Two Questions Families Ask about Summer Courses… and the One Question They’re Not Asking
Kids want to cram a lot into every summer–they earn money, take on internships, volunteer, play sports, and spend time with friends and family. Because our courses are asynchronous, students can complete assignments at the time that works best for them, ensuring that they’re meeting regular deadlines throughout the week. At the same time, One Schoolhouse summer courses cover a full year of material in just eight weeks. In order to meet the swift pace of the syllabus, a One Schoolhouse summer course needs to be the student’s primary commitment during those eight weeks.
Parents ask: Will my student be ready for the fall?
Our 2023 Summer session courses are designed for motivated and engaged students to move ahead–completing Geometry in the summer, for example, to ensure students are ready for Pre-Calculus in eleventh grade–or create flexibility in their academic year schedules. Our courses have been created by expert teachers to give students a deep understanding of the key concepts, strategies, and knowledge that they need for further study. Students spend about half their time every week in application activities using the material they’ve learned in novel contexts, or exploring real world situations. By making sure students engage deeply with what they’re learning, One Schoolhouse courses prepare students for challenging academic year courses.
We’d love to hear you ask: Are my child’s goals the right fit for a One Schoolhouse Summer course?
Summer is the time for students to invest in their passions. For some kids, that means reading The Lord of the Rings cycle for the fifth time. For others, it’s building their own bike and riding cross-state with a group of friends. One Schoolhouse Summer courses are a great fit for kids who are motivated by academic study and academic achievement, and who want to put those goals at the center of their summer. We hear every year from students that taking a One Schoolhouse Summer course is an important stepping stone to their ultimate goal. For elite athletes, taking a course in the summer creates flexibility for expanded training for the school year. For STEM students, completing Pre-Calculus over the summer means that they’ll be ready for Multivariable Calculus in their senior year. When your student’s goals align with our program’s strengths, we’re ready for a great summer.
The Mind and the Motorcycle
COVID-19 reframed that metaphor for schools. The academic program was still that motorcycle, but the pandemic emphasized that we’d been wrong about social and emotional wellness. It wasn’t the sidecar at all. Instead, it was the road we’d all been driving on. An academic program is only going to stay upright as long as the road is smooth. If we don’t take care of our students’ emotional well-being, academic growth isn’t a foregone conclusion.
Dr. Lisa Damour’s new book “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers” reminds educators that the emotional experiences of adolescents are inherently messy, thanks to the rapid changes in their development. As hormones surge in teenagers, the brain responds, transforming its organization and structure to evolve into adulthood. At the same time, hormonal fluctuations can also lead to mood swings, distractibility, and reduced impulse control, which can negatively impact learning. Add in teenagers’ sleep phase delays, and you can see that the typical and healthy complexities of adolescence will impact their learning processes.
Studies overwhelmingly show that depression and anxiety have been on the rise for high school students, starting before the COVID-19 pandemic, and these challenges can significantly impact adolescents' ability to learn and retain information. Depression and anxiety can impair cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and processing speed, all of which are crucial for academic success. Depressed and anxious adolescents may also struggle with motivation and engagement, leading to reduced participation in class and decreased effort in completing assignments. Additionally, the stress and negative thoughts associated with these conditions can interfere with the brain's ability to form new neural connections, further impeding learning.
Social and emotional health are essential areas of understanding for educators of high school students. In order to ensure that their schools’ academic programs are strong, Academic Leaders must make sure that teachers have a solid understanding of the complex interplay between emotions and learning, and that the structures of school and instruction are built to support students’ well-being.
Interested in learning more? Check out our professional learning course, “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers” offered in partnership with Dr. Lisa Damour and available to all Academic Leaders at Association for Academic Leaders members schools.
As a part of our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, we recognize observances and holidays that center the voices and experiences of historically excluded peoples in the United States. As an educational organization, we want to lift up the words of others who share our commitment to learning, and amplify womens’ voices.
Learn about the history of Women’s History Month: Britannica documents the myths and facts about Women’s History Month in the United States. International Women’s Day on March 8 has been celebrated for over 100 years - see the United Nations’ timeline.
Recognize Women’s History Month in your school and community: Access resources and lesson plans for Women’s History Month at the Anti-Defamation League.
Listen to Women’s Voices: In 2021, the New York Times asked women leaders, including Deb Haaland and Patrice Cullors, about the meaning of Women’s History Month at a moment of upheaval and transition. Angela Ceseña reflected, “This year’s Women’s History Month gives me hope during such challenging times.”
Don't miss our weekly blog posts by joining our newsletter mailing list below:
Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)