How Can Parents Plan for the Upcoming School Year During the Summer?
As parents of online students, you may be thinking about the upcoming school year and how your students can work ahead in their education or be better prepared for the next grade level. At Enlightium Academy, students and their parents have several opportunities during the summer months that they can take advantage of.
1. Look at the Calendar
Many families want to plan their vacation in coordination with major school deadlines; looking at the calendar in advance can help you prepare for your family’s needs and plans.
At Enlightium, we also recommend that you print a copy of the year’s calendar and place it near your student’s workspace to help them be aware of important dates and learn time management skills.
2. Check Your Email and Download the Enlightium Parents App
Even during the summer term, the Enlightium team informs parents of important due dates. We also post important dates, enrollment information, course scheduling, and more on the Enlightium Parents app. Be sure to check your email and open the app at least once a week throughout the summer months so that you do not miss important information!
3. Consider Joining or Starting a Co-op
If you enjoy Enlightium Academy but wish you felt more connected to other families and students, check out the Enlightium Alliance Program or consider starting a co-op in your area. Co-ops can provide students with:
- Access to Enlightium curriculum options and faculty support
- A dedicated counseling team
- Additional academic support from on-site adults
- In-person social opportunities with other Enlightium students
4. Find a Field Trip
There are many ways to keep your student’s mind engaged even during the summer! One way to do this is by taking educational field trips; Enlightium even offers extra credit toward the upcoming year for completing a report about the experience. This could include visiting museums, attending a local play or performance, going to an animal exhibit such as a zoo or aquarium, spending a day in a craft course, and more! If you are uncertain about field trip opportunities in your area, use this Field Trip Directory to help.
5. Keep Reading
Another way you can help your family be prepared for the next grade level is to continue reading throughout the summer. This can give your student a chance to improve their reading level and read material they might not normally get to read as a part of their coursework. Similar to our field trip extra credit, Enlightium offers a reading program where students can earn additional credit toward the upcoming school year by reading and reporting on a book of their choice that is at or above their current grade level. Enlightium Academy students also have access to our eLibrary during the summer so that they can read online even if they don’t have access to other materials!
6. Plan for Social Opportunities
Socialization with peers is an essential part of every student’s life. During the summer, plan how your student will be able to meet with friends during the school year. This could include:
- Participating in an Enlightium Student Social Activity such as Spelling Bees, Bible Studies, or the Pen Pal Program. Families who participate in at least one of our social activities have reported feeling more connected despite physical distance!
- Hanging out with church friends, as they share the same Christian morals and can provide support and comfort during difficult times.
- Joining local sports such as a soccer team or running club. Sports help your student stay physically active and learn teamwork skills.
7. Consider Volunteering
Community service is a great way to spend time as a family and teach non-academic skills, including social, emotional, and physical skills. Volunteering is also a way for your student to get experience in a field that interests them while giving back to their local community. If your student is in or heading into high school, remember that they will be required to complete at least ten community service hours; Enlightium students can use community service hours during the summer toward this graduation requirement.
8. See What Other Enlightium Offerings are Available
In addition to social opportunities, Enlightium provides a Mission Program to help high school students learn about or prepare for vocational ministry. With this program, students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with experienced professionals as well as become more involved in ministry in their area. Students may also qualify for the National Honors Society or National Junior Honor Society, or run for Student Council during the first quarter.
9. Take a Break
Preparing for the next school year is important, but it is especially important to set aside intentional time for rest during the summer months. In Psychology Today’s article “Rest for Success: How Downtime Aids Your Biological Intelligence,” sleep researcher Matthew J. Edlund reflects on the idea “that it [the human body] often does best with intense activity followed by equally ‘intense’ rest.”
The Bible also teaches the importance of rest and the principle of the Sabbath for our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Psalm 116:7 encourages us in this way: “Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” As you prepare for the upcoming school year, remember that the Lord has created us to need rest and restoration!
Enlightium Academy is a private Christian online school that serves homeschooling families by offering a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher-supported, and affordable education from the comfort of your home. For any other questions about Enlightium, please call (509) 319-2288, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com.
- Edlund, Matthew J. “Rest for Success: How Downtime Aids Your Biological Intelligence.” Psychology Today, 21 May 2017, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-rest/201705/rest-success. Accessed 18 May 2021.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway, 2011.