Summer is a crucial time for high school students to advance towards their personal and academic goals. As a parent, understanding how to evaluate your child’s progress during this period can help ensure they are making the most of their time. This assessment is not just about ticking off completed tasks; it’s about recognizing growth, understanding challenges and providing support.

Begin with a clear understanding of the goals set at the start of the summer. These could range from academic improvement, college preparation tasks, to personal development projects. Keeping these goals in mind provides a framework for assessing progress.

Regular conversations with your child about their activities are essential. These discussions should be open and supportive, allowing your child to share their experiences, accomplishments and any obstacles they might be facing. Through these conversations, you can gauge their enthusiasm and commitment, which are often strong indicators of progress.

Observing tangible changes and achievements is also crucial. This might be seen in the form of a new skill level, the completion of a project phase or a deeper understanding of a subject area. Progress isn’t always linear or easily quantifiable, and it’s important to recognize and value incremental improvements and efforts.

Time management is another key aspect to consider. Assess how your child is balancing their goals with relaxation and social time. Effective time management is a critical skill, and seeing your child balance various aspects of their life is a positive sign of growth.

Providing support and guidance is fundamental, especially if your child encounters challenges. Your role is to help them navigate these challenges, offering advice and encouragement, and possibly helping them adjust their goals if necessary.

Lastly, celebrating milestones and efforts is important. Recognizing the hard work your child has put in, regardless of the outcome, is crucial for their motivation and self-esteem.

Evaluating your child’s summer progress involves a blend of observation, communication and support, ensuring they are not only achieving their goals but also growing and learning along the way.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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