Summer may seem far away, but it will be here before we know it! And now is the time to get a head start on planning your child’s summer learning opportunities.
You may be asking, “Is summer learning actually important? Don’t kids deserve a break?”
While it may seem like summer learning is an added stressor for students, the reality is that many students fall behind in their academic abilities over the summer, causing more stress in the new schoolyear. Just like maintaining an exercise routine is important for bodily health, exercising the learning muscles during the summer months keeps student achievement at a healthy place.
Here are 5 important ways summer educational camps uniquely benefit students.
1. Learn from experts in a field
Academic summer camps offer students the unique experience of being taught by experts. The biggest gain for students in learning from a professional is the degree of wisdom and experience offered. Classroom teachers can offer knowledge, but an expert has been through the ups and downs of learning and experimentation within their field. This provides students with a mentor who can help them comprehend the nuances within a field and encourage them to experiment and build perseverance in a specific area of study.
2. Explore academic interests
It is estimated that 20-50% of students entering college are undecided on their major, and 75% will switch their field of interest before graduation. For many students, the question “What are you planning to study?” can cause anxiety.
Summer programs provide an incredible opportunity for students to explore their own interests. By taking advantage of the diverse learning opportunities during the summer months, students can discover what areas of learning really excite them – which prepares them for greater confidence entering higher education.
3. Diversify learning methods
We know that each student is unique and learning looks different for everyone. School settings can be challenging for certain students if the way they best take in information does not match the learning method offered by their institution.
This is why summer learning is an amazing opportunity for students to explore what types of learning methods work best for them. Academic programs in the summer months offer a wide range of learning environments – from experiential and hands-on learning to kinesthetic learning to visual learning. Students have the freedom to choose a program that will fit their learning preferences and discover what types of education experiences benefit them the most.
4. Develop social skills
With cyber-bullying and depression/anxiety at an all-time high for young people, students need positive relationships and social skill development more than ever. Summer camps have been proven to have powerful positive impacts on students’ well-being and happiness. In fact, summer camps are beginning to be considered a preventive alternative to group and individual therapy.
In summer programs, students learn to work together in groups to solve problems and accomplish goals which build their communication and conflict-resolution skills. By being in a summer space where they are able to interact with peers who hold similar interests, young people gain a close-knit, mutually respectful group of friends – relationships that can support and focus them in their return to the school year.
5. Build independence
Summer programs allow students a sense of independence that prepares them for higher education. Away from the structures of home and school, they learn how to direct their own education and interests, teaching them important self-motivation and self-reliance skills. Entering college can be a jarring shift for students in how much they are expected to direct themselves and create their own schedules. By participating in the freer academic structures summer camps offer, students build a sense of independence and prove their own capabilities to themselves.
If you are looking for summer camp opportunities, NJIN’s programs are currently open for enrollment. We offer a triad of summer programs for those interested in STEM research, sustainability development, and equine therapy. Be sure to check out our program offerings to see which best fits your students’ interests and skill-building desires!