Summer seems like a long way off, but it is never too early to start planning things for your children to do when they are off from school. This is a critical time for kids to engage in activities to supplement their learning at school, learn something new, socialize with their peers, and play.
Growing up, my mom gave me the brochure for summer activities at the local park district and told me to choose one myself or she would choose one for me. I am glad she did because it got me out of the house to meet new friends, exercise, and learn about things I would not have encountered in my daily routine.
As a teacher, I am currently getting letters and emails regarding low-cost summer opportunities for my students from a wide variety of institutions. There are many low-cost summer programs available in your community. Here are some places to start looking:
There is an equally large assortment of activities to choose from and different levels of time commitment ranging from a couple of hours on the weekend to overnight summer camps away from home. Do not be scared of these longer overnight camps, as they can be incredible experiences for your child.
Over the years I have had several students who were accepted into really amazing summer camps, only to have the parents say no because they were too afraid to let them go overnight. I strongly encourage parents to let their child attend these types of trips for the experience after checking with teachers, counselors, and program administrators about of the details of the camp including itineraries, safety, and ways to communicate while away.
Summer is a great time to step away from school for your child and great opportunities are out there to expand horizons and develop skills. Feel free to use my mother’s motivational technique: your child chooses an activity outside of the house or you do!