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When students and parents think of learning over the summer, reading is often at the bottom of the list of things to do to learn. In fact, it’s often not on the list at all when compared to summer programs, community college coursework, or test prep “boot camps”. Yet, it’s singularly one of the most important activities a student can do. Let’s understand why.
Colleges Ask for It
From USC in Los Angeles to Columbia University in New York City, top colleges ask on the college applications for what you’ve read lately. If all you have to say is required readings like To Kill a Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies, you’re clearly not a good fit for the nation’s top colleges, which all require their students to read dense material and be curious in this way.
In addition, reading is a great way to stand out for college applications as well. In a world of Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktoks, and YouTube, very few students actually read for fun anymore. So just by reading, you’re already in the minority, a pretty slim one at that.
The Missing Link to Test Prep
For years, members of our team trained students on the SAT — after they had taken boot camps at Elite and Excel. The common missing link in all those students? Reading. Students, especially here in the Silicon Valley, have spent years emphasizing math, engineering, STEM – at the expense of gaining critical reading and writing skills. As a result, we’ve found that students who don’t read plateau early, either at 1350 or 1450. Sound familiar?
If so, start encouraging your student to read anything, though we recommend material along a student’s interests. Don’t just think books either; consider magazines, articles, and news. Help your student explore their natural interests both academic and non-academic.
Reading as Inspiration for Learning
Let’s face it. High school is not inspiring. In its current format, exacerbated by a mixed bag of teachers, it’s really the last place to expect students to be inspired to learn.
This is where reading comes in. By allowing a student to choose their authors, you’re effectively allowing a student to choose their teachers. And those teachers aren’t limited to 6 subjects in History or English. In fact, they’re not even limited by present day time. Students can find inspiration in subjects not available in high school, from sociology to political science to biopsychology, and in authors spanning across eras and generations.
We specialize in youth mentorship and college counseling. From 8th grade to 12th, we have you covered for any stage in your high school career. Schedule a free consultation with us here.
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