With spring upon us, many students and educators alike are looking forward to a well-deserved rest come summer vacation. But for your students, while summer can be an important time to relax and recharge, it’s also a crucial time to reinforce what they’ve learned during the school year, and to prep for college applications and the SAT/ACT. But how do you balance a much-needed break with important academic work? How can you help your students make the most of their summer? Let’s have a look and find out:
The Importance of Rest
For conscientious educators, it can be tempting to encourage your students to “keep their foot on the gas,” academically speaking, over summer vacation. However, this would be a mistake, as summer vacation offers an opportunity for rest and refreshment that can be as important as academic study to your students’ overall energy and satisfaction.
Science has shown that taking a break reduces stress and helps prevent anxiety and depression. This holds true for students and teachers alike, so encourage your students to take plenty of time to relax and enjoy themselves over the summer — and the same goes for you!
Keeping Up With Academics and Preventing Learning Loss
With that in mind, it’s important for students to keep up with some connection to everything they learned during the previous year. This will not only ensure that the start of the next school year won’t be too much of a shock, but can also help prevent learning loss, and make sure your students won’t spend too much time at the beginning of the year reviewing old material. This allows them to jump straight into learning come fall, so consider assigning your students a modest amount of summer homework to keep them connected to academics.
College Applications: The Intangibles
While it’s unlikely that students will begin filling out college applications over summer vacation, it can be a great time for you to encourage sophomores and juniors to start the intangible portions of the application process. This can mean considering their college lists and adding schools they’re curious about, or even taking a college road trip.
Remember, your students will be in college for four years, so remind them that it isn’t strictly a numbers game. Summer is a great time to focus on the aspects of college applications that don’t fit neatly into a spreadsheet, and factor them in with time to spare for the actual application process.
Getting a Jump on Test Prep — And Getting Back to School Prepared
With no classes taking up the majority of their time, summer can be a perfect time for students to get a head start on SAT/ACT test prep! Encourage your students to use the flexible stretch of time over the summer to get a jump on SAT/ACT prep, either by studying from test prep books, getting a summer study group together, or working with a tutor. Even if test day is a long way off, using some of the free time afforded by summer will give your students an advantage once the school year begins and test prep needs to take a backseat to classes.
Ideally, a productive summer will prepare your students for the next school year, and send them back in the fall refreshed and ready to go. If your students want to really get a jump on their test prep and academic schedule over the summer, consider encouraging them to get some personalized advice from the experts. Our team at Testive offers personalized test prep, college application advice, and more, with schedules that are best tailored to your students’ summer plans.