Updated: May 21
Enrolling your teen on an online summer school will provide them with the ammunition they need to carve out a successful career path. All that is required is passion for their subject and a laptop, and they will be set to meet and collaborate with world-class instructors and fellow students from around the globe. Online academic summer courses are more accessible than ever. There are courses available in practically every subject for children across elementary, middle, and high schools, and you do not need to current be an honors student or be considered gifted to benefit from the experience in myriad ways. All that is required is a natural curiosity and determination to do your best.
In this article, we’ll explore 21 ways that an online summer course can expand your horizons, develop internal confidence, and accelerate your future success.
1. Study subjects not available at school
Now more than ever it is essential to reignite children’s interest and motivation. And what better way to do so that in a subject they are interested in but which is not available at school. Online summer school courses include subjects such as business, medicine, law, engineering, computer science, mathematics, international relations, creative writing, psychology, and career exploration. These courses will not only expand students horizons but will raise aspirations and help cultivate social and academic confidence.
Summer school classes also allow students to focus on a subject which they feel passionate about. Unlike traditional school semesters where students have to juggle a handful of different courses many of which they may be only mildly interested in, online summer schools provide an environment where students can devote all of their intellectual curiosity towards the subject they value most.
2. Introducing academic choice
The frustration of not having academic choice throughout much of middle and high school is remedied by online summer programs. Pre-set curriculums, other than perhaps the choice of a foreign language, are common, and by definition force students to study subjects in which they may have little interest. While it is useful for society to instill certain basic skills to everyone, rigid curriculums can wound intrinsic academic motivation and get in the way of strong academic achievement.
This is where online summer schools can play a crucial role in a child’s academic development. Allowing students to select a course that is of interest to them will inspire a healthy study regime and provide positive impacts on their future aspirations and career focus.
On an online summer course students can:
· Discover 21st-century technology
· Explore human biological systems
· Learn how to think like an attorney
· Create and market a business idea
· Understand the difference between speculation and investment
· Undertake a career exploration course that introduces all of these subjects
Irrespective of the path they choose, summer school is an exciting opportunity for children to make their own educated decisions and to take control of their future. As Leonardo Da Vinci, the celebrated inventor and polymath observed, “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in”.
3. Building confidence
Facing challenges, accepting mistakes, and becoming resilient are the perfect ingredients to succeed at university and in future career paths. And that is exactly what an online summer school can instill in their students – the ability and therefore the confidence to achieve. Children are exposed to intellectual challenges and a plethora of knowledge that expands their horizons and offers them a variety of exciting new challenges. As they learn to overcome new obstacles, so will their confidence and self-belief grow.
4. Boost mental health
Summer can be a challenging time for children. They may feel a sense of lost structure and purpose. Their friends may be leaving town for a seaside vacation, and with no daily routine to follow they can struggle to find a daily sense of purpose. But an online summer school is a potential way in which to meet these needs and boost their mental health. An online summer school can focus your child’s attention on a subject of particular interest, giving them fresh challenges to immerse themselves in. They will have the opportunity to interact with an entirely new cohort of fellow students in real-time, enabling them to potentially make friends with like-minded peers from around the globe.
5. Impart crucial skills
Recent global developments have made the need for technological advancement a crucial necessity. Society needs the best minds in technology, science, mathematics, business, engineering, coding and computer science to meet today’s demands. Other key areas are economics, natural medicine and biology. Opportunities to build skills in these subjects are all readily available to your child at an online summer school, and what’s more they can learn them from other world-leading experts.
6. Catch up on missed school
If for any reason your child has had to be absent from school for a significant period during the year, a summer course can represent the perfect opportunity to catch up on missed education. Whether this will consist of acquiring new skills, working towards a future career, or studying for university entrance exams like the SAT, ACT, A-Levels, TOEFL, or IELTS, online summer school programs can help fill in the missing pieces of your puzzle, getting you back up to speed, if not ahead, in your academic career.
7. Provides exciting variety
An online summer school with world-elite teachers, novel subject matter, and new fellow students from countries around the globe can help bring exciting variety to a student’s otherwise timeworn routine. If they choose a course delivered synchronously (i.e. live), students can also ask the instructor questions and interact with their classmates in real-time. Live online courses will often provide group work activities, allowing students to get to know their classmates and collaborate towards a common goal. Depending on the course, students may additionally be able to receive personalized academic guidance, help with college admissions, or even a letter of recommendation from their instructor.
8. Boost top university entrance chances
Leading university academics work as tutors at an elite online summer school. This will give your child an opportunity not only to learn from the best but to also receive a letter of recommendation from their tutor when successfully completing their course. This letter is an invaluable tool for children to use when applying to a university or for a job in the workplace. What’s more, tutors give their students the inside scoop directly on how to tailor their university applications to make the best possible impression. Naturally, this kind of endorsement can set them apart from other applicants, and could tip the balance in their favor when it comes down to the final selection.
9. Decide a college major early
It is a known fact that high schools have historically not excelled at exposing students to relevant career paths. For this reason, it is not uncommon for students to enter college without clear goals. It is a costly mistake, both in time and money, for children to realize too late down the road that they have chosen the wrong subjects in which to specialize. College fees are becoming more expensive by the year. They represent a significant investment and, at times, a huge financial sacrifice for parents. That is why it is more important than ever for children to make the correct career choices.
The solution lies in exposing children to the relative merits of various career disciplines well before they head off to college. When a student has clear direction towards a viable career path, a college degree becomes one of the best investments anyone can make. And of course, the earlier these investments are made, the longer their benefits can compound.
10. Improve social skills
When children attend a socially diverse online summer school, they can convert what may have been neutral or even detrimental passive social media time spent in their rooms during the summer holidays, into interactive and positive online friendship building. What’s more, children can encounter foreign cultures by socializing with other students from all over the world who share similar interests. This experience will naturally engage their mental faculties and require them to develop cultural sensitivity, not to mention having a positive effect on their intellectual development and sense of perspective.
11. Open up a whole new world
Children who spend much of their summer vacation engaging in trivial activities such as playing video games or watching Netflix may lack inspiration and a sense of purpose. But an online summer course can change all of that. It is the perfect place to introduce children to future career possibilities and awaken in them a desire and self-belief to achieving more. Online summer schools can open up a whole new world of vocations they might want to pursue in life and to opportunities they never knew existed. Online courses can also introduce students to like-minded peers from all over the world, exposing them to different perspectives and broadening their horizons.
12. Nurturing creativity, empathy, and intuition
The skills children learn at a high-quality online summer school can benefit them for the rest of their lives. Their professional tutors will keep them engaged in classes where they will learn practical skills and sophisticated frameworks for understanding the world. They will be taught how to debate a clashing point of view and how to critically analyze complex information. This knowledge will foster the development of powerful intellectual intuition, an insight that will serve them well at university and the workplace. Learning is a creative activity that hones creative capacities and lateral thinking. By interacting with the other students and their tutors, children learn how to understand other points of view. Tolerance is an important life skill that serves to foster their understanding and empathy.
One of they key benefits of an online summer school program is its convenience and flexibility. With an online summer course you can literally bring a world of knowledge and experiences to wherever your current location happens to be. That means you can study an online course without the expense and hassle of leaving home, or if you can manage your time well even while travelling on vacation. You may also have options available for the time of day you wish to join your course, so if you are better at studying in the morning or in evening you can choose a course to suit you. And if your summer program also provides recordings of your classes, then you’ll have even more flexibility.
14. Costs less than conventional summer schools
Online summer schools generally cost less than in-person summer schools. In addition to organizing the course itself, residential summer schools have to pay for your food, lodging, extracurricular activities, and supervision. At the end of the day however, the course itself is the main attraction, and whether you take an online or in-person course you’ll still be able to learn the same content and engage with top-class tutors and peers in real-time. So if above all you value a world-class educational experience, consider taking an online summer course as opposed to in-person.
15. Uninterrupted routines
Attending an online summer school has many advantages, one of which is that it enables students to retain their daily routines. Although students will have a set number of hours they need to set aside to attend class and do homework, they can often choose course timings that don’t conflict with their schedule. Moreover, if the student is also engaged in extramural activities during the summer such as music, sports, or foreign language lessons, these can be fit in outside of their class time. Therefore your child can continue to develop their talents in other areas while learning an exciting new subject.
16. Keeping the school year momentum going
Students can maintain their educational momentum throughout the summer by taking an online course. Summer learning loss is a real thing, and research suggests that the biggest losses take place for students who gained the most in the preceding school year. Spending several months away from your studies is likely to cause a retrogression in skills, especially for content learned most recently and that which was most difficult to acquire in the first place. However, not only can a summer course prevent this backslide from happening, it can also provide students with the opportunity to accelerate their studies and reach their academic goals at an even faster pace. If you want to use an online summer course to prevent summer learning loss, consider scheduling your course for the middle of your vacation instead of right at the beginning or the end.
17. Students can still enjoy their summer holidays
Online summer courses don’t have to prevent children from enjoying their summer holiday break. Summer schools are well aware that children may be hesitant to enroll for fear of losing out on their summer vacation, particularly those students who worked the hardest in the school year. Although online summer courses can vary in length from one to eight or more weeks, the classes themselves don’t have to take up your entire day. Moreover, it is a simple matter to choose a shorter course that won’t dominate all of your summer break, leaving you with needed time to relax and recharge. In addition, intrinsic motivation on summer courses is generally stronger as students are already keenly interested in their subject, and don’t have to worry about juggling coursework from several different subjects at once. So even though you are still studying, it is easier to be having fun at the same time!
18. Facing a challenge without fear
It is often claimed that the greatest obstacle to higher achievement is simply fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of ridicule, and fear of ultimate failure. With an online summer course you can challenge yourself to try a difficult subject without fear because there are no consequences to not performing as well as you anticipated. Your academic performance on an online summer course does not have to appear on your academic record, and if you are so inclined you never have to see your instructor or classmates again. This provides students with the freedom to experiment, to try new things, and to explore new and more ambitious identities. For instance, if you currently think you are innately poor at math why not challenge that assumption and see whether with better guidance you might be able acquire those rock-solid algebra skills and that facility with calculus after all. If on the other hand you don’t see yourself as a creative type or someone comfortable speaking to groups why not challenge yourself to an online summer course that puts you in those very positions. What you discover might pleasantly surprise you.
19. Graduate sooner
Online summer school classes bring you that much closer to your ultimate academic goal—graduation. Whether it is because you have leveled up your skills or simply because you’ve earned additional credits, summer courses are an opportunity to fast-track your education. For self-motivated learners, taking online summer school courses can be liberating because it allows them to make progress toward their goals while studying at their own pace in time-blocks that best fit their daily schedule. Moreover, if you’ve struggled with a class or two during the past school year, the summer is the perfect opportunity to catch up to where you need to be or get a head start on your upcoming school year. And, if you take enough online summer classes, you might even be able to throw that mortarboard up in the air a few semesters early.
20. Meet new friends from around the world
It has often been said that your network is your net worth. In this digital age the world is becoming an increasingly global community, and it has always been the case that the best people in any given field all know each other. So start early cultivating a peer group who you can turn to for inspiration and to share your ideas. If you are able to make friends from different countries this will expand your perspectives and may clue you in to future academic and professional opportunities that you otherwise would have missed.
21. Learn from world-elite instructors
An online summer school expands your educational opportunities. No longer are you limited to the instructors at your school or whoever happens to be close to your geographic location. In a virtual setting everyone can have access to the world’s most brilliant minds and passionate educators. The straightest route to success in any field is always to follow the guidance of those who are already the most successful. If you want to become an accomplished trial lawyer, learn how to persuade juries like Gerry Spence. If you want to become a great investor, emulate Charlie Munger’s rationale for analyzing businesses. And if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you’ll want to learn how to think laterally like Paypal founder Peter Thiel. To fully achieve your potential there is no alternative to seeking out the best mentors.
As our world continues to advance, globalize, and become more competitive the need to acquire new skills and continuously adapt is becoming ever more critical. For aspiring young scholars intent on making the most of their summer, enrolling on a summer course is a natural choice. Although online and in-person summer schools both provide significant benefits, each have their relative merits. But if academics are your primary motivation it is clear that virtual courses are able to offer the greatest subject variety and attract the highest calibre instructors and peers. So what are you waiting for? Crack open that laptop, fire up your webcam, and get on the perfect online summer course for you!