JULY 26, 2019

5 Things Parents Should Look for in a Summer Program


Sponsored by Time4Learning.com

With summer in full swing, there can be ample time on your child’s plate. While free time around the house can be fun for your child, keeping them learning should always be top of mind considering summer brain drain. Summer programs can range from an outdoor camp for a week, to an online program for the entire season! It can be nerve-wracking to look through dozens of programs, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. To help the summer program selection process, we compiled some tips and things that parents should look for in such a program.

  •     Length of program – Summer can be long, no matter if you’re homeschooling or utilizing traditional schools. Some families may like to enroll their child in a program for the entirety of the summer to ensure they are still learning. However, other families may want to take a few weeks off to go on a family vacation. Make sure that the program you are selecting will work for the amount of time your child wants to be involved in the program. Whether it is an online or physical summer program, just ensure it provides the flexibility you are looking for this summer. 
  •     Subject focus – Many families enjoy continuing education year-round, while others may see summer as a well-deserved break. This is a large deciding factor on whether a program will fit your child. If you are looking for a more academic approach, there are many programs that encompass all subjects for a more well-rounded yearly review or programs that are dedicated to a specific subject. Does your child have big dreams? Looking to take on a new hobby or get to that next level, there are many programs that specialize in one thing. Whether it be baseball, basketball, swimming, painting, sculpting, or theater, they are available! 
  •     Location – As many realtors say, location is everything. This is especially true of summer programs. There are programs where students have the leisure of completing courses from the comfort of their own home or if you student wants to get out of the house for a couple of hours, see what kind of programs are within a reasonable distance from your home. 
  •     Reputation – Make sure to check out the reputation of the summer program you’re looking at. Ask questions like: how long has the program been operating? What certifications does the program have? Look into reviews of other families who have used the program before, and start asking around to see what the reputation is of the programs you’re looking at. If you’re looking into a more academic program, determine if there is some measure of success implemented. Have participants earned higher grades or standardized test scores? How will your child benefit from participating in the program, short and long-term?
  •     Cost – Once you’ve weighed all of the above factors and you’ve got some options, it may be wise to use cost to make a final decision. If you are having multiple children attend/using the same program, ask if there is a discount for siblings. Remember to weigh the cost of short-term programs to what other activities you may want to partake in this summer – especially if there will be a family vacation. Cost shouldn’t be the end all be all, but it is important to take it into consideration!

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all summer program. It may take some trial and error to find that perfect summer program for your child, and that’s okay! There will be plenty of summers to explore different options, and your child will still have fun. If you find yourself having any concerns with a summer program, the best solution is to contact support for a one on one conversation to talk about the program. With these tools in hand, your child’s summer is bound to be a great one!