Education During the More Relaxed Summer Months

By Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

School is out, but there is still time for education. Some of the more obvious educational opportunities include visits to museums, historic sites, and reading books. Some schools, of course, have summer reading lists. There are also numerous opportunities to attend workshops and special programs at colleges and universities. There are also college trips for families with rising high school juniors and seniors (though summer is probably the worst time for these trips, because one doesn’t get a realistic preview of the school). Summer also affords a great opportunity for all of us as small business owners, community leaders and as family members to think about our goals and to develop meaningful plans to achieve them.

As small business owners we ought to think about where we are today and where we would like to be in the future. We need to also think about how our business environment, such a changing demographics and technology are changing. We should then prepare a very detailed step by step plan of how we will maintain relevancy and grow. Our plan should include general goals as well as specific learning actions  (with dates) we will take during the current year to prepare us to achieve our goals.

As community leaders we need to recognize that students often do not know very much about business and career options open to them. We also need to recognize that with rising costs of higher education and well as the national need for more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), having some career goals at an early age is more important now than it was in the recent past. We can help by preparing career programs which are educational, memorable and fun for elementary, middle and high school age students and presenting these to youth groups and school career days during the academic year. Ideas for some specific activities may be found in previous issues of RISBJ.

As family members we need to help all of our family members to achieve their educational goals. Start by asking everyone from middle school up to write down their long term objectives. (Help elementary school children to do this.) Then help them to come up with plans to achieve their objectives, and finally come up with some very specific actions – such as reading specific books or taking specific classes – or talking to professionals in a variety of careers. Be sure that people aren’t overburdened with too many activities, such that nothing happens. Assign dates for the most critical activities. Remove the others from the list. Then, throughout the year be sure that everyone is achieving their goals.

Have fun while learning!

Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

Independent Consultant in Human Factors

Learning & Human Resources

I would like to thank Industrial Consultant Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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