Looking to keep your middle-schooler occupied this summer? In light of the coronavirus crisis, we’re all facing a number of challenges that will prevent us from our normal summer activities. With programs, sports, and camps getting canceled left and right and school out of session for the foreseeable future, kids may be relegated to at-home activities through the summer and beyond.
At the same time, due to the fact that they’ve been thrown from their normal routines, students are at real risk of learning loss this year more than ever. During a normal summer, middle school students already lose many of their school year gains. In fact, by the summer after seventh grade, they lose around 36 percent of their school year gains in reading and 50 percent in math. This year, with things turned upside down, those numbers could be a whole lot higher!
Want more ideas for how to set your youngster up for success? Read our blog on volunteer opportunities for teens to discover some excellent ideas for giving back.
One awesome way to keep your student on track, focused, and ahead of the curve is to enroll them in middle school online summer programs. Not only will they help students retain information, but they may also lead to college scholarships and jobs, all without having to leave the house!
- Language Learning Courses — What better time to get a head start on language learning than in the summer? With interactive, immersive programs from many of the top language learning programs, students can learn key grammar and vocabulary that will lay the foundation for fluency later on.
- Math Courses — As we’ve already covered, math is the subject most susceptible to summer learning loss, but it can be bolstered by a well-rounded summer supplement. Pearson, Johns Hopkins, and others offer online summer math courses for middle school students that extend from June to August.
- Language Arts and Reading Courses — Behind math, reading is the second-most at-risk subject for summer learning loss, so keeping the summer reading going is key to ensuring that your youngster returns to school reading at or above grade level. We recommend getting kids motivated to read through a summer reading challenge or program, such as the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge or the Start with a Book Program.
- Music Instruction — Keep your youngsters busy this summer by encouraging them to master an instrument. Whether you opt for private virtual music lessons or have your child take an immersive, guided course on music theory, there’s no better time to focus on their love for the musical arts than a slow summer!
- Fitness Classes — If you’ve got an athletic middle-schooler on your hands, they’re probably itching to get some exercise after a spring devoid of sports and playing outside with their friends. From Zumba to yoga to the martial arts, there are a number of kid-friendly fitness programs online that can help young people discover prospective career paths and learn all about physical health.
- STEM Classes — Robotics, engineering, tech — they’re all important realms to explore at the middle school level. With many online programs offering a hands-on approach that you can master from home, the STEM avenue is a good one for kids who learn better away from the computer screen.
Where to Find Online Learning Programs
There are so many amazing resources online for students who want to spend their summers learning. Here are some well-regarded, open-session online learning platforms that will help students stay occupied this summer.
- Johns Hopkins Online Courses. With courses for grades 2 and above, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth offers open-session courses for students in languages, math, writing, reading, and more.
- As one of the most comprehensive online learning platforms, Skillshare can teach the whole family a whole lot. The platform offers dozens of classes for kids, covering everything from arts and crafts to cooking and origami.
- Learn Robotics. Learn Robotics is an online robotics education platform that also conducts in-person camps in Florida (enrollment is tentative for 2020 due to COVID-19). Their online courses and programs let students start from scratch or hone what they already know about tech and robotics.
- Pearson Online Summer School. Textbook and education company Pearson offers online elementary and middle school courses that help students focus on English, math, languages, and exploring their career interests.
- org. This amazing website features a massive library of hands-on projects and how-to libraries just for kids. Courses cover topics like how to build your own machines, photography, and how to cook for yourself. They also offer an online DIY camp with 80 projects for summer break!
- iDTech. Virtual tech camps through iDTech are an excellent choice for STEM-focused kids who want to spend the summer learning to code and diving into topics like video game development and robotics.
Spend the Summer Learning Virtually
We know it’s a weird, uncertain time for parents, kids, and educators, but there are so many incredible online resources out there that can help students stay focused, engaged, and sharp until they return to school after the summer. Happy virtual learning!