Summer break is fast approaching, and many moms, dads and caregivers find themselves searching for things to occupy the young, brilliant minds of their children. It is a question I am familiar with as the mother of four inspiring and delightful girls. I am also an educator and serve as the Chief Learning Officer at The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects. As I oversee the Septima Clark Academy, The Lighthouse’s school for Black girls in 6th-9th grade, I’ve noticed that most often when we think of summer and children, we think of summer camps. However, summer camp is not always the most economical option for families. Summer camp can also offer other barriers such as transportation or conflicting schedules. Though the world is surely “reopening,” COVID is still a concern or, at the very least, should be a consideration as we make plans that involve our children.
As I’ve parented and taught during the pandemic, I’ve been happily surprised to find there are now far more virtual options for edutainment than we’ve ever had before. With so many to choose from, I’ve compiled a short list of my top three platforms that, depending on the age of your child, provide fun, kid-friendly experiences for your child to explore this summer:
Skill Share boasts “thousands of hands-on creative classes” for folks of all ages to explore. If your child has a creative bent, then Skill Share is a great option. Here are just a few examples of the type of classes your child could enjoy:
- If you have a young visual artist they might love Anyone Can Watercolor: The Basics for Creating Magical Pieces or You Can Draw Anything in Three Simple Steps
- For your creative writer try Write Your Screenplay: The Craft of Story, Structure and Script
- Is your child obsessed with your phone’s camera? Then they might like photography. You can sign them up for iPhone Photography: How to take Pro Photos on Your iPhone
- For the gamers, check out Learn to Solve the Rubik’s Cube the Easiest Way.
For about ten dollars a month, you can offer your child a myriad of choices for a summer full of creative exploration.
Similar to Skill Share, Craftsy is great for children who like to make things with their hands. Craftsy offers courses for students interested in learning more traditional crafts like quilting, needlework, and includes even more photography courses. At $99 a year, it is comparable to Skill Share in cost and can still offer your child a few months of creativity at a fraction of camp costs.
This platform is geared more toward your tech- –focused learners. For students interested in learning more about coding, web development, and popular programs like Photoshop, for around $12 a month Udemy might be just the right fit for the technologically curious.
Choosing a virtual option to pass the time this summer doesn’t have to be daunting. You’ll spend far less than you would enrolling your child into a conventional camp. You’ll have more control over your summer schedule (so go ahead and plan that vacation for whenever you want!), and you’ll give your student an autonomous learning experience. Your grocery bill may be insane, but you’ll have the extra money based on what you saved in camp costs!
The Septima Clark Academy (SCA) is in Jackson, Mississippi, and serves Black girls in grades six through nine. Teachers and administrators provide academic curricula, enrichment programs, and experiences that serve the needs of scholars. For more information about SCA or to request an application, contact email@example.com