. Let’s say a student struggled to pass algebra 1 last year, and next year that same student has to take algebra 2. Taking a summer class that is related to algebra or basic high school math skills will allow the student to be more prepared for the upcoming math class and will likely help him or her be more confident in moving on to the next grade. Summer classes are generally lower in attendance than normal classes and this allows students to get more one-on-one help and support as they work through the course.
Minimize Summer Learning Loss
It’s no surprise that students forget a good bit of what they learned in the previous school year during the summer months. While some students continue to read and practice educational skills over their summer break, many do not. Teachers consistently spend several weeks at the start of each school year reminding students of what they learned the year prior and trying to catch them back up to their current grade level standards. Taking even one summer class can significantly minimize the summer learning loss that often takes place. Even if you take just an English class or only a math class, the other subject areas are still being utilized to some extent and can make it easier for students to get back into the swing of things come fall.
Enjoy Fewer Distractions
Sure, summer comes with its own fair share of distractions. But most of the students taking summer classes are all business—they are there to learn what they need to learn and move on. Students are less likely to experience significant distractions in their summer classes, allowing them to learn more information faster and more fully than during the normal school year. Additionally, fewer school events take place during the summer, meaning attending classes is purely about learning and nothing more.
Boost Test Scores
Whether you struggle to do well on standardized tests or you want to improve your SAT or ACT scores, taking summer classes will help you significantly. Not only will summer courses minimize your learning loss, as mentioned above, but it will also help you remain focused on academic achievement all year round, and it can improve your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject more than you realize. It can give you practice with test-taking and can provide a less stressful environment to prepare for testing opportunities. Not only will your actual knowledge grow, leading to higher test scores, but you’ll become better at taking tests and have more confidence going into tests, also leading to better scores.
Streamline Completion of a Class
There are some classes that some students dread. Whether it’s a particular math class, an elective, or another subject, getting it over and done with quickly is an excellent option. This is a huge benefit for students who take summer classes. They can choose to take a class that they really don’t want to take and be done with it in just a few short weeks rather than stretching it out over an entire semester. This is also great for trying to get ahead in school, as you can take a few summer courses at a time and knock out a significant number of credits in just a few weeks.
Improve Writing Skills
This is a huge benefit for students who take summer classes, particularly those who are college bound and determined to be as prepared for college as possible. Writing skills are a must in the later high school years, college, and in the workforce, and there’s no time like the present to improve them. Whether you take a writing class or another course that requires written work, summer classes are a great way to get some good feedback on your writing and hone your craft. Improving writing skills can help with college acceptance essays, resume writing, email correspondence on the job, and so much more. Written communication skills are a must nowadays, and students who take the time to improve those skills during the high school years will reap significant benefits.
This may be the number one motivator and is, by far, one of the biggest benefits for students who take summer classes. Whether students are in a hurry to get to college or are just very ready to join the workforce after graduation, taking summer courses can be huge in completing credits early and finishing high school before peers. Early graduation can bring about many benefits in and of itself, and the easiest way to accomplish that goal is to take some summer classes and gain extra credits during the school break.