"Why do only some kids have to go to summer school?" - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-11-2011, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the question my 10yo DS asked me last night when he was going to bed. He does pretty well in school, but has always been right at the standards, so we worry about retention over the summer. Our school district has summer school for two weeks in June and two weeks in August, 3 hours a day. His teachers thought he might benefit from coming to this second session to give him a jump start on the school year.


He has gone three days and really enjoyed it, he has friends there, loves the teacher, they are getting to experiment with technology before the rest of the students (the school acquired an ipad lab over the summer!) and they have been able to work outside often as well. So I was surprised when he asked me this question last night, and I know he was mostly referring to his sister who is not going.


How would you respond to this? I don't want him to think he isn't a smart kid or that he is being picked on. I told him the teachers have meetings and decide which kids would benefit from summer school. I said all kids learn differently and that summer school is helpful for some, but not as helpful for others. Do you think that is a good answer? What else could I have said?


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Old 08-11-2011, 03:36 PM
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"To practice learning. " Some kids need more practice than others.

My freshman son took a big snooze in his regular classes this spring. We had him go to one session of summer school to try and save his GPA.
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:51 PM
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I agree with the previous poster for explaining why some kids have to and some don't.


My son had to take extra reading support during the year and asked why some kids don't have to, and I told him that kids who have older brother or sister get practice from them... his sister has probably paid attention when you've explained homework to him, or helped him spell or read. Younger kids get a boost that older kids don't. He seemed to accept that explanation and not feel bad about it.

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Old 08-11-2011, 04:25 PM
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Most kids don't HAVE to.  But, sometimes parents would like our kids to have a jumpstart before the next grade.  


Besides, I took summer school because it was fun.  I also went to day camp and sleep away camp.  Because I liked having something to do in the summer.


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Old 08-11-2011, 04:58 PM
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Well my son loves classes and getting him to take a break is like pulling teeth.  Granted DS isn't in a traditional school but I needed to put in a vacation request so he would STOP continual classes for a couple weeks.


Some kids go to summer school because they want to, some kids go because its quasi daycare, some kids go because it gives them a head start to next year, some go to finish up last year,  some go so they can 'skip' a year, there are a million reasons why kids go to summer school.


So in your case I would say 'you got to go to SS to get a jump start on next year, how cool is that!'

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:12 AM
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i would actually go back and ask him why he asked that question. its still not too late to do that. 


it might be a closed deal for him. it could be 'i was just curious' or it could be something else. 


i'd ask. 

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Old 08-13-2011, 10:27 AM
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I'd personally explain it to your DS like this. "This year, there was something interesting and useful for you at summer school. Some years there might not be. It all depends on the kid and what they offer that year. Maybe next year, there will be something useful for your sister. This year, there wasn't." Just keep it matter-of-fact as it is the truth. Summer school isn't about him being dumb. THIS summer, there was something DS could use. Simple as that.


Summer school doesn't have to have a stigma attached. Both my kids (6th and 10th grades) have done occasional summer school classes. For them, it was about moving ahead or getting a jumpstart into a new program but it's always been useful and they've always been happy they did it come the Fall.





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