Summer camps can be expensive. Depending on your budget and the number of children you have, affording camp for everyone may not be an option. That does not mean your children have to miss out. It just means you, as a parent, must get a little bit creative. Fortunately, creativity is what homeschool parents are known for, so coming up with an alternative to paid camps outside of the home will be easy. Welcome to summer camp at home!
The summer is a great time for your children to pursue areas of interest, something they may not have had time to do during the school year. You can take those interests and create a fun (and educational) summer camp where they can study something new while keeping their study skills fresh, in some of their regular subjects.
Holding a traditional camp – basic academic studies like math, reading, etc. – may be what first comes to mind, but do not limit yourself to those subjects in plain form. Of course, whatever they learn in your camp will include those subjects but make it interesting. That will open the door to them for studying broad areas of topics for a general overview to ones that are more focused and in specific areas of interest.
Follow a unit study approach to your camp and include more than one subject for a four-week or more camp. A fine arts/art camp could include hands-on with painting, drawing, music or photography. Add history by studying the artists behind the art pieces that inspire your children. Science can be added by studying combinations of colors and the different colors they create. Another idea is using different lenses to capture the perfect image you want and understanding the measurement of focus and how the lenses work. A science camp can include several science experiments. Writing can be added with a description of the science experiments, lab results and a summary of what they learned. You may have never heard of a history camp, but why not have one? Let your child choose a period in history or an event. Art can include hands-on fun with building, drawing or crafting something that represents that period. Designs can be made using LEGOs or other blocks or add computer science to the study and let them draft their art using a digital program like Minecraft, Sims 4 or Fortnite. Your children will think your camp is the coolest camp they ever attended.
Your child may prefer a more focused camp, which could be anything from sports to STEM to art or theatre. A focused camp could be one-week or more with you choosing different areas to study each week that pertain to the camp topic. A sport camp could include history of the sport and athletes who excelled in it, form, conditioning, how to keep score and playing. A STEM camp could be an overview of STEM or focus on specific areas in science, technology, engineering or math. You could finish the camp with a field trip to a museum, theatre production or other that will enhance their learning and be a nice finish to their experience.
You do not have to be knowledgeable in the different areas to teach your camp. If you have no clue how to teach the camp you want to hold, do what homeschoolers are known to do, “figure it out”. Take advantage of books from the library and online resources (ex: YouTube videos) to learn just what you need to know to hold your camp.
The excitement your children will have attending your camp will be higher than their expectations. Let this be a fun experience (unlike the regular school year) where they will learn something new, but in a more relaxed environment. Regular school will be in session soon enough. They may look forward to summer camp again next year.
Your children do not have to miss out on attending camp this summer. With some effort, you can offer your children an exciting summer camp experience right in your home.
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©2019 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.