Experience with off-age intensive summer camps?

Posted by: Zen Scanner

Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 11:13 AM

Sometimes I regret sharing info and decisions with DS8 as he can get very intent on something I'm not sure about.

We were browsing a summer camp brochure. There is a summer intensive Algebra 1 class, full time for two weeks (accredited even;) which is of course targetted for 13-14 year olds. DS wants to take it. Even a camp mix of parkour, robotics, and CSI wasn't more interesting to him.

A year in two weeks is a lot; as much as his math level is close enough I'm not sure his hand-writing, studying skills, and maturity are. And I'm not sure what sort the other students taking it might be (older struggling or younger advanced or some mix.)

Anyone make use of a similar summer intensive course with their kid way off age?
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 11:25 AM

DD took an "algebra camp" summer session when she was nine. Most of the other kids were TigerCubs 12-13yo.

I dunno-- she was rather underwhelmed, actually. She thought that the best part was the last day when the instructor went off on a game theory tangent and talked about set theory.

The other kids' eyes were pretty much glazed over at that point though.



Anyway-- I think that you probably won't really know without trying it, but I would share your concerns. The one that DD took was very much BILLED as a "boot camp, but fun!" and turned out to be more like "basic skills review-- lite!" instead.

Can I sign up for parkour, robotics, and CSI??
Posted by: binip

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 11:53 AM

If the average age is 13, that is late to algebra and I would guess that the kids are taking it to make up their way into high-school honors because they are finally realizing they need to start at Algebra II just to get accepted into most universities (you need to get finish Calc I to get in to many programs). These kids skated through the easy classes in middle school, only for their parents to realize too late that college track starts in 6th grade honors math.

I don't think it would be targeted at a quick learner, though who knows--two weeks, it might be. I'd give it a shot but have a back-up plan. Are you a WOHP who needs to have this set-up? Can you have a nanny back-up plan or a membership at the Y and Kumon algebra sessions in the afternoons if the camp doesn't work out?
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 01:14 PM

I gave him a little bit of a caveat that the kids in the class probably weren't going to be like him; so, the material may not be in a way he finds ideal. It's a mid to upper scale private school that has their math broken up as math67, math78 (includes polynomials), algebra1 89 (which I interpreted as 13, 14; may be 12, 13 or ?)

The best experience for him is the only real concern. He did Hands On Equations last summer for a week and was in the 5th & 6th grade group (after a first day hickup) and that went well and we got a nice (and enthusiastic) complement from the professor afterwards.

I'm with ya, HK, I think I was hopeful just for the whole living vicariously thing.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 02:07 PM

Have you talked with the program? If it is accredited what does that mean? Do they get credit for a whole year of Algebra I in two weeks? The summer school through my H.S. is 6 weeks, and to get credit for a full year of Algebra I it's 6 weeks, 4 hours of class with another 4 hours of homework a night. Very intense.

Two week programs like you describe are often refereed to as bootcamps, or prep classes. They are intended to be taken the summer before a H.S. class and are preparation so a kid can get an easy A the following year. What the intention of the class is will matter as to if it's really an appropriate fit.

By the way it is normal to take Algebra I in 8th or 9th grade (13/14) although honors kids do take it as early as 7th grade. Our district has around a (10%, 45%, 45%) split as to what grade (7th, 8th, 9th) that they start Algebra.
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 02:38 PM

I misread; it is 5 weeks which shifts the plusses and minuses around but doesn't change it much in my mind, and it counts as a full year credit which means it should be on mark material wise.
Posted by: binip

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 03:33 PM

Quote:
By the way it is normal to take Algebra I in 8th or 9th grade (13/14) although honors kids do take it as early as 7th grade. Our district has around a (10%, 45%, 45%) split as to what grade (7th, 8th, 9th) that they start Algebra.


Yes, sorry, "late" was probably the wrong wording. If you're taking algebra after 8th grade, however, it is still in the bottom half of math-takers, so to me it does suggest motivations closer to remediation or catching up, than personal enrichment.

Still might be a cool course.
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 05:21 PM

Thanks, CFK, printed it out and DS stopped what he was doing, grabbed it and started working on it (asking for help in spelling out number words, heh.)
Posted by: ohmathmom

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 05:56 PM

If you find out more and decide against the camp, you may offer your DS the alternative of taking Algebra I this summer through Art of Problem Solving. They offer four summer sessions, and your DS is much more likely to find age mates and other students who are talented in math. They are also accredited.
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: Experience with off-age intensive summer camps? - 03/21/14 07:54 PM

Thanks Portia, I think he would speak up (perhaps too much.) But looking at the class again, a 7:30am start may be a deal breaker on this end.

Thanks ohmathmom, AoPS is mildly tempting and theirs directly satisfies a pre-requisite for Epsilon Camp if we look at that for next summer. DS' challenge is with written communication particularly spelling.

And tomorrow is monthly math club where I'll see if anyone knows of other local options.