Summer break is a yearly challenge. Planning vacations, balancing schedules, and finding time to relax keep many families busy. Finding just the right activities to keep our children happy and engaged is an on-going struggle for parents. However, for gifted and talented students, planning a healthy and enjoyable summer is absolutely critical. Without the structure of classes and the healthy academic challenge, gifted students often languish in boredom and restless energy during the long summer months. Combat the infamous “summer slump” with these challenging and enjoyable summer activities.
Some parents see summer camps as nothing more than a way to get their children out in the woods for the summer. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Many amazing summer camps exist around the country that are specifically geared toward enriching gifted students. Science, computer technology, engineering, art, and theater are some of the most-loved camp themes. Even children interested in future intelligence and law enforcement careers have a special niche at camps such as the U.S. Intelligence Careers and Student Programs in Fort Meade, Maryland. These specialized summer camps offer active learning opportunities and fun activities designed to challenge and motivated students to reach for their potential. Regardless of your child’s unique interests and hobbies, there is a camp that can offer them healthy challenges and new friendships.
Volunteering and Non-Profits
One of the best ways to coax shy students from their shell is to help them learn the value and enjoyment of helping others. Gifted students have an enormous potential for offering passionate care, but some find it hard to leave their comfort zone. Organizations such as Volunteer Match offer children and their parents ways to find volunteer opportunities at the non-profits they love most. Find what causes your child is passionate about and look for ways to actively involve them. Children that spend the summer working for amazing causes often start the school year with many happy and well-loved memories. There’s nothing more rewarding and stimulating than finding a cause worth fighting for.
College Summer Programs
Many gifted students are very excited over the prospect of their future college years, particularly high schoolers. Give them a taste of the challenges and excitement by enrolling them in one of the many summer college programs hosted around the country. Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, and John Hopkins are just a few of the amazing schools that reach out for eager high school students. These programs are designed to prepare students for the rigors of college life by offering challenging summer classes, internship opportunities, and even chances to study abroad. Some of these programs transfer to college credits that give your child a head-start on their college career. In addition to the academic opportunities, many of these college programs offer fun sight-seeing trips and activities to help students branch out and form new friendships with their peers. Although some of these programs are costly, financial aid and scholarships may help alleviate the price. Regardless, these amazing opportunities are well-worth the investment.
Students that plan to enter the business world one day thrive when given the unique opportunity to launch their own start-up. These “summer start-ups” introduce children to the world of market tools as well as the personal discipline needed to keep their business ventures afloat. Creative students that excel in art and design have many opportunities to begin selling their creations online. Etsy, DeviantArt, and Zazzle are just a few great online platforms that allow growing artists to begin building their portfolio and growing contacts. Students that wish to pursue careers in writing and other literary fields can gain valuable practice and experience with freelance writing platforms. In addition to earning their own money, students that gain early practice with self-employed business ventures gain valuable tools and practical know-how for success in their future business endeavors.
It’s no secret that gifted students are often the most comfortable in a classroom. Learning is sometimes viewed as a hobby and enjoyable past-time. However, during the long months of summer break, many gifted students begin feeling restless and bored. Although summer break is traditionally viewed as a time for relaxation, allowing your child to take a few summer classes is often a wise compromise. Allow them to select one or two classes to take “just for fun.” Sports, art, theater, and other creative avenues are great ways to spend a challenging but fun summer break. Although learning is important, grades alone shouldn’t necessarily be the emphasis of these summer classes. Help them emphasize having fun and making friends with fellow students. These classes should be challenging enough to keep your child properly motivated but not so stressful that their vacation is miserable.
Summer break is rich with opportunities for continued growth and amazing memories. Although your child’s summer schedule may be more relaxed this doesn’t mean they have to spend the summer bored or restless. Invest in one or more of these amazing gifted programs! For more information on stimulating summer activities, please contact us today.