The school year is almost done, and summer is coming! Families who homeschool might choose to spread their school year throughout the year, or they might choose to take the summer off. However, kids never stop learning, and summer is a wonderful time to take advantage of learning opportunities that appear annually without fail.
We call them summer camps, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are day camps, overnight camps, thematic camps, academic camps, or run around in the woods sorts of camps. There are camps for everyone, but are there camps that suit homeschoolers? What should homeschoolers look for in a summer camp?
Look at the schedule. Some families dislike the structure of school and find it hard to get up in the morning and run around to many different places. For these families, a part day afternoon camp or an overnight camp minimizes the amount of rushing around. For children who are separating from their parents for the first time, a part day or two to three-day camp is ideal. It’s enough time to get a camp feeling, yet little enough that there’s still time to connect together as a family. For families who want to learn together, there are increasing numbers of family camps. From homesteading and tracking skills to surfing to learning another language, your whole family can go on a learning vacation together.
Think about opportunities to pursue an interest in more depth. Organizations have the best success attracting groups of children in the summer time when everyone is out of school. This is the time to find peers who are passionate about the topics that your child loves. Whether it’s birding, robotics, or Chinese, there are so many different focused theme camps to choose from. Those in more rural areas can also choose from overnight camps with a strong thematic focus.
Consider the peer group and the program leaders. Many homeschoolers choose to keep their children home because they want to create a supportive, multi-age community around their children. Think about how the summer camp will fit into your child’s existing community. Whether it’s a camp founded on religious ideals or simply an environment that promotes attachment between parent and child, it’s a good idea to talk with staff and with like-minded parents before signing your child up for a camp.
What factors do you consider when you sign your child up for a summer camp?
Image courtesy of eesop at Stock Exchange.