Take trips! Read interesting books! Go to camp! Watch movies! Visit family! Get a job! Play travel ball! Play Fortnight! But do make space for rest and spiritual renewal.
And also consider making an investment in your future by keeping your academic skills sharp. Below is a whole slew of ideas of how you might allocate a portion of these weeks ahead.
Math Suggestions (incoming 7th-12th)
In the past, we have come up with a rough breakdown of categories of students.
If your final math grade was between 85 and 89, consider checking out last year's math book to shore up weak spots. Also consider checking out next year's math book to work on the first chapter or two. If you ended between an 85 and 87, a private tutor may be worth considering. Many of our classroom tutors and family connections work with students over the summer (Pat Blackburn, Stacey Jackson, Andrea Keeler, Ron Miller, Jeff Patterson, Brandi Westfall). If your tutor of choice isn't on this list, feel free to ask him or her. For those heading into Algebra 1, Algebra 2, or Precal, I have been impressed with the video tutorials available for purchase from Math Without Borders.
Cost: $80 for video tutorials, private tutor varies
If you ended with an A, find a fun way to challenge yourself. Get a jump on an MH project. Take a college course. Learn to code. Consider taking a class from Art of Problem Solving.
Parents, there is talk of resurrecting our Math Team this fall. One parent has offered to help with the administrative portion but needs help from a geek or two to teach and be enthusiastic about numbers. The target age will be 7th-9th, but we could expand further if the interest/support is there. If you are interested in earning volunteer hours in this way, let me know.
Summer Science Academy at Midland College (incoming 10th-12th, ideal age is 10th/11th)
Most summers the college offers a week-long smorgasbord of classes that help foster a love for science. Our students who have participated in the past have enjoyed the experience. And it will count for 1/2 of an MH project! The college hasn't announced a date yet (usually late June to early July), but I will pass that along when I know more.
SAT/ACT/CLT prep (incoming 10th-12th, ideal age is 11th)
Summer is a great time to focus on improving testing skills. Students who practice, learn from their mistakes, and practice again see progress.
Of course, it's hard to maintain motivation without accountability. Find some system that motivates you! Local tutors are somewhat hard to come by. Amy Cook has taught classes and privately tutored in the past, but I'm not sure if she is still offering those services. Pat Blackburn, Andrea Keeler, and Brandi Westfall are available this summer for test prep tutoring. If you have found someone locally that you have enjoyed working with, please pass their name to me so I can consider sharing it with other families. Note: I will not be teaching my SAT prep class in the next 12 months due to other schedule demands.
The newest trend is online classes. Some MCA students have tried Veritas Prep, although it seems targeted toward those seeking elite scores. MCA has been contacted by Revolution Prep, who is offering a pretty nice deal for early adopters at MCA. Trinity School is working with Revolution, and Trinity speaks positively of their experience thus far. I'll send more information soon in a separate email.
College readiness (incoming 11th and 12th, ideal age is 12th)
We will be offering an informal informational evening session on Thursday, May 16, from 6-7 in the library. We will outline some best practices for how to spend summer months working on college admissions.
Debbie Shelburne has worked with dozens of students over the years to help with applications, essays, recommendations, etc. She will work with a limited number of students this summer, so contact her if you want more information (email@example.com 432.889.8251).
Cost: contact Mrs. Shelburne
College credit classes (incoming 10th-12th, and also graduating seniors)
We have considered many scenarios in pursuit of dual credit classes. Our model is unique enough that we have not yet found a way to pair our educational priorities with any dual credit program. A number of our students have enrolled in classes at Midland College during summers or school semesters to earn some inexpensive college credit before enrolling as college freshmen. Current MCA students also get a price break on classes at MC. It's probably too late to enroll for the first summer session, but another session starts in July and is worthy of your consideration.
Our contact at the college is Jene' Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org, 432.685.5538). She can help you with the enrollment process or field any questions
Cost: ~$250-300 per course