My oldest is 14 and will be a rising junior (there were 2 grade skips).
My youngest is 8/9 (summer birthday) and will be a rising 5th grader.
I’m not sure how wide-spread vaccines will be this summer, but it is very likely that they will not have been vaccinated yet. That means we’re leery of sending them to in-person or away camps. Especially since our area has rampant covid-denialism (a recent faculty/staff survey at the UNIVERSITY showed that only 60% are planning to take the vaccine when offered(!)).
In the past, DC1 has gone to a bazillion engineering and coding camps of varying qualities. DC1 has done sciencey day-camps. Last summer we had been planning on sending them to less academic camps– DC1 was going to go to magic camp and orchestra camps. DC2 was going to do a lot of camp run by the after school program. I also looked into sending them together away to a fancy Spanish camp (Concordia), but couldn’t get the dates to work out. Then the pandemic cancelled all of those.
Our primary need with DC2 (age 8) is that zie have something to keep her busy and out of our hair during the work day. Virtual school days have been so much better than school holidays. Ideally we would not be providing the tasks and instructions and feedback and so on. As far as I can tell, none of the usual camps in our town for middle-schoolers or elementary schoolers are offering virtual options, only in-person.
Our primary need with DC1 (rising junior) is that zie have something that either helps hir with a skill that needs work (Spanish, actual English instead of the crafts and feelings zie gets at school) or a skill zie wants to increase (computer science, magic). Ideally, zie would also do something that looks good on a college application.
DC1 has taken 2 years of computer science in high school and has learned Java and Python and will have taken one of the AP CS exams. There are no more computer science classes in high school after this (they had offered a video game design class in conjunction with the arts department, but starting in 2021 it will no longer be offered to people coming in from the computer science track). There might be computer science courses at my Uni, but I can’t figure out how an at-will high school student can take them during the summer (there are ways during the school year) and zie would probably need to take the intro class (which is not Java or Python at our uni) but I don’t think that is usually offered over the summer. There’s also a community college, but I don’t know if their summer course offerings would be worthwhile or online. Also, zie is taking BC Calc next year, so zie can’t just take the next math class in the sequence because the timing doesn’t work out (summer would only let hir take differential calculus, not both semesters), and zie hasn’t had the prereq for Calc 3 or Linear Algebra.
There are a lot of very expensive summer camps at extension programs of fancy universities sending us paraphernalia, and some of those deadlines have passed but some haven’t. I’m not sure if any of these would be at all worthwhile. They are certainly expensive! And DC1 has gone to versions of some of these that our Uni puts on and we haven’t been all that impressed.
Usually I have this all figured out in January, but with not knowing what is going on with Covid, I just didn’t.
So… I have no idea what to do.
What are you guys doing with your kids? What recommendations do you have?