When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to do a lot of cool things in the summer. One year, I took a creative writing course with my friends and fellow eight-year-olds. We dreamed up dragons and escapes, illustrated our words with crayon drawings and excitedly swapped stories as we learned the intricacies of grammar from patient, gentle teachers.
When I was a little older, I went to a week-long language camp for a couple of summers. We spoke French exclusively everywhere except the dorms where we bunked with Spanish and German students. We learned about food, music and other culture, too.
After an illness kept me out of school for an extended period of time, my parents decided to send me to tutoring over the summer so I could catch up on Algebra. When I took Algebra 2, I got straight A’s despite all the coursework I had missed in 101.
I was a fortunate child. All of these things serve as fond memories (except maybe slaving over math textbooks in July.) Perhaps just as importantly, these things enriched my education, and I’m guessing gave my parents a little sanity during those twelve weeks off school.
Now I’m a full-fledged mom. I plan activities and camps and summer educational opportunities for my own kids over the summer. It’s surreal as I look back on those long, summer days in my own youth that don’t seem all that distant. I guess they are, though.
I remember sometimes I’d have to earn or raise part of the money to go on my little adventures. My kids are too young to be doing all that, but when I sign them up for activities, I do make sure I’m getting a good deal.
Get a 25% Discount on Tutoring Sessions for Pittsburgh Kids
This summer, one of our local tutoring businesses is putting on some great programs, and offering parents a 25% discount on all courses as long as they book and pay prior to June 12, 2016.
KEFTutoring is a boutique tutoring company that serves the northern suburbs and City of Pittsburgh. Founded in 2011 by Kirstin Fowler, the company has organically grown from initially providing individualized test preparation services. Today, KEFTutoring helps students in grades K – 12 to achieve their goals for enrichment or support through content area tutoring, test preparation (SAT/ACT/SATII/AP/Keystone), and College Counseling.
I can’t tell you how cool I think these courses are. I never took SAT/ACT prep courses, but some of my friends did and passed a small bit of their knowledge on to me. At the time, you wanted to guess on the ACT, but getting an answer wrong on the SAT was actually worse than leaving it blank. Small insights like these helped me score higher; I can only image what I would have learned had I actually taken the course.
College Counseling is really important. Figuring out college funding is no simple task, especially for a teenager. Kirstin worked as an interviewer at Duke University (London,) so she knows what admissions offices are looking for.
Remember those fun summer camps I went to? KEFTutoring has some of that going on, too. There are four-week courses in things like astronomy and environmental science. That writing course I took when I was eight? KEFTutoring has it. Break out the No. 2 pencils and crayon dragons!
In fact, they have so many options it’s probably easier to just show you their summer newsletter. (Note that the timeline for the 25% discount has been pushed back to June 12th rather than June 4th.)
My ultimate favorite part is their overarching philosophy, though. Check out what Kirstin told me about what they do:
“In our work, we believe that all students have the potential to be successful academically. Since the tutoring process is not a “one size fits all” solution, we seek to develop customized learning plans by identifying and addressing the unique needs of an individual student. We aim to demystify the learning process in order to enable a student to grasp difficult content or formulate systematic studying and test-taking strategies.”
In a world where so many round children are being forced into square holes, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear someone who believes in everyone’s potential, and is willing to do the work of uncovering it.
What will your kids be doing this summer?
This post in in collaboration with KEFTutoring.