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JUNE 26, 2019

8 Ways Online Learning Can Change Your Summer!


While it can be tempting to spend all summer relaxing by the pool or in the backyard hammock without a care in the world, summertime is also a great opportunity for additional learning.  Whether you want to get ahead, catch up, or simply focus on a new subject, there are numerous ways online learning can enrich your summer. The great part about summer is all the time available, which means that you can learn while still participating in all of your summer plans.

Now, consider the options that become available when you combine the freedom of summer with the self-direction of online learning.  The opportunities are fairly endless! Let’s explore how online learning can improve your summer this year.

Our Top 8 Reasons for Summertime Online Courses

Thankfully, we live in an age when technology brings the world to our fingertips.  Online courses give students freedom and independence, which is perfect for summer.  The best part is that they can still enjoy the summer break with their friends, while also taking advantage of the extra time to learn.  Online courses are perfect for the ability to study whenever is easiest, even at night after a day at the beach! Here are our favorite reasons for taking online courses over the summer.

  • Prevent Summer Slide.  Right away, it’s apparent that one of the biggest advantages of summertime learning is for learning loss prevention.  The statistics don’t lie: summer slide often impacts the entire first month of the fall semester, if not longer. If our minds aren’t engaged, we are far more likely to forget what we learned!
  • Get Ahead for Next Semester.  If your student wants to get ahead in their grade, perhaps just to move quickly through the next grade, or to get a headstart on difficult upcoming projects, summer can be the perfect opportunity.
  • Strengthen Weak Areas.  We always have weak areas during the school year, and it’s better to work on polishing those rough spots than to skate over them.  Oftentimes, those difficult areas become harder to ignore when more advanced levels depend on a foundational understanding. Use your summer break to reinforce weak concepts.
  • Study an Elective.  Perhaps your kids need to learn a language, complete an astronomy study, or take a health class.  The summer months are a great chance to focus on electives that are often dropped during busy semester schedules.  Core subjects tend to take priority over these electives, but summer is a good time to dust them off and try again.  Another idea is to work on typing skills, especially with free online typing lessons!
  • Graduate Early.  Do you have a high schooler?  If your teen would like to graduate early, summertime may offer the perfect chance to get ahead and potentially graduate even a whole semester early.  If your teens are really determined, working through a couple of summers would get them farther ahead. Sure, maybe it doesn’t sound great to us, but the thought of being done early can be quite the motivation for certain teens.
  • Create Flexibility for the Semester.  Does your family tend to take family vacations or days off during the year?  If you are tired of feeling stressed over missing a few days here or there during your school year, online learning during the summer might be helpful!  When you add in summer schoolwork, you will free up time during the semester. That way, you can feel free to take several trips or days off without fear of getting behind.
  • Foster Independent Learning.  Online learning is all about independence!  While not all students succeed naturally with independent learning, with a learning style quiz, you can determine how to make it easier and more efficient.  If it’s time for your kiddo to begin learning how to motivate and guide themselves, an online course over the summer can be a great starting point.  Online learning options are usually incredibly self-led with a simple estimated finish date. Other than that, the success of online learning greatly depends on the student’s level of involvement and responsibility.  A summer course can help teach your student to be disciplined and self-motivated!
  • Catch Up to Stay On Track.  While many of us regard it with horror, getting behind is a common issue and it happens to the best of us.  As homeschoolers, we tend to be busy with everything going on in life, and sometimes important events take over.  Occasionally, schoolwork falls to the side. It’s fine, though; it doesn’t mean your homeschool failed that year. Summer is a great chance to dive into the books and get back on track with your schedule for the coming school year.

8 Great Options for Online Learning

Now that you know a few reasons to consider adding in online learning options over the summer, where do you start?  While we have tossed around the word “course” throughout this post, your online learning journey doesn’t have to involve actual courses.  Or, it can. It can be whatever suits you best, whether you merely want to focus on concepts or entire courses! Whether you want to search for computer science or even art classes, thankfully, there are a number of websites available with varied purposes and styles.

  • Khan Academy.  If you’re only just now hearing about Khan Academy, then you are in for a treat!  Khan Academy is a website for completely free courses online. They have an incredible library of learning resources covering multiple subjects.  It has instructional videos along with activities and practice sections. This website is helpful for reinforcing problem areas or even learning a new concept!
  • Time4Learning.  Time4Learning offers online courses for elementary through high school!  They even offer their own summer school program to make it convenient and easy for parents.
  • Lynda.com.  Lynda, now known as LinkedIn Learning, is an excellent resource for high-quality courses on a variety of subjects.  They offer hundreds of courses, ranging from software development, photography, design, web development, business, and more.
  • Virtual School.  Have you considered free online coursework through virtual schools?  This directory has links for the states that offer free virtual schools.  While virtual schools are usually geared toward traditional semesters, it is possible that they may offer summer school options as well.
  • Time4Writing.  As with Time4Learning, Time4Writing offers courses for various grade levels and concepts.  However, Time4Writing focuses specifically on English and writing technique. If your student needs to strengthen their writing skills, summer could be the perfect time to brush up on them with Time4Writing!
  • Duolingo.  Is your homeschooler interested in learning another language?  Whether your language elective slipped through the cracks this semester or your student simply needs to strengthen their skills, Duolingo can be a great fit for summer learning.  This app is not only successful, but fun with their focus on learning games.
  • YouTube.  There are numerous instructional videos for homeschoolers on YouTube.  Honestly, it’s a powerhouse site for learning! Whether you’re interested in National Geographic, science videos, math concept clarification, or even crash courses, YouTube has it all.
  • Dual Enrollment.  Community colleges offer a number of summer courses, and they also often have summer programs for dual enrolled students as well.  If your teen is interested in earning a few credits both toward college and high school, be sure to look into your local community college.

Courtney Newman

Courtney Newman is a homeschool graduate and a freelance writer. She is currently pursuing her English degree through Pima Community College. Her favorite hobbies include reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and pets.