5 ways summer camp can keep your child learning

Ellen Wright, Communications Associate
While summer is a time for recharging and relaxing, the three-month hiatus from school can pose a problem for students. According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose two months of progress in mathematical skills every summer!
However, there is no need for students to backslide academically. Enrolling kids in a summer program that provides a structured, fun and mentally engaging environment can help them maintain their academic learning from the previous school year. Here are five elements to look for in a brain-stimulating summer program:

The summer curriculum builds on knowledge learned during the school year.
The best summer camps continue the learning that happens during the school year so that students make progress year-round. When school starts up again in the fall, they’ll be prepared to tackle new content. In the Firebird Program at Pacific Ridge School, students entering fifth through eighth grade can dive into morning elective sessions filled with hands-on, project-based learning. Research shows that repeating important information strengthens long-term memory

Kids are encouraged to apply their academic knowledge to the real world
If a summer program class connects learning to something fun, kids won’t even realize that they are reinforcing concepts they learned in school. In a skateboarding design class, students learn physics concepts when creating an awesome skateboard deck. In an animation class, keyboarding and other computer skills are strengthened when students create a visual story. In a cooking class, students practice their math skills while baking delicious treats and snacks.

Campers can gain a specialized skill
Summer is the perfect time for children to explore interests that they otherwise don’t have time for during the school year. Some summer camps offer the chance to learn a particular skill, such as photography or robotics. Working closely with an instructor, students can improve upon a new or existing skill with lightning speed.

Kids can improve their coordination and athletic skills
Keeping kids physically active during the summer is a great way to keep their minds fit. In Pacific Ridge School’s Firebird Afternoon program, campers can participate in a variety of team sports such as basketball, soccer, kickball and Ultimate Frisbee. They also get moving with fun PE-style games such as Steal the Bacon, Sharks and Minnows, Dodgeball and Capture the Flag. Instructors focus on sportsmanship and team building, giving campers the tools necessary for success on and off the field.

Campers have fun!
Summer programs are fantastic for improving skills and academics, but none of it will happen if campers aren’t enjoying themselves! Keep an eye out for programs that have a mix of both fun and learning to keep kids happily engaged.
Summer break can be a great reprieve from the daily toil of academics. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time for students to stop learning! Enroll your child in a summer program that allows them to explore passions they don’t have time for during the school year, build upon skills and gain confidence going into the next academic year. To learn more about Pacific Ridge School’s Firebird Program, click here.