If your child is struggling with reading, you might think that you should send him or her to summer school. Please, do not do it. I know many parents love the idea of summer school, because it allows for their child to make progress over the summer, and let’s be honest, it gives the kids somewhere to be all summer long.
Here are some reasons why I am personally not for summer school:
Your child probably already does not like school if they are struggling with reading or another academic area. Summer school will only torture them more, and increase their distaste for the school atmosphere.
Summer school is where kids do more of what they were already doing in the regular school year. If it didn’t work during the school year, what makes you think it will work in summer school?
If your child is dyslexic, they won’t learn using the school’s methodologies. They need to be taught in an explicit, multi-sensory and systematic way, which is through an Orton-Gillingham based program. Most schools do not offer this, and will not offer it during summer school.
Instead, hire a tutor to work with your child for one hour every day, who is certified and trained in an Orton-Gillingham based program, like the Barton Reading & Spelling program. It’s incredible how much progress a child can make when they are one-on-one instruction every day throughout a summer. That’s essentially 60 hours! The sky is the limit.
If your child is not dyslexic, I still will take the same approach. Hire a tutor that can help your kiddo with the area that he/she is struggling in, like math, reading, writing, and perhaps study and life skills.
By doing this, you are leaving your child’s confidence in tact, and can even boost it, as they find themselves learning and becoming more secure in their reading and spelling skills. They will then also have the time to simply be a kid and play! They an let their imagination run wild, build forts, play with their friends, and maybe even read a book or two…even though we are not pushing this :)
If you have questions or comments, leave them! Or contact me directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602.478.1083.
Whitney Stein, M.Ed.