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Keep your Kids Active and Engaged this Summer

Wow. That went by quick!

It may seem crazy to think about, but the school year is almost over. It’s time to start planning for summer. One of the big concerns for educators at this time of year is how to help their students avoid the vaunted “Summer Slide.”

The Summer Slide refers to the well-known statistic that shows students who do not stay mentally engaged throughout the summer months fail to carry the knowledge they learned the previous school year into the next school year. This can lead to poorer grades in the 1st quarter of the new school year as students struggle to catch up.

For many parents, this time of year raises a different concern: “I have to work. My kids are going to be off. What am I going to do?”

Those asking this question, often know full well that, if left to their own devices, kids will choose their own devices over things like exercise, reading, healthy hobbies, and, at times, eating, sleeping, or even blinking.

This is where summer camp comes in. Among other things, summer camp can help children stay mentally and physically engaged to avoid the Summer Slide. Additionally, it can help take the burden off working parents who don’t want to leave their kids home alone all summer (to play online games and scroll social media until their eyes dry out and their brains turn to Jell-O).

So… in an effort to protect parents’ sanity and children’s well-being, here are a few things to ask about any summer program you might be thinking about for your kids:

  1. Who will be teaching/coaching your children?

Teachers, teacher aids, and coaches are ideal summer camp instructors because they already understand the Summer Slide and can engage students in meaningful ways to avoid it. Yes. You want your kids to have fun and stay engaged during summer camp. You also want them to learn. Summer camps where the instructors are also educators and coaches will not only help keep your child engaged, but also help them continue to learn and develop new skills.

  1. What does the camp offer?

Sending kids to singularly focused camps (such as baseball camp, robotics camp, dance camp, etc.) can certainly help them develop skills in that one area but it can also feel a lot like a job, causing burnout. Finding a camp that has numerous areas for kids to grow, learn, and explore are often catalysts for them to get more engaged in a sport or activity rather than get burned out.

  1. What type of structure does the camp provide?

Kids thrive off structure. Some children may also rebel against it, especially during what they perceive to be their “time off.” The key to a healthy, productive, and enjoyable summer camp experience is finding one in which the structure is there, but nearly invisible to your kids. Finding a camp that gives them the feeling of independence they desire within a framework that fosters learning and growth is key.

  1. Where can I find all of this?

For more information, or to register your child for a summer camp, click here.