How do I Choose the Best Summer School Courses?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Although they may conjure up images of being trapped behind bars while everyone else frolics outside, summer school courses can be both fun and greatly beneficial to regular education. Choosing the best summer school courses will depend on personal and school requirements, and can help students catch up or even get ahead of their regular school year classes. For adults, taking summer school courses can be an enjoyable and enriching activity that teaches new skills or increases old ones.

Some high school students may be required to attend summer school.
Some high school students may be required to attend summer school.

For high school or university students, summer school may be mandatory for several reasons. If a student is significantly behind in class, or has failed to meet required standards, he or she may have to makeup that class over the summer. While this may seem grueling and even unfair, it can actually be extremely helpful. By spending one or two months heavily concentrating on one subject instead of balancing five or six simultaneously, comprehension and focus may greatly increase.

For struggling students, it may also be a chance to work with and learn from more advanced students who are taking summer school courses to complete requirements early. Without the severe social strictures of school-year hierarchies, excelling students and those having trouble may form friendships beneficial to both. High school summer courses give students the chance to experience a learning environment without many of the social norms of the school year. Putting brains, jocks, and troublemakers together in a classroom for several hours a day can result in friendships that cross social boundaries.

Many university find summer school courses a great way to meet requirements in less time, thus freeing up their school year schedule. Intensive language courses are very popular summer offerings, as they can cover up to a year of language study in just a few weeks. College students having difficulty making their school-year schedule possible may find summer school courses a welcome alternative.

Many community colleges offer short summer courses on a wide variety of subjects meant to entice part-time or non-students. Classes in dance, arts and crafts, language, food and wine, and job training are all popular summer offerings. These classes often require no homework, tests, or prior experience, and tend to be primarily for enrichment and recreational purposes. Taking adult summer school courses can be an enjoyable way to find new hobbies or meet new friends with similar interests.

Choosing the best summer school course need not destroy plans for a lazy and relaxed summer. On the contrary, they can fill up empty days and provide new and entertaining methods of learning. Remember, summer school teachers are also on vacation, and are often more relaxed and open-minded during summer school. Students of all ages might be wise to take advantage of the different environment and opportunity presented during summer classes.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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