As the academic session came to an end, my phone was flooded with details of various activity camps that were being conducted across the city. Most of the camps were offering similar activities with variations in different camp. The point to be pondered over was, was I really interested to enroll my child in any of these activities?
Yes, I know of parents and kids who strongly believe in these activities as they look at these camps as opportunities to help your child develop skills that he/she may not have been able to tap on while in the academic year. Then there are parents who just want their children to attend these activities because they had less time to entertain their children.
I for some reason have a mixed view point over these camps and set of activities. Yes, these camps and activities are important however as a parent it’s also important to give your child some time for free play. The child needs to have time to explore, think and create which is not always possible during their academic year.
Hence, choosing the right summer camp is extremely vital for you as a parent. Yes, we want them to learn an array of things however what interests them is also important.
Luckily before I decided to enroll my little hyper monkey for a summer camp, I did a little research on what to look for in a summer camp before enrolling your child.
How does it benefit my child – This is going to be the first thing or atleast the most important thing you would want to look at before picking a class for your child. You need to have observed your child for a while now to understand what they like, what interests them and only then can you pick a summer class for them. Are they inclined towards arts, music, sports, gymnastics etc. Show them the options available to them too.
What do you want your child to learn from the class – Are you looking to just put your child in class so that they can kill some time or is there a physical or a behavioral trait you want them to learn.
How summer camps help your child – These workshops and classes are ideally suppose to teach your child a certain activity.Besides learning the activity, your child needs to be able to connect socially, develop leadership and become confident too.Does the class devote some time for free play and social interaction? These are the few things you need to look for in their curriculum.
Is the camp tapping on all the skills of your child – We are looking at the holistic development of a child. The activity needs to be able to tap onto the physical, ,mental and emotional health of the child. We don’t want our children to go through summer drain or learning loss while they enjoy their holidays and hence the camp needs to tap onto all of these skills.
Will my child be able to apply these skills in future – Summer learning is not something restricted to future. We are amidst the gen-next and we are working on teaching our already, technologically advanced generation a thing or two, hence a camp needs to offer futuristic skills to our kids. They needs to learn team work, innovation, leadership, presentation skills, self control and communication as these skills will eventually help them in their careers.
The camps need to build resilience, patience and should be free of judgement – In a world where all of us are fighting for equal rights and treatment, the camp should be free from all prejudices and should focus on the development of your child. As parents we need to interact with the trainers initially, understand the curriculum offered and accept feedback given to us.
As a kid, I would always look at summer camps as opportunities to build friendships and break free from monotony. The excitement to learn something new and getting appreciated was always motivating. The thought is to invest wisely in our children’s future.