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Tips For Choosing Summer Camp For Your Child

by Laura Pearson, Guest Blogger, Edutude

Perhaps you are running out of ideas for activities to keep your child busy during the summer months. Maybe you want your child to meet other children their age or discover new interests and skills. Whatever your reason for considering sending your child to summer camp, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Consider the Length

When finding summer camps, are you looking for a half-day, full-day, or overnight camp? According to Simply Circle, half-day camps are typically held for around three hours in the morning or afternoon and provide your child with a few hours of activities. This is a good option for children who are attending summer camp for the first time. Keep in mind that you will need to arrange for someone to pick your child up, so if your work schedule isn’t flexible and you don’t have additional support, you might consider a full-day camp. Full-day camps typically last about six hours, with the possibility of before- and after-care depending on the program. The day is typically a little more structured than a half-day, with scheduled activities like swimming, snacks, and lunch. Overnight camps offer some of the same types of activities as a half- or full-day camp, but it is important that you make sure your child is ready to spend a few days, or a week, away from home. The typical age to attend an overnight camp is about age nine, but only you know the comfort level of your child.

Consider the Cost

Summer camp costs vary depending on your location, camp type, and the number of children attending. Day camps are the most affordable option, with Care estimating the cost to range from $100 to $500 a week depending on whether the camp is hosted by a nonprofit or for-profit organization. Specialty or private camps will typically run from about $500 to $1,000 a week, with overnight camps being the most expensive at about $700 to up to $2,000 or more a week. Keep in mind that prices may be higher or lower depending on your situation, but there is a camp budget suited for everyone.

There are ways to cut costs as well. According to the American Camp Association (ACA), summer camps often offer discounts for things such as early registration, full-season, or multiple campers from a single family. Some camps offer scholarships and financial assistance, so be sure to ask if your income qualifies. Local churches, civic organizations, clubs, sororities, and fraternities may also have funds available to help send children to camp. The ACA also encourages parents to ask whether the camp participates in income-eligible subsidy programs, and look into ways to deduct camp expenses from taxes such as the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Planning ahead could also be beneficial in financing summer camp. If you know you want to send your child to summer camp, set aside a little bit of money each month. Consider letting your child be involved too by setting up a chore and reward system. The ACA says, “The bottom line about camp costs is that there’s a camp for just about every budget.”

Consider ACA-Accredited Camp

According to the ACA, accreditation is voluntary but assures you that the summer camp is dedicated to providing a safe and fun environment for your child by evaluating the camp on up to 300 different standards. ACA accreditation goes beyond standard state licensing requirements and looks at standards such as appropriate staff-to-camper ratios, first-aid facilities, staff training, and goals for camp activities that are developmentally based. To find an ACA-accredited camp, use their website search tool. Regardless of whether the camp is ACA-accredited, make sure the summer camp meets state standards for health, cleanliness, food service, camp staff, and emergency management plans to ensure your child has a great experience at summer camp.

Ms. Pearson believes students can learn more when they have fun doing so. She and Edutude strive to find unique, creative ways for parents and educators to encourage students to be challenged, motivated and excited by learning.

Are You A Bad Person For Sending Your Kid To Private School?

By G. Ruga, Editor, Paying for Private School: Tips and tricks for sending your child to private school

A recent Slate article proposed that if you send your kid to private school you are a bad person.

The thesis for this claim is that if every single child to public school they would improve.

No studies or data are presented to back this up.

And she might be right – but convince us!

Will putting more people into a bad system help? Maybe. But why didn’t it help from the previous generation? Or the one before that? Were those parents lazy? Didn’t they use their influence and connections to improve the education system? Is it better?

An alternate approach is creative destruction. In a system where bad actors (second rate phone companies, restaurants that get everyone sick) are allowed to fail and good actors (first rate phone companies, barf-free restaurants) are enabled to thrive, over time, the bias tends towards more good actors.

That is the private school system. A public school can be reformed but, until folks move away it can also continue to operate “as is”. Indeed, private schools put pressure on public schools to get better by their higher performance. I emotionally get the “we all need to go to public schools to improve it”. Then I think of the clogged roads and how teleworking is opting out and improves my circumstances and enables more of a scare resource (roads) to be more available to those who need it.

We can do better than sacrificing a child’s education in the hopes that doing so might improve the over all system. A better use of these energies is to educate the children who need it now.

A Pain Free Day for Head of School Pane

by Garrick, student at The Woods Academy and guest blogger for Head of School Joe Powers

Today, I was able to work as the Head of School at The Woods Academy. The first words, or phrases, that come mind to describe the day are: fun, interesting, faster than a normal school day, sometimes annoying, but overall, it was a good day.

I learned several lessons today as well. One is that you need to be calm as the Head of School. Second is that you need to learn to say no to people sometimes. Lastly, I learned that I need to be careful sharing my plans because not all can participate sometimes. These were good lessons learned on the job as the Head of School.

There were many highlights from the day. Shaking hands as students entered the back door in the morning was great, even though it was so cold. Teaching PE class was fun. I was also allowed to have a cup of tea while I handed out the birthday stickers. We even learned that we had a student’s birthday listed wrong. So we made the correction. Skipping my classes was fun and having lunch with my friends was great as well.

The biggest challenge I faced was that everyone asked me questions. I think I had received over 100 questions by 11am. The hardest questions were the ones where people asked for certain privileges. I think this is why I learned that it is important to learn to say “no” at times.

Overall, it was a great day. I would recommend that other students should try to be the Head of School for the day. Just remember to smile a lot in this job.