summer slide moms achievement gap

Preventing the Summer Slide…On a Budget

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy, Summer Learning & Working

Preventing the Summer Slide…On a Budget

What were your summers like growing up? We always spent two weeks  with my grandma, alternating nights between  aunties and uncles houses to have slumber parties with cousins.  We spent time at the library and a week at the Y.  We also had a week of Vacation Bible School and volunteered with our mama at the nursing home. The rest of the time we hid during the day from the summer heat by watching soap operas, eating fried bologna sandwiches, drinking Kool-Aid and talking with friends on the telephone.  When the sun finally turned down we played games of kickball, tag and Mother May I.  To us, back then, It was the life
I knew about summer camps.  Movies like Little Darlings and Space Camp convinced me that summer camps were nothing but places where White parents sent their pimpled faced tweens and teens for weeks to live in cabins and set out on serious missions to get their first kiss.  Now that I have children I look at summer camps differently.  I know that they are places where children can learn
  • to interact with camp advisers who have time to listen, talk, relax, and reflect.
  • to work together, make choices, take responsibility, develop creative skills, build independence and self-reliance, and gain confidence.
  • Be resilient
 When thinking about what camps I will send our children to I am suspicious of the bubble gum summer camps.  The camps that promise to expose your child to the museum, the bowling alley and skating rink.  And they do just that.  With the achievement gap looming we don’t have time for that.  Our kiddos need academic camps to avoid the summer slide.  Most students lose about two months of grade level learning over the summer months.  Thus I am wholeheartedly convinced that our children need exposure to art and athletic camps to keep their bodies and minds active. 
Of course providing summer camp opportunities ain’t exactly cheap. In a dream world we would like for the kiddos to attend at least three camps a piece this year.  I am not talking about the $5000 -$15,000 summer camps where teens are taken on trips to explore the world.  But just a normal summer camp, where the average weekly residential fee ranges from $325 to $780 per week, and the average day camp fee is $100 to $275 per week.   Times three means in our budget, that’s still expensive.
Our kids don’t have to attend every summer camp.  I do see the value in being able to stay at home and use your imagination with siblings or the neighborhood kids.  But exposing our children to academic opportunities in the summer is a part of offering our kiddos a competitive advantage so that one day they can really live the life!


What camps are you planning to enroll the kiddos in this summer?

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