After the long months of quarantine, children and parents alike are ready to get out of the house this summer and put at least a few beach-towel-lengths between family members. Yet this could also be one of the most important summers for education because of all of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Choosing vacations over summer school can be tricky, especially after such a difficult year. But by taking advantage of online, self-paced courses, students can take their courses with them and work on them on their own schedule.
Online self-paced courses can keep your student moving forward, whether they need to fill in some knowledge gaps from a turbulent year or if they want to use this time to get ahead. With the materials available anywhere with an internet connection, students can still enjoy their summer while also limiting their learning loss.
Filling in Gaps
High school is a stressful time in normal years. Add in the social upheaval and constant disruption of the past 12 months and many students are getting to the end of the school year with some gaps in their knowledge. If your student needs to retake a course for a graduation requirement, talk with your counselor about online options. Taking a self-paced course from a community college or an online high school over the summer may meet that requirement.
On the other hand, your student may have done well according to the grades on their report card but may not feel prepared for next year’s classes. Look for ways to brush up on specific skills over the summer. Is Spanish II looking a little daunting after a turbulent year in Spanish I? A few minutes every day on Duolingo or Babbel can keep it fresh and address any areas that need improvement. Students can also use free courses, like the free versions of TEL’s college credit courses, to read up on material that didn’t stick as well.
If your student is a sophomore or junior, you’ve probably started crunching the college numbers. You know that courses students take as dual credit in high school are significantly less expensive than courses the student will take in college, and it counts the same towards the student’s degree. Talk with your counselor about what dual credit options are available for your student as part of their normal course schedule. Your school probably partners with local colleges to provide credit options in addition to traditional AP or IB courses.
Once you know which courses your student might take during the school year, look at other options available in shorter terms that can be completed over the summer. Courses on demand from TEL can be completed in as little as eight weeks and can provide college credit for $67 a credit hour. When your student successfully completes the course, they will receive an official transcript from the partner college or university they selected.
Be sure to talk with your counselor to make sure it can also count toward your student’s high school requirements. Knocking out just a few of these general education courses can save you thousands off the cost of a college degree.
Have a Little Fun
We all need a break this summer, especially students. No matter where your summer takes you and your family, online self-paced learning can help your student build back their confidence after a difficult academic year. With an internet connection and a little time management, students can enjoy their beach time, hikes and sightseeing while also staying on track with their learning goals.
TEL Education is a non-profit organization committed to facilitating equitable access to high-quality, affordable learning in the U.S. TEL offers its library of general education courses to high schools, colleges and universities, and homeschool parents and organizations. For high schools wanting more information, please visit TEL-Education.org. For individual parents and students, please visit TELLearning.org.