Gag me with a microchip!

{May 19, 2009}   Summer Camp Struggle

summercampHow in the heck do they expect people to pay for summer camps? They are so expensive. If I only had one child it might be more reasonable but I have 4! To send my three oldest kids to a structured, academically oreintated camp this summer will cost $1500! I’m still not sure how I am going to be able to swing it but its an important experience that I think all american kids should go through. I missed out on summer camps and always secretly wished I could go. I don’t want my kids to be shorted on an experience due to the expense.
Now don’t get me wrong I don’t want to’ get rid’ of them for a week. I’ll miss them! But I want my kids to be as able to recieve structured, academically oriented activities during the summer as any other child. A number of recent studies document slight gains in middle-class children’s test scores during the summer months, while low-income children’s scores show declines of over two months of grade-level equivalency. As a result, low-income children’s reading skill levels fall approximately 3 months behind those of their middle-class peers over the summer a difference equal to about a third of the typical learning that takes place during a regular school year.
See “The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores,” by Harris Cooper, Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri.
Wealthy kids spend their summers enrolled in science,nature and art camps, punctuated with family vacations and the occasional trip abroad. Poor kids, by contrast, spend a disproportionate amount of time at home alone or in programs with minimal mental or physical enrichment. The difference in summer services offered to middle and low income communities is pretty striking!
So I’ll work extra hours, have yard sales, and figure out how to get them the best experience while keeping their academic skills up as well. I don’t really consider myself to be low-income but I am a single mom supporting four children and just above the income level to recieve any kind of financial assistance from any state agency. This leaves me at a disadvantage. To pay this I really have to struggle and it stresses out the house. I know I’m not the only one feeling this sting. My friend Jessica is a single mom of a 8 year old. She makes just above the line for help financially too. She has to leave her daughter home alone a lot because of expenses of childcare. And when summer comes she ends up quiting her job every year so she can stay home with her daughter. This is no way to live.


et cetera