Heather van Mil


School's Out for the Summer, But Should Formal Learning End?

What formal education options are available for kids who want or need it during the summer?

Is Summer Education Necessary? | YummyMummyClub.ca

The final school bell has rung for kids across Canada, and parents everywhere are making their summer plans. Vacations, summer camps, road trips and lazy days at the beach might all make the cut, but is school on the list? 

My daughter has just finished grade two in a French Immersion school and I'm torn about what part - if any - education will play in our summer plans beyond switching our Netflix programming to French (did you know that was an option?). On one hand, there is a lot of language lost over 10 weeks, and she is not at the top of her class to begin with. On the other hand, 10 months of dictées and reading every night has taken it's toll and she is SO READY for a break. I don't want to kill her love of learning, so what's a parent do? 

I started off by considering my options. There are a wide variety of educational programs you can explore for your child throughout the summer. Many school boards across Canada offer a summer school program at the Elementary level concentrating on Mathematics, Language Arts and STEM subjects, both in English and French. While some have already closed registration, you can still join many in the first few weeks of July. All the details are available on your local school board's website. 

If the public school system isn't the way you want to go, there are many private centres across Canada such as Oxford Learning, Kumon and Sylvan Learning that have tutor styled programs that you can enroll your child in. Typically they focus on a single subject although hours and pricing options vary considerably by centre. A quick Google search will reveal the options closest to you if this is something you want to consider. 

Home learning is what I've done in years past, although my daughter is quickly approaching a skill level in her conversational French that I won't be able to keep up with for very much longer (how sad is that?). She loves workbooks, so we have a start of summer tradition where we hit up the local book store (or Costco has a great selection as well), and she gets to pick a few workbooks and a few reading books for us to use over the summer. She does 30-60 minutes in the morning while I get a bit of work done myself and then we're off to play the day away. That combined with some great educational apps and French Netflix has been our summer style. It may change as she grows and her interests evolve, but for now it has suited us well.

What is your summer style? Is school truly out for the summer in your house? While many believe that summer is the time to give your kids a complete break, other kids need some educational component in their summer activities. Luckily, there are options for both.    

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