Friday, March 18, 2011

Summer Camp Choices for a Home Schooled Child

By James Lorenz

Summer camp is the perfect way to expand the education of a home schooled child. Homeschooling Summer Camps provide safe and fun opportunities for children of all ages and backgrounds to build independence on the foundation of home schooling. A child can use and apply what he or she has learned at home to make independent choices in a safe and more diverse social environment.

homeschool camps can work in harmony with home schooling. Home school parents needn't hesitate to give their child opportunities to test his or her education. Education grows stronger with challenge. Summer camp can help parents get children ready for life on their own. At summer camp, staff members encourage perseverance and listening, giving further reach to the principles already learned in home schooling. Campers learn the value of teamwork. In the camp environment children see successful behavior firsthand and learn to achieve it themselves.

Lonnie Lorenz, Director of Swift Nature Camp in Wisconsin, says that "Summer Camp provides children the chance to be independent and assume leadership roles. Without parents or siblings around, campers often discover their capability to show responsibility, thus improving self-confidence when they return back home".

Advance research work is a part of picking a summer camp that will reward effort with a richly rewarding experience. You can start with the size of a camp as a first criterion for picking the right camp for a home schooled child. The first places to look might be smaller camps in which children are likely to receive the most frequent individual attention. This would bridge the attention a home schooled child is accustomed to with the new wider social setting of a camp environment.

Summer camps offer a wide variety of accommodations to choose from for matching the camp environment to a homeschooler's comfort level. For a child age seven and under who has never been away from home, a day camp program may be the best fit. An overnight camp may be a better choice for a child older than age 8 who is ready to be away from home.

Overnight residential summer camps offer home schooled children a new and exciting opportunity to socialize with other children in a supervised environment. Lasting friendships are made at camp. Many campers return every summer, some going on to participate in a Counselor in Training programs for teens. Campers can eventually become counselors and pass on the worthwhile experiences of camp to new younger campers.

When choosing a summer camp, look for a combination of familiar and new activities. Most quality traditional noncompetitive camps offer a range of activities, blending the comfort of activities a child has tried before or feels confident skill in with activities that challenge a camper to leave his or her comfort zone. The choices of activities available at a summer camp should provide opportunities to discover new skills.

Camp accreditation is a very important factor when considering a camp. Most States have legal regulations intended to hold camps accountable to the safety of every child. Beyond the regulations of any given state, the best source to ensure camp quality is accreditation by the American Camp Association, a nationwide organization. An ACA approved camp is the best first assurance of quality when parents begin the process of picking a summer camp.

Testimonials from current and former campers and references from youth counselors are also very useful tools for deciding if a camp is a good fit for a home schooled child. Campers are usually happy to talk candidly about the experiences summer camp has brought to their lives.

Many camps offer prospective parents and campers an "open house" opportunity to come and visit for a day, tour the grounds, and meet staff members. An open house provides an opportunity to put a child's fears at ease and make sure a camp feels like the right one. During the winter months, camp directors might offer gatherings in places closer to home as a way to meet them along with staff and other campers.

Meeting with the Camp Directors will be the most important part of the process of selecting a summer camp. Openly discussing concerns and feelings with the camp owners is of great value to the process of choosing the right camp. The directors should leave parents of homeschoolers feeling comfortable and well informed about making such an important and potentially rewarding choice for their child.

Learn more at , a free website offering parents information on finding that perfect summer camp for their child.

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