by Valeria Fontanals/ for BKB Moms
Summer is a great opportunity for children to explore and nurture their talents. Most often than not schools do not provide all the experiences that children need to develop their full potential, so summer camps provide the chance to fulfill that gap. We are lucky to live in a city that offers such a variety of options; from spending the day with animals, to being artists or scientists, to play at the beach as lifeguards.
During the first 6 or 7 years of life children should have experiences in as much a variety of domains as possible (language, arts, numeracy, science, social, etc.) to explore and identify areas of strengths and preferences. Later on, children might be able to choose his or her area of strength and develop that specific talent (such as playing tennis, chess, gymnastics or art). Summer also provides enough time to work not only with your child’s strengths but also with your child’s weaknesses. When children are behind academically, this is the favorable time to catch up.
As an expert in talent development and with Harvard Professor Howard Gardner’s Five Minds for the future framework in mind, when choosing a Summer Camp, I would strongly recommend considering the following aspects:
- Are you giving your young child the opportunity to explore in different disciplines? Instead of staying all summer long under the same type of activities, people and environment, expose him or her to as many diverse experiences as possible. Grow his or her ability to develop beyond the comfort zone. (Disciplined Mind)
- What are the core disciplines in your child’s school? How about choosing activities for the summer that your child never experienced before? Look up for camps that invite your child to learn about new disciplines. (Disciplined Mind)
- Do you identify a specific strength and preference in your child? How about giving your child the opportunity to excel in that area? For example, two years ago I recommended sending my niece to a gymnastic camp. Back then she was very energetic but have never experienced dance or gymnastic in particular. She was only 5 years old and the camp was a good mix between practice and playing. Right after the camp, the trainer mentioned that my niece movement and balance had a great potential for further development. Since then, she has been attending gymnastic practices all year long and she is competing on a regular basis. It is helping her be more responsible and disciplined, while also being highly passionate about it. (Disciplined Mind)
- Check if the camp gives the chance to nurture your child’s creativity. This is a great opportunity for children to learn from their mistakes and try out new and creative solutions. Unlike school, they will not be graded! (Creative Mind)
- Help your child make connections between his or her daily experiences through the year with the ones he or she is having during summer camp (Analytical Mind)
- How about giving your child the opportunity to interact with a broad variety of peers? Meeting new people make children become more aware of other’s perspectives and ways of living (Respectful mind)
- To nurture your child’s ethical mind, choose a camp that encourages diversity and offers opportunities to interact with children who are not all alike to yours. Summer camp gives the great chance to meet children from diverse backgrounds and interests. (Ethical mind)
Atrévete entonces! experiment, there are many options out there! We invite you to join us May 4, 2017 to hear about our recommendations for the summer. There are lots of programs and we have reviewed and summarize them for you, join us at Novecento Brickell for a nice breakfast and great info on different programs! Ticket is $10 and you should RSVP as space is limited!