July 30, 2016

Five Creative Ways to Use Your Summer Tutoring Sessions

Students who see a tutor during their academic year always have something to work on. Homework, tests, quizzes, and extracurriculars keep Engaging Minds students and instructors busy all year long. In the summer, many students can’t wait to take a much needed vacation from all academic responsibilities, including their tutoring sessions. Students sometimes protest summer tutoring because they “don’t have any work to do.” However, summer tutoring offers many valuable opportunities, especially when students customize their sessions creatively. Here are just a few goals to work on during summer tutoring sessions. Your child does have work after all!

  1. Summer Assignments: Most school districts require some form of summer homework, especially in middle and high school. Nonetheless, students frequently postpone or ignore summer assignments, prioritizing beach days, summer camp, and time with friends and family. While rest and leisure are important parts of a balanced lifestyle, postponing required work can put undue stress on students in the fall. Having a regular meeting with an executive function skills tutor can help your child progress slowly through his required work and breathe easy when September arrives.
  2. Goal-setting: Executive function skills training revolves around setting goals and learning to systematically achieve them. During the summer, your child has an opportunity to practice chasing a wide variety of goals, developing planning and follow-through skills that will carry over into his fall academics. Consider summer tutoring to help your child approach goals related to:
    1. Fitness and Nutrition
    2. Learning to Drive
    3. Practicing an Instrument
    4. Applying for jobs or internships
    5. Balancing summer responsibilities and rest
    6. Honing a new or developing skill

    The possibilities are endless!

  3. Test Prep: Whether applying to colleges, private high schools, or just working on test-taking strategies, your child can gain an advantage by working on their testing skills over the summer months. During the regular school year, with so many other responsibilities, it can be difficult for students to maintain a regular study schedule for long-term goals, like mastering the ISEE or ACT. During consistent meetings with an executive function tutor, your child can break down complex testing formats, develop unique problem-solving strategies, and approach test-taking with renewed confidence (and improved scores!) when their regular school year resumes.
  4. Application (or creative!) Essays: Like test-taking, writing application essays can be a difficult project to fit into the regular academic calendar. Luckily, the summer is an inspiring time for many writers, who can spend their days at the beach brainstorming and their nights creating. Some students may be applying to schools and use the summer to work with a tutor and generate several compelling drafts of application materials. Other students may simply wish to write the first draft of a fanfiction, short story, poetry series, or other personal interest piece. Many of our summer students choose a focal point for writing work, practicing lifelong skills, even while indulging their interests in superheroes, the Kardashians, magical realism, science fiction, and more.
  5. Head Starts: When your child embarks on each new school year, he almost always tackles a new and unfamiliar subject. For example, students taking on Geometry for the first time, who have only worked on Algebra thus far, may be intimidated by the new challenge. Summer tutoring provides a space to investigate unexplored content and a chance to get ahead in class material! Your child can preview upcoming topics, textbooks, and class material with a tutor to ease anxieties about a new course and increase scores on tests and quizzes when the fall arrives!

Every appointment is unique and focused on your child’s individualized goals, but, rest assured, each summer session counts. Summer is a great time to work flexibly and approach goals that might otherwise go overlooked during the regular school year. Summer tutoring combines curiosity, hard work, and a bit of playfulness to garner your child’s attention and practice valuable skills.