Friday, July 15, 2011

Challenging

One week of Summer Laureate University For Youth -- SLUFY -- is done.  It's our second year with both kids in the day camp, which is produced by the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Last year we really struggled to get the kids down to Little Rock and back every day.  The camp runs for five hours in the afternoon, not enough time to be worth the thirty minutes each way of commute, so whoever drops them off winds up hanging around coffee shops and libraries until it's time to pick them up. This year we have a carpool partner, so we only have to make half the trips per week, but it's still brutal.

But we decided after last year's experience that it was well worth it for our kids.  The classes are wonderfully interdisciplinary and advanced.  Take the first week of Cady Gray's class on ice cream as an example.  The students conducted taste tests; created their own flavors (each using a base flavor, a fruit, a nut, and a candy ingredient); wrote a letter to Ben & Jerry's about why their flavors should be adopted and produced; designed packaging; and shot a commercial using Flip cameras.  Any kid would love to do those activities, but collectively they create a self-directed, creative, and educational picture of the food business's many facets.

We're lucky that both our kids have been able to qualify for this camp two years running.  Archer's classes are Game Show Probability (and how perfect is that -- today they explored the Monty Hall Problem) and Burning Issues (about fire).  In addition to the ice cream class, Cady Gray has come home with facts about medieval times from her Knightly Days class (we've heard about the plague or "the plaque" as CG termed it, the unfairness of the feudal system, and the code of chivalry, and a lot about the cardbox box and tube castles they've made).

I could wish that all their education were like this, but I'm thankful that at least some of it is.  One more week of SLUFY -- I hope they enjoy every minute.

1 comment:

gcwilkins said...

SLUFY is a fabulous programs. I'm so sorry your kids won't have the joy of experiencing the AEGIS (Academic Enrichment for the Gifted in Summer) program. Mine loved attending AEGIS every summer (David only got to attend one before the program was discontinued). Those were amazing two to three week camps!