Summer Academic Programs
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Summer Academic Programs
Summer Academic Programs for Kids in Elementary School
We're seeking recommendations for summer camps with an academic focus for
elementary students (one child entering K and the other entering 3rd in the
fall). Both children have been attending a small private Montessori, but we have
decided to switch to public school in the fall to accommodate our family's
long-term financial goals. We are hoping that working on reading, writing, and
math in a small class setting over several weeks this summer might help ease
their transition from Montessori methods/materials to a
"not-so-Montessori/traditional" classroom. We are pretty flexible on location,
cost and schedule. Does anyone have experience with The Academy's summer
academic camp? Any other recommendations?
I recommend checking out Camp Brainy Bunch, at Oxford Elementary this
Are there any all-day academics-based summer camps or summer school for Kinder - 2nd grade
ages? I'm looking for something in either Berkeley or Albany. My child is in BUSD
kindergarten, entering first grade in fall. He is a little behind in reading (some
difficulty even with 3-4 letter words), writing, alphabet recognition, etc. I am seeking
ways to help him with these skills and to keep him from losing ground during the break. I
need M-F full time care (8 am -5:30 p.m.) because of my job. Our Berkeley Public School
offers summer school (BEARS program), but only for low income families -- If I had more
than one kid, we might qualify, but with an only child, we are not eligible. He will be in
play-based child care/camp the rest of the summer. I'm also open to Saturday or Sunday
morning lessons of an hour or two per week. Thanks!
You might consider one of the science/art camps like Lawrence Hall of Science or MOCHA,
Sarah's Science, or a theater camp like StageDoor. Any of those camps would help with
following directions, reading directions, and sequencing of actions. Although it isn't
quite as direct, your son will learn and build academic skills in a fun way. Then you
could supplement this with some tutoring in the fall if it is needed.
I am looking for an all-day (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) summer program with an
emphasis on academics. For a 9-year-old, preference in the East Bay. Any
UC Berkeley has a great program-
Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP).
It's an excellent, three week, accelerated academic program. Definitely
worth checking out. Kids can pick from a variety of classes, (one class for
the entire session) organized by grade/age. Classes are 1/2 day and you can
supplement with a UC sports camp on site, for a full day. Last year my 9
year old son took an anatomy class. They dissected fresh eyeballs and other
animal organs provided by a local butcher.
In March Parents' Press had an extensive list of Summer Camps available in
the East Bay. Under the Academic heading, here were the choices that fit
- Education Unlimited Summer Academic Programs - 510-548-6612 -
- Head-Royce School Summer Program - 510-531-1300 ext. 2500 -
- Orinda Academy Summer School - 925-254-7553 -
- The Academy - 510-549-0605 - www.theacademyk-8.com
All highly esteemed programs.
Best of luck with your search. Hope this helps.
Contra Costa College for Kids
have a great summer program. This year there
will be only one session offered in July because of budget cuts. My 7
years old daughter will be attending. Good selections of classes to choose
from. Here's the link:
They are very professional and always promptly response to my email
questions. Contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org Or
(510)235-7800 ext 4564
My 8 year old son (he'll be a third grader in the fall) could use a day
camp with an academic focus for a least a few weeks this summer. I checked
into Head-Royce's program but it is already full for his age group; he did
Academic All Stars last summer and it was a so-so experience (nice people,
but academic portion pretty weak and inconsistent). Looking in the
Oakland/Alameda/Berkeley area only.
The Academic Talent Development Program at UC is great. The application
deadline just passed, but it's possible that not all the classes for his
age are full. It's the last 3 weeks of July.
I am looking for an academic summer camp for a student
starting 6th grade next fall. Something like the Head-
Royce program which offers middle school transition
courses would be ideal but it is only offered one session
when the student is not available. We are particularly
interested in building organizational, reading and writing
skills. Thank you.
not sure if this meets your exact criteria but check out
ATDP (academic talent development) a UC Berkeley summer
program with academic topic choices for each grade level...
held in Pt. Richmond. Our daughter is younger but loved the
class she took last year. They have to apply, get recs., and
do homework but it is also felt fun and low stress.
I need a challenge for my son this summer. He is ''gifted'' and
is not challenged at all in the Albany school; he's in 4th
grade at Oceanview. He works ahead in the ''Challenge'' program,
as they refer to it. But I want ''him'' to be with other children
like himself and challenged by other children's minds and
thinking for once. I would like him be in a community with
other children like himself. What about this summer 2007 ? Does
anyone have any good experiences with gifted summer programs
around the bay area ?
Education Unlimited is based in Berkeley and runs academic and
artistic summer programs both at Stanford University and UC
Berkeley. Their number is 510.548.6612.
Most programs are overnight, but there are day-camps too (usually
8:30am - 7pm, and some programs have shorter day options 9-5ish).
For elementary school kids there is a Public Speaking Camp,
Computer Camp, and Sally Ride Science Camps.
If the student is entering middle school, there is also an Acting
Camp, and A+ Summer Middle School which is a critical thinking
program where they do reading, writing, and logic/problem solving
My son has always enjoyed the Academic Talent Development
Program(ATDP) run by UC Berkeley. Experienced, enthusiastic local
teachers teach different classes. Check it out at
Any suggestions for summer activites/camps/classes for a gifted
7yr old boy? Loves math, construction toys, crosswords and
puzzles. Nothing too pricey please - trying to balance cost (we
are living on one pretty small income right now) with enrichment.
Mom in N. Oakland
My son had a wonderful experience with the summer camp at
around the corner from Willard Park in Berkeley. The morning consists
of an academic program. Incoming 3rd and 4th graders will be taught
by an author of childrens' books (and popular but occasional subsitute
teacher at the Academy), Doug Evans. My son took the program for
entering 5th and 6th graders, half of which was taught by a math
teacher, the other half by the English teacher. Both programs were
very structured and paced according to the skills level of the
individual child. Both teachers were great. One can pick up one's
child at noon or childcare & other programs, such as swim lessons (or
just water play at Willard Pool), are available until 6 PM, and there
are outings such as ice! -skating on Fridays. You pay for extras, but
the basic childcare of hanging around the yard is also good. The
after-care staff (who work year-round) have been with the school, one
for 20 years, the other for about 10. One of them is an older man who
helps kids with basketball. You are charged only for as much after
care as you actually use, though you get a better price if you pay for
it in advance. (But you'll be refunded whatever portion you don't
use). My athletic kid had more fun there than he did at Golden Bear,
which he went to the previous summer.
Summer Academic Programs for High Schoolers
Has anyone sent their child to the Explo at Yale summer program? My
daughter's friend might be going this year and is trying to talk my daughter
into going with her. (Both will be between 9th and 10th grade this summer.)
My main concern is value. It is expensive. And it is 3 weeks long. I want to
know how it will benefit my daughter academically and creatively. I can
certainly send her to a local camp if fun is the main goal. I can't see
sending her back east and spending $5k for her to have an experience she can
have locally for less.
Also, what might be the best age for programs like this one? Is 15 too
young? She has been away from home without us before (camps and a
London/Paris trip with a group last summer), so I'm not too worried about
her ability to cope. It is just that if we are going to splurge, I want it
to be at a time/age when she'll benefit most.
-- And if you have sent to your child to a different program, but similar in
that it is at a name college and boasts lots of academic and creative
classes & workshops, please feel free to share your thoughts on such
programs in general. --
UC Berkeley and UC Davis let anyone enroll for summer classes who has
completed at least the junior year of high school. It's expensive but
definitely transferable credits, and could be very interesting. One of our
kid's friends took neurobiology at UC Davis that way.
As a rising senior our son actually lived in the UCB dorms one summer (they
are expensive too!) and took a class and worked. It was maybe too much freedom
(he hung out with rich European kids), but we felt better knowing that if
anything went really wrong, we were 15 minutes away. Everyone survived.
Stanford has some summer programs for rising seniors, I've heard.
That's just my two cents.
Am wondering about my Highschooler take one of the UC Berkeley Summer classes, maybe
Philosophy. Do any of you have experience with these classes? Are some better then
others? Thank you!!
My teen has never taken a UC Berkeley summer class, but I've taught upper division
summer courses. These courses are full, 15-week semester college level courses
compressed into a 6- or 8- week timeframe. In other words, you're doing 15 weeks
worth of work in something like 40-50% of that amount of time. The pace is fierce.
If your teen is interested in doing this, or wants the college application
strengthener, this could be a good option. If it is you, not your teen, who wants
this, or if either of you think this is a good way to gain a gentle introduction
to college, I'd advise against it. Think about it: midterm exams 3 weeks into the
subject matter. Classes that meet 3 days a week - often 3 consecutive days - for 3
hours at a time, with little time to absorb the material. Everything on a
condensed timeframe: readings, written assignments, everything. I think of it as
Olympic level college.
In my experience, students take the summer courses because it allows them to: a)
get courses that are always overenrolled during the school year, and/or b)
graduate in 4 years or less, or c) they failed something and don't want to wait
another semester to graduate. Because I've only taught upper-division summer
courses I've never had a high school student in one of my classes, but I'd urge
you and your teen to do your homework about the specific course of interest before
making this decision.
Other side of the lectern
It's quite common for local kids to take UC summer courses. A friend's kid took
Neuroscience before his high school senior year. Both of my high schoolers took a
college course in English, which I think improved their college applications.
ANYONE can sign up for a summer class and then move into the UC dorms, although
it's quite expensive, but it saved our relationship with our 16-yr-old son to do
it. He took one UC summer class (Film Noir?), did his summer reading and papers
for high school AP English in the dorm, and worked his downtown retail job. After
a couple of weeks son started dropping by to sleep, eat, do laundry, and visit. He
became more tolerant and tolerable as he gained psychological distance. Plus we
were still nearby in case anything bad happened. Nothing did, although we were
considerably startled to find out (months later) that he went skydiving in Napa
with a crowd of rich, visiting European students.
UC summer classes are a great idea.
Another great option for high school students is to take one of the Academic Talent
Development Program (ATDP) classes at UCB in the summer. These are for K-12 kids
and can count for high school credit if the school approves.
Much less pressure but still challenging.
Can you please recommend any colleges in California/West Coast who have
good summer programs for a High School Junior in June. She only has
three weeks in June for a program and would love a college campus
learning/living experience. It could also be an older teen program not
on campus but with a focus on learning -- computers/digital
learning/art all good. She's not interested in the Tech groups who use
campuses in the summer unless it's geared to a higher level (she did
one of the Tech camps at UC Berkeley a few summers back and it was
terrible). We appreciate your thoughts and recommendations.
Did you know that anyone who has completed junior year of high
school can enroll in UC Berkeley summer classes? There are
multiple overlapping summer school terms. Check out the summer
schedule to see if one works for you. There might be classes or
times you like better at different UCs, but only Cal finishes
spring semester in May. Also, anyone enrolled in a summer school
class can apply to live in the dorms. Expensive but fun. Lotta
European kids, too.
Does anyone know of good summer debate programs, prefer Bay
Area or LA.
Everything in the country (as far as I know) is collected
at this link: http://www.trinitybriefs.com/cq/sc/
My sophomore has got the idea of taking Chemistry/AP
Chemistry during the summer, with the theory that this
would lighten the homework load for junior year. Is this
possible? A good idea? Have experience with any
schools/colleges offering Chemistry as a summer course?
Before you sign your kid up for chemistry over the summer,
check to see how hard it will be to get it onto his/her
transcript. Many school districts frown on this because they
see it as a threat because it reduces the number of kids
taking a particular course. Both of my kids have friends who
have taken classes over the summer through UC, Vista (now
Berkeley City College?), DVC, and Contra Costa. Just be sure
you can get it to count first.
My 11th grader would do well in a challenging summer program
that offers college credit and treats the kids like adults
-- but has on-site housing and some oversight to reassure
Language programs are one possiblity (child is good in
Spanish and Italian, could add French). Education or
community service a plus.
Pleae suggest anything in NYC, LA, Canada, or someplace
comparable. Hope not to break the bank.
My daughter attended a summer session at The University of Chicago
between her junior and senior years and recommends the program highly.
There are two options, and college credit is given for both. The first is to
select courses from the regular summer offerings. The second, which my
daughter chose, is to take an intesive, hands-on course open only to high
school students. Students live in a centrally-located, air-conditioned dorm.
There is good supervision, a well-enforced curfew, and a comprehensive
orientation, which enable the students to (safely) explore Chicago -- either
independently in groups or with the many excursions offered by the program.
Students seemed to enjoy a variety of courses. I never heard of any
complaints. The program (and the University as a whole) attracts students
who want challenging courses. Her course required serious work, including
lots of reading and a research paper, but it was also fun. She made friends
and had time to explore the city, eat out, shop, and go out to hear music. In
my daughter's case, the program was a chance to try out the University before
applying for colleges, and she's now a first-year student there.
this page was last updated: Jun 7, 2014
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