Back-to-School Prep in the Wake of Coronavirus

By Huntington Learning Center

It’s safe to say that this summer will be unlike any other that you or your teen has ever experienced.

Normally at the start of summer, parents of high school students seek advice about how to keep their teens on track for college and use summer as an opportunity to prepare for success in the next school year and beyond. After a spring of closed schools and remote learning, this summer, that back-to-school preparation looks a lot different.

Feeling unsure how to help your teen get ready for the next school year in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak? Here are several tips:

  • Focus on skill acquisition. Schools across the country are handling remote learning differently, and while the remote setup might work well for some teens, it might not for others. If your teen struggled with online learning and you sense that he or she has fallen behind on important skills, it’s essential that you get focused on making up ground these next few months.
  • Get situated with your at-home learning space. In March, families everywhere were thrust into online/remote learning with no experience or preparation. While parents and teens alike did their best given the unique and sudden circumstances, summer is a good time to ensure your learning spaces at home are fully equipped and ready for any future remote learning that could take place in the months and years to come. If you hobbled through spring sharing your work laptop with your teen (and other children), now might be the time to shop for discounted tech that your family needs, get set up with WiFi at home and situate your home space.
  • Assess where your teen is with respect to grade-level standards. With most schools going to pass/fail grading and striving to simply keep students learning, it’s likely that many high school students are not where they need to be going into next year. The structure of the past spring was not a perfect replacement for regular school, after all. Those grade-level standards might get adjusted, but they might not. It’s important that you get your teen into a tutoring program this summer to evaluate what skill gaps might exist (and which ones might have widened).
  • Learn new study skills. Everything is new for today’s students, including how they learn, how they study and how they go to school. You should anticipate many aspects of this “new normal” remaining part of your teen’s educational experience going forward, whether he or she is an upperclassman or headed into high school. Make sure your teen spends time this summer honing some of the new methods of learning and doing homework that have been introduced lately.
  • Build responsibility and independence. The last several months likely have been the hardest on students who struggle with independence and self-advocacy and tend to procrastinate. Use summer to focus on building your teen’s sense of responsibility and ability to self-start and work independently.
  • Study for the SAT/ACT. If your teen was planning to take the spring SAT or ACT that did not happen, this summer is a perfect time to focus on these exams. With the slowdown of extracurricular activities and everything else, your teen has a rare chance to put a lot of attention toward these exams and doing his or her absolute best. A summer prep program is a wise investment to ensure your teen achieves a strong score.

Think of this summer as an opportunity for your teen to bolster skills that have suddenly become more vital than ever, to prepare for the future and get back on track. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Huntington is here to help. We guide students to achieve their goals, both in our centers and online, whether those include planning for college, raising grades or building skills. Call us at 1-800 CAN LEARN today.