Summer is coming, and for some students this means the long days of vacation, filled with fun and creative activities, whereas for others, it means long days of studying at summer school. Which ones make for better students?
Teresa Watanabe explores the tale of two students - both successful students - with two very different summer plans:
What do you think? Which is the better summer plan? Link (Photo: Anne Cusack / LA Times)
Summers for eighth-grader Jade Larriva-Latt are filled with soccer and backpacking, art galleries and museums, library volunteer work and sleep-away camp. There is no summer school, no tutoring.
"They need their childhood," says Jade's father, Cesar Larriva, an associate professor of education at Cal Poly Pomona. "It's a huge concern of mine, the lack of balance from pushing them too hard."
For 10th-grader Derek Lee, summer is the time to sprint ahead in the ferocious race to the academic top. He polishes off geometry, algebra and calculus ahead of schedule and masters SAT content (he earned a perfect 800 on the math portion last fall). This year, he plans to take college-level courses, maybe at UCLA or Stanford.
"You give your kids pressure so they can learn to handle it," says Derek's mother, Meiling Lee, smacking her fist into her hand. "Because finally they have to go out into the real world, and the real world is tough."