The Insiders Guide to Education
A RITES blog by Learning Specialist and Education Advocate Saskia Nilsen, MSE
Your Summer Action Plan Part 4: Educational Summer Camps for Fun and Learning
There are tons of great camps in the area designed to get your child active and having fun over the summer. There are camps for a variety of interests, from dance and farming to robotics and theater. Most camps promote all kinds of useful skills from hands-on learning to social skills; but, unless they are specifically academically focused, they usually are not covering the key maintenance skills that need to be fostered over the summer to avoid the summer slide. Some parents alternate between a week or two at a fun traditional camp with an academically focused camp for kids who need a couple weeks of work over the summer to boost their academic growth. Some fun-focused camps for elementary-age students do advertise an academic portion to the day. It is a good idea to ask if this involves more than just a read-aloud book once a day. In addition, the summer staffers at camps usually don’t have much experience in education and may not be qualified to give your child any type of consistent learning experience over the summer. It is worth asking about when deciding between all the great options out there and what is right for your kid’s summer learning needs.
If your child has a specific area you would like to target, a great idea to consider is a one- to multi-week summer intensive course or workshop. These workshops are great for a student struggling in a particular subject to gain ground over the summer with small class sizes, one-to-one attention from teachers, and targeted instruction by experienced professionals. Typical topics include reading, writing, and math broken down into intensive interventions that hone in on the developmental stage of the student and address any gaps a student may have missed in previous schooling experiences. For example, if you child is dyslexic, an Orton-Gillingham-based program would be a good match. Since most schools do not teach study skills, summer is a great time for middle and high school students to develop skills that will help them across the board academically and lay a foundation for successful life skills and habits. Students with ADHD, Executive Functioning issues or who are just generally disorganized benefit from these types of classes immensely.
RITES has been the leader in Rhode Island in developing brain research-based curricula for these types of summer programs with their highly qualified learning specialists. RITES offers a variety of learning camps for students in the Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts area entering grades 1 – 12, taught by highly qualified educators in the core subjects. Call (401) 723-4459 to ask for specific summer program information or click here.
In the next part in our Summer Action Plan series, we’ll talk about When to Consider One-to-One Tutoring.