There are many reasons why your middle school child might benefit from participating in a summer program. Perhaps they are struggling with school work, or conversely, excelling in a certain subject. They may be talented on the sports field, or alternatively, require some help and motivation to lose weight. Whatever your child’s specific requirements, summer programs offer a whole host of benefits, some life-long.
Benefits of Summer Programs for Middle Schoolers
It Broadens Your Child’s Horizons.
One thing that summer programs have resounding success at, is broadening children’s horizons. Whether it is at a residential stay for several weeks, or a day camp, summer programs offer children opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise experience. Although many summer programs are geared towards academic enhancement, they also offer a wealth of other benefits such as developing personal and social skills. Meeting new people, being self-reliant, and resourceful, can all boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
If your child is adventurous, there’s no better way for them to expand their horizons than spending time overseas. Summer programs like CISV Villages create a safe environment for 11 year olds, where they can mingle with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, leading to a better understanding of other people’s cultural views and beliefs, enriching their life substantially.
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A Taste of Things to Come.
A summer program is a great way to get your middle school child ready for the challenges of high school. The transition from middle to high school is often daunting, and there is a distinct change in pace. Sometimes, students experience the “summer slide,” when young minds become relatively idle during the three-month break, and can lead to a substantial drop in learning levels. A summer program will keep your child’s brain cells zinging, preventing a deterioration in learning.
Thinking a little further ahead, it is never too early to get your child familiar with a college environment. A residential summer program can do just that. For children who are doing well at school, universities such as Stanford offer academically bright middle school students the opportunity to get a feel for college life in a way that is challenging, but also rewarding and fun. Often, this kind of general residential course can offer access to material middle school students wouldn’t normally receive, opening your child up to a world of possibilities. Furthermore, although participation is by no means a guarantee, taking part in a summer program of this kind can prove beneficial when completing future college applications.
In addition to a general glimpse of college life, some schools hold specialized courses, which are particularly useful if your child already has firm ideas about their future career plans. These help children focus, and build on, areas in which they excel. Many colleges offer residential courses, such as SPARK, which has been devised by Brown University, geared towards budding scientists. Children get to mix with like-minded peers, and learn in an age-appropriate, high-pace environment, through experiments and a hands-on approach.
Alternatively, if your child is the next Michael Jordan, there are many residential and day camps where a particular activity, or just general sports, are available for athletically inclined children. If your child is struggling with weight issues, a summer camp program can be the perfect opportunity to hang out with other kids in the same boat, learn about healthy eating and exercise regimes, and start their journey to fitness.
An Opportunity to Catch Up.
There are times when children can’t keep up with their peers, fall behind with their studies, or perhaps even fail a grade. Although summer programs that deal with helping kids who are struggling are often perceived negatively, the results are invariably positive. Summer programs offer additional tuition, at a much slower pace than in regular school, with smaller groups, and is usually a quieter, more relaxed environment. Fewer students mean more time for the teacher to focus on your child, which generally leads to better results. Students who are struggling in a particular subject may find it beneficial to be taught by someone other than their regular teacher; a different approach, or teaching method, can sometimes be enough for something to click in a child.
Whatever your child’s reason for attending a summer program, the benefits are undeniable: an increase in learning, expansion of their social development, and the honing of invaluable life-skills in an environment that is both rewarding and enjoyable.