If you're a parent of a high school student, you know that summer break is a valuable time to
maximize your child's potential and put them in the best position for college. Here are some tips for making the most of your summer:
1. Take summer courses:
Online or at a university, summer courses offer an opportunity for students to get ahead
in their academic pursuits and even experience the college/dorm university lifestyle. FLVS, Coursera, and EdX are great options for taking courses in various subjects from data science to American poetry. These programs offer real-time or recorded lectures from top professors at prestigious institutions and they offer professional certificates as well. Additionally, many colleges and universities offer residential programs for high school students, allowing them to live and learn on a college campus with other students from around the world.
2. Start on a personal interest project:
Encourage your child to take initiative and develop a passion project or community service initiative. Not only will this demonstrate their commitment to extracurriculars, but it will also show colleges that they are developing their interests and stretching themselves outside of the classroom.
3. Prep for the SAT/ACT and take academic summer enrichment programs in STEM and college-focused courses:
For 10th and 11th graders, summer is a great time for students to start preparing for the SAT/ACT exams. Encourage your students to take diagnostic and mock exams, and introduce them to the Digital SAT coming in 2024. Additionally, academic summer programs in STEM and college-focused courses can help students build skills and prepare for college-level coursework. By starting early, they can increase their comfort level and preparation for these standardized exams.
4. Gain work experience:
Working a job, internship, or volunteering not only shows a level of maturity and responsibility, but it also provides valuable experience and networking opportunities. For example, shadowing clinicians at a hospital or working at a vet's office can demonstrate a student's willingness to be part of a team and take initiative to help with tasks.
5. Join a community service organization:
Volunteering for a cause that aligns with their passions and beliefs can improve a student's self-confidence and self-esteem, and also demonstrate their networking skills and personal growth. This could include environmental rights, social justice causes, or local election and policies being passed in local and state government through service initiatives.
6. Contribute to a research project:
Participating in research projects can help advance a student's chances for competitive
colleges and universities, especially in STEM fields. It provides focus and an opportunity
for students to be part of the problem-solving process, and they may even have the chance to be a first or second author on a publication.
Traveling with family and friends is a great way to relax and detach from daily tasks and routines. Depending on where you travel and what your purpose is, it can also be an
academic opportunity. For example, visiting historical landmarks or cultural centers can provide a unique learning experience.
8. Prepare for Choice Programs:
If your child is interested in Choice Programs, summer is a great time to prepare and research these opportunities. You can find more information on Choice schools here.
By taking advantage of summer break, high school students can set themselves up for success in college and beyond. Encourage your child to take initiative and pursue their passions, and they'll be on the path to a bright future.
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