Many educational supervisors know high school-level classes are available online over the summer. However, most are unsure of how to take advantage of the opportunity. Many have thought about doing it, but we’ve never thought about how to. It’s an important question, so it should be asked: how to take high school classes over the summer?
The how in “how to take high school classes over the summer” is very important. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Doing it wrong can not only squander the opportunity for educational fortification and development over the vacation months but can even make things more difficult during the regular school year. When done correctly, however, online summer classes can be the key to allowing your child or student’s learning journey to flourish.
Step 1: Know Your Student
This is the crucial step in finding out how to take high school classes over the summer, and yet it is the easiest to skip. The fact of the matter is that online summer classes will not be successful if they are forced. For some students, it is absolutely critical that the summer vacation stays a vacation. Especially if your high schooler attends a main-stream school where class consists predominately of sitting and listening in a lecture format – particularly if he is also a young man!
Some students simply need those precious 12 or so weeks of air in order to remain sane during the other nine months. So if a high school summer class is going to be a drudgery, the wise educational supervisor will skip it. Let the poor kid run off some steam while he can and begin again in the fall.
However, there are a lot of students who would not only benefit from an online class over the summer, they would also enjoy it. For many students, a completely online educational setting can be a new experience and a lot of fun. Luma Learn even offers classes that are entirely self-paced and still more than enough to fulfill high school credit requirements.
Luma Learn’s classes are also highly customizable regarding content, meaning you can offer your student classes that meet not just your felt need, but theirs as well. Of even more import, high school online summer classes often offer a student a chance to learn about something he or she not only needs to know but will enjoy learning. This is where step two comes in.
Step 2: Know the Class
The second step in learning how to take high school classes over the summer is knowing the class. This is a fairly all-encompassing task, and it is probably what most education supervisors think of when addressing this issue. You obviously need to know about dates and times for the class, as well as cost. Luma Learn has a wide selection of high school level courses. Or, you can refine your searches a little further to find something specific. It’s easy!
It is also important to take time to gather information about the person leading the course. The qualifications of the teacher are just as important as the compatibility of the class with your schedule and budget. Fortunately, Luma Learn not only presents all the pertinent details about the class, but you can familiarize yourself with the course teachers and designers before you pay a dime!
First-time users of online courses can be a little intimidated by the change in format. How will I find all my work? Will I be able to see my grades? Where can I see a course schedule and how do I keep up with it? It’s easy to get a little worried about these sorts of things.
However, Luma Learn teachers offer ways to personally contact them with these sorts of questions, and you can do so before you purchase a course. It’s a no-risk way of getting all your questions answered before you even begin. Teachers are always available during the length of the course as well, and since they both teach and design the course, they are a great resource on how to complete it!
Take the time to do a little bit of simple investigating. Blend your knowledge of your student’s needs and preferences, the class and its teachers, and your summer schedule and budget to create an ideal online summer learning experience. There are so many options available on Luma Learn.
Step 3: Know Your School District
You need to know your educational goals before deciding what direction to go during the summer. You also need to know what requirements the powers that be have put in place which determine how you must reach those goals. Yes, how to take high school classes over the summer can depend very largely on directives from your state government, local school board, or diploma-issuing agency.
This will vary greatly on your location. Every state’s homeschool laws are different. Are you required to keep a portfolio of your school year, have it evaluated for progress, and turn both the evaluation and portfolio into your school district every spring?
This is what my siblings, parents and I had to do during our homeschooling years. Are you pursuing a high school degree from a state-accredited diploma issuing agency, as I did? They will have their own requirements regarding what “counts” and what doesn’t. Students in mainstream school settings will have to find out from teachers or school officials what classes will earn credits towards that school diploma as well.
Fortunately, Luma Learn teachers create helpful little descriptions of their classes which are available for free online!
Step 4: Respect Expectations
The fourth step in learning how to take high school classes over the summer is a simple one, but it is also one that will go a long way towards keeping your summer schooling experience positive. Do not overturn your high schooler’s hopes or expectations for the summer to fit in an extra class.
If you go to Joe Smith’s Campground and Amusement Park every August, make sure you still go to Joe Smith’s Campground and Amusement Park this August, regardless of how many online classes you want to finish the summer. Don’t pack your schedule so full that there is no time for Uncle Vincent and the cousins to come over for a week, or no opportunity to engage the summer softball league.
Remember, it’s important for the students you are supervising not to hate the work you are giving them to do. Just because it might let them graduate early doesn’t mean they will be willing to sacrifice an entire summer to get there. In striking the right balance, respect their wishes as well as your own.
Step 5: Be Flexible
The final step in learning how to take high school classes over the summer concerns the importance of adapting as you go. The beauty of online learning is its flexibility and personalization. There are as many different ways to approach it as there are students.
With that level of choice, no educational supervisor will get everything right the first time. Know from the beginning that every part of your student’s summer learning journey is open to adaption. It will need to be tweaked and edited next summer. Some things will be dropped entirely. Some new things will be added.
None of this is bad. Learning, at its best, is an organic process. It is a living, breathing process that develops along with the learner. Never limit it to strict timetables or curriculum plans. A flower does not flourish in a box. Neither will a student.
Perhaps it’s something you haven’t thought much of before, but the educational opportunities available to your high schooler during the summer are tremendous. If you can remember and employ these five steps, you will be well on your way to learning how to take high school classes over the summer. So break out your flipflops and sunscreen and go to it!