The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And the countdown to summer has begun—for both students and teachers! We’re all looking forward to having some time off. If, however, you’re starting to realize that the ADLC course you began in September, and were absolutely positive you would have done in three months, is going to continue into the summer, don’t despair! There are a lot of benefits to not taking the entire summer off from school.

Whether you call it the summer slide or brain drain, there’s no shortage of research that indicates students lose some of the skills and gains made during the school year over the summer, particularly in reading and math. Just think about all that hard work, sliding away in the hot summer sun. (I imagine an ice cream cone, melting and dripping down the side—what a mess!)

That’s where your ADLC course comes in handy! Perhaps you thought you’d be done by now. Or maybe you plan on starting a course in July and getting it completed over the summer. Whatever your situation, here are some things to think about:

  • You set your schedule. Unlike the regular school year when you might have had set hours in school, you’re on your own schedule now. Want to work on English for three hours today and take tomorrow off to go rafting? Done. You’re the boss! You can work at the pace that works best for you.
  • It’s time to focus. During the school year, you had other courses to worry about in addition to your ADLC course(s). Now you can just concentrate on getting your ADLC course(s) completed. Having taught summer school for years, I saw how students really enjoyed being able to focus on just one or two courses. You have the same opportunity here!
  • Stick to a timeline. Maybe you have a hard deadline of completing before September or maybe you just want to keep working at your course a little bit over the summer. Either way, remember to ask your teacher to set your course pacing so you have a guideline to meet your goal.

Even if you’re not working on a course this summer, don’t let the skills you learned over the school year drain away. There are lots of ways to prevent the summer slide!

  1. Read for fun. When you’re in school, you’re doing lots of reading that’s prescribed for you: novels, textbooks, articles, et cetera. These summer months are the time to read what you want to read! Have fun and don’t worry about reading the classics this summer (unless that’s what you want). Any kind of reading is going to keep your brain working and your comprehension sharp.
  2. How about some journaling? Journaling, scrapbooking, a diary, a blog—whatever format you choose, the writing and reflecting will help you practice your skills plus allow you to keep track of your summer adventures.
  3. Learning through exploring. The summer is a great time to check out the learning opportunities in your community: your local library; a museum; an art gallery, the zoo. There are a lot of fun things to do that might spark your interest and lead you to do more research when you get home!

Keep learning and growing this summer, and have fun!

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