Five Benefits of Taking Summer Enrichment Workshops or Courses
Includes several listings from Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list!
This is just one of the GREAT articles in Homeschool.com’s Summer Fun Virtual Magazine!
Summer provides an ideal time for students to grow academically without even realizing it! Enrichment workshops offer the opportunity to engage in interesting, but short term, subject areas that may open up a student’s mind to further study or just allow the student to continue processing academically all throughout the summer.
The Century Foundation, a non-profit think tank and research organization, found that students who participate in enrichment courses, rather than just continuing regular school year subject matter, demonstrated more positive growth in achievement. Students who don’t participate in academics at all throughout the summer tend to struggle with each new year. This appears to be particularly true for high school students.
A number of reasons why summer enrichment workshops are beneficial, beyond learning the content offered:
1. Opening Doors – a year of Greek may sound a bit scary, but eight weeks doesn’t seem so bad. Summer enrichment allows students to explore topics that they might not be inclined to pursue during the regular school year. This exploration may lead to further study, a new hobby or more knowledge.
2. New Teachers – A summer workshop allows students to develop a relationship with a new teacher. This can allow homeschool students to improve communication skills as they interact with other adult educators.
3. Extra Credit and Honors – workshop subject matter may possibly apply to part of another credit or provide honors for a course. For example, a music history workshop could be combined with music lessons for a fine arts credit.
4. Keeping the Brain Juices Flowing – so, there’s not really any juice in the brain, or I don’t think so, but the benefits of keeping our kids thinking through the summer have been documented many times in many different studies. As well, studies demonstrate that retention falls when students aren’t required to read and think during the summer months.
5. New Skills – learning a new set of skills may be the answer to summer enrichment, especially when those skills can be used for success in full year courses. In Powerpoint for instance, students learn how to create electronic presentations. There are many ways students can put such a skill to good use in their homeschool (and beyond!) classes.
Check out current summer workshops in your area and online. Explore new ideas and topics, and learn something interesting this summer.