Summer classes are designed to keep students mentally effective from one school year to the other. Studies show that students lose a certain percentage of what they have learned during the summer months when their mind is inactive.
However, summer classes have their pros and cons. To begin with, students who attend summer classes get to maintain relationships with classmates. When school is out for the summer, many students suffer from loneliness.
They miss their friends and teachers who they have spent must of their lives with for the last 9 months. That is a long time. During that time, teachers and students become attached to one another enough to be considered a family away from home.
The Solution to Knowledge Retention
Summer classes also appears to be a solution to knowledge retention. According to studies, a percentage of previous knowledge is lost when students are not actively learning during seasonal breaks.
Therefore, when classes resume that following school year, many students will need to be reacquainted with various aspect of STEAM.
Also, the assumption is that summer classes will offer students an opportunity for subject mastery, especially for those students who were lagging during the regular school year. Some studies seem to support this view. Because classes tend to be much smaller in summer school, struggling students have a better chance to receive one on one instruction.
The Profitability of Enhanced Learning
Summer classes are not only profitable for enhanced learning. Going to school during this time of year is beneficial for students who come from low-income backgrounds. School breakfasts and lunches are the only meals that these students can confidently look forward to receiving.
Parents in low-income housing can barely make ends meet. Sometimes they must choose between feeding their children and paying the rent. School lunches eases the burden of these hard-working parents. Have been a teacher for many years, I can say without a doubt, that these parents are very thankful.
Are We Denying Students the Opportunity to be Kids?
Although summer classes appear to be a godsend for many students and parents, others oppose the idea of denying students a summer break. They argue that students need a period to rest their minds and enjoy the summer and to be kids.
Time away from school means mental renewal. All the subjects covered in the classroom, along with constant homework is enough to make students mentally exhausted. The same goes for teachers. They need a break, according to the opposition.
They also state that holding summer classes are not optimal for the other reasons as well, including the cost of summer classes. This is especially true for struggling school systems which hardly have the financial resources to provide a proper education even during the regular school year.
A Call for Good Parental and Student Judgement
In my opinion, the situation should be conditional. If parents think that their children can benefit from taking summer classes, then this should be taken into consideration. However, if parents desire to allow their children to enjoy the summer, that is their choice.
Students who are passionate about learning should be allowed to attend school all year around if they so desire. They have enough excitement and enthusiasm to avoid mental fatigue or exhaustion.
What do you think?