“Thousands of Students In New York Face Shuttered Schools,” an article in The New York Times on March 10, 2020, reports that more schools could close because of the current Coronavirus scare. The article reports that public schools have closed in Scarsdale, a suburb of New York. And it you do a little searching online, chances are you will find that public schools near you are have either closed down temporarily or have contingency plans to do so if students, teachers or administrators become ill.
If you are the parent of a student who will be logging off-time at home, chances are you will be in for a somewhat frustrating time. Your son or daughter isn’t supposed to go out and socialize with friends. Athletic practices and club meetings will be canceled. So when your young student comes to you and says, “I just wrote my term paper, what am I supposed to do now?” how are you going to answer?
Here are some productive activities and projects your high schooler can do during any mandated time off from school. We’re just suggesting them, not giving required work. But if you review this list, we hope you will find some activities that will appeal to your student.
Take Some Online Career and Aptitude Tests
If your student would like a little help making career plans, the Internet is jam-packed with career tests, STEM career assessments, career placement tests, and much more. Days when classes are canceled and students are supposed to be hanging around their homes are an ideal time to take them, consider scores and results, and think about college majors and future careers.
Younger Students Can Get a Jump on College Planning
A day at home can be a great time to research colleges, enjoy some virtual college tours, read college blogs, and take other steps to get ahead of the college application process. Your young student might even find these activities exciting.
Take a First Stab at Those College Application Essays
In only about a half-hour, students can make a preliminary list of topics they could write about. Then the following day, they can look at those lists again, focus on the essay topics they like the best, and maybe even take a stab at writing a first draft or two. Getting started early on this process depressurizes the writing process, eliminates procrastination and stress and helps assure that the final essays student write will be well-considered and top-notch.
Line Up Some Recommendation and Reference Letters
A quiet day at home can be a great time to think quietly and carefully about selecting referees who will write recommendation letters.
High School Juniors and Younger Students Can Take a Little Time to Consider AP and Other Classes for Next Year
Instead of just waiting to sign up for classes, students can go online to review course descriptions and take other steps to plan the courses they will sign up for later on. The knowledge they gain can build their interest and increase the odds that they will sign up for classes they will enjoy.
Take Sample PSATs, SATs and ACT Tests Online
A day when students are cooped up at home can be ideal for taking these tests in a quiet, depressurized atmosphere.
Read a Book that Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with Courses they Are Taking
Today’s over-pressured students often lack the time to read a popular novel, a new book on history, a self-help or motivational work, or another book they’ve been meaning to explore.
There are many benefits to reading books that are not assigned reading. When they get back to class, they can contribute to classroom discussions by saying something like, “Over the last few days, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Talking to Strangers, and here is what I think it has to do with what we were discussing last week.”
Introducing disparate topics like that in a considered way does more than make your son or daughter look smart. It elevates the quality of classroom discussions too.
Downtime Days Are Not Wasted Days
At least, they don’t have to be. With a little thought, they can be put to productive use.
To Learn More about College and Career Options
Teachers, we invite all your students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college research studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities matched to their interests.
College Admission Trends for Year 2020