If you are having a difficult time believing that it is almost summer, join the club. Parents all over the Country are asking themselves the same question: “Where has the time gone”? It seems like only yesterday that children were just starting the school year. Now there are only weeks or days remaining before summer vacation begins.
Not So Fast
Before your child gets settled into their summer vacation, there are four things you should do prior to the last day of the school year.
1. Review. Don’t let the summer vacation begin without reviewing your child’s successes and failures, progresses, and setbacks. Make it a top priority to conduct a review with each teacher and every administrator. Not only should you assess your child’s academic performance, you should get a clear picture of the way others view your child.
Remember teachers and administrators have the potential of serving as employment references or being deposed as character witnesses. How others view your child really matters. If a teacher or administrator views your child positively, go ahead and ask for a letter of recommendation during your review. It’s never too early to start putting together your child’s resume.
2. Request. What good is a review without an action plan? Make sure that each teacher provides your child with a written action plan. The findings of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress should be the alarm which notifies parents that our children have a lot of work to do this summer.
The Nation’s Report Card reveals that only 26% of students were proficient in math and only 38% of students were proficient in reading. Being proficient in math and reading are mandatory in today’s global and technologically advanced society. Life’s journey has enough trials and tribulations without adding math and reading incompetence to the list of challenges.
Don’t let summer vacation begin without making sure your child is not included in the 74% and 62% of children who are incompetent in math and reading. Before the school doors close get a detailed plan outlining the actions needed to raise the math and reading proficiency of your children.
3. Schedule. The findings of The Nation’s Report Card are sickening but we shouldn’t let this discovery leave us paralyzed. Instead of waiting for someone else to carefully manage of our children’s academic future, we must assume our responsibility and exercise our power to be informed, zealous, and proactive parents.
A good place to start exercising our parental rights and responsibility is with an independent educational evaluation. Academic diagnostics were previously cost preventive. However, thanks to organizations such as the Khan Academy ALL children have the capability of discovering where they actually stand academically.
Have your child take the pretest so that you can get an objective assessment and independent measurement of their academic standing. Sign your child up for Khan Academy immediately.
4. Enroll. The photographer Harry Callahan said, “Experience is the best teacher of all”. Although Mr. Callahan was not referencing America’s students, his quote is certainly applicable. Rather than continuing to raise a nation of children who are confounded by academic inadequacies and disillusioned by limited future professional prospects, we possess the ability to help our children get the requisite training and experience so that they will have the courage to dream of a future of blossoming potential and infinite possibilities.
We can complain about the educational difficulties children face or we can devote ourselves to uncovering and taking full advantage of the many educational opportunities now available. Organizations such as Udacity, Coursera, and edX offer FREE online courses in a multitude of subjects. The FREE instruction is provided by the best educational institutions in the world. Even better, the FREE instruction is offered to EVERYONE.
There are no guarantees that our children will be Honor Students, Valedictorians, National Merit Scholars or future Rhodes Scholars, but what is certain is that we should leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping our children. Enroll your children in one of these programs before summer vacation begins. Give them a chance to get additional academic instruction and real-time experience that can empower them and improve the well-being of our Nation.
There are many other things that we could do before the summer vacation begins but these four things are a good place to start. The significance of Review, Request, Schedule, and Enroll cannot be understated. WE simply can’t afford to have a Nation where 74% and62% of OUR children are incompetent at math and reading respectively.
Malcolm X once stated, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” If we don’t help our children earn their passport today by improving their academic proficiencies, we are condemning them and our Nation to a future of routine disappointment and repeated failure.
Originally Published on The RS Project