Saturday, April 12, 2014
What to do this summer?
There's a certain story that schools are so academically-focused these days that it's necessary to preserve summer as open, non-academic time. I think there are a few problems with this story -- first, that most schools still aren't that challenging, and second, this is not an either/or prospect. Summer is a long time, and you can do some academic oriented camps and some s'mores type camps too, and still have space for hanging out in the backyard. We're doing 2 weeks of YMCA-type camp, and 2 weeks of an outdoor program. Then we have some relaxed time at the beach and at home. But I imagine as my kids get older, we'll start looking at academic programs too. Gifted kids really like to learn, and often summer presents an opportunity to learn a new subject, perhaps in an environment with your intellectual peers. If a kid isn't challenged enough at school, then summer programs can be a lifesaver. I have very fond memories of the 3 weeks I spent during 3 summers at Northwestern University's CTD program. I learned a lot about geometry, computer science, and modern world literature, and I was around people who really liked to learn too. It's a fun combination. There are all kinds of programs if you know where to look. The Davidson Institute has pulled together a list of resources and links for me to share with you. The NAGC, for instance, has an article on How to Choose a Summer Program. The Davidson Institute produced its own article on Tips for Parents: Finding a Summer Program. You can find a list of links to summer programs sorted by topic, and residential vs. day camp by following this link. And finally, the Davidson Institute hosts its own summer THINK Summer Institute for highly gifted kids ages 13-16. They can earn college credits in programs during this time. Here's the THINK home page, and the deadline for applications is now April 30. What are you doing with your children this summer? I'd love to hear about people's experiences with various summer programs too.