Summer Activities for High School Students by: Allison Becker

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Many high school students, parents, and educators have spent the last year or so worried about what they’ve been missing. And with all that’s happened, It’s easy to see why people are concerned about students being behind.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that summer is designed to be a time for students to recuperate after a school year. Even with high schoolers, activities should still give them the opportunity to be kids and explore their interests and passions. Below are a few summer activities for high schoolers that will help combat learning loss and encourage them to be their best selves!

  1. Summer reading challenge! If you read our blog for middle schoolers, this one might sound familiar, but it holds! Consider getting your student involved in a structured summer reading challenge through a library, school, or other organization. But, if that sounds like a little much, challenge them to read at least three books this summer that fit these guidelines.

    • First, any book they want! This could be a graphic novel, a fantasy piece, or something based on a film or television show — anything that makes them eager to read!

    • Second, a book written by a person from a culture or group of which your teen is not a part. Consider a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. It can be fictional; the goal is to expose students to stories from an experience fundamentally different in some way from their own.

    • Third, a nonfiction book. Whether it’s a memoir, biography, or history, encourage them to find a book that tells a true story.

  1. Consider the future! Thinking about what happens after high school is stressful, but taking the time to do it when students aren’t also busy with school can help. For early high schoolers, have them spend at least one hour a week thinking about and researching post-graduation options. Leave it open-ended and varied—college, university, trade school, military service, and more! With students entering their junior and senior years, dedicate a little more time to this, focusing on it two or three hours a week. For rising seniors especially, encourage them to look at the requirements for any path they’re interested in and begin preparing those.

  1. Practice asking good questions! Brainstorm with your teen a couple adults they know whose work or life interests them and reach out to see if they’re willing to answer some questions. Before the “interview,” have your teen consider and write questions they’re curious about (visit here for a great resource on properly preparing interview questions). Then, have your teen conduct and record the interview. Encourage them to maintain the recording, either by transcribing it and/or saving the audio—you never know when that information may come in handy later in life!