Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cool Summer School

Kids at home for the summer about to drive you nutso? Here's a solution that's way more interactive than day care, cheaper than summer camp and more fun than summer school: College for Kids at Tulsa Community College, a nationally recognized program right here in T-Town.

We're solidly into July now, but that doesn't mean it's too late to sign up. Each class, varying in length from 1.5-3 hours each day, is a week long, with new classes starting as the previous week's classes end. By the end of the summer TCC will have hosted about 200 College for Kids classes ranging from rocket science to video game design to blogging, so there are lots of choices, too.

Marquetta Finley, director of continuing education in academic, family and youth enrichment at TCC, invited me a few weeks ago to sit in on a class focused on teaching math to kids through cooking.

This class couldn't have been more up my alley. I've always been a bit of a math geek, and we all know how much I love to cook and eat and simply exist in the presence of food. I wished I could have stayed the entire week.

I might have had a problem blending in, though.

These girls and boys (boys! In a cooking class! Oh, yeah!) are learning about volumes and measurement conversations from teaspoons to tablespoons to cups and pints and, well, you get the picture. The kids worked in groups, filling out worksheets along the way. Before long, they were covered in flour and, undeterred, on to the next project.

I loved how the kids got to learn two life skills in one sitting. I know too many kids who can barely pour a bowl of cereal, let alone whip up a batch of pancakes for Mom on Sunday morning. And as we've been told over and over during the past couple of decades, math education in this country is well behind that in others. Any way to get a little extra learnin' in, especially if it's tied to real-life situations and is thus validated as a useful subject in indignant minds, is a good thing, especially at a rate of as little as $6 per day.

Plenty of kids are taking advantage of the program - about 900 - and enrollment stands at 3,400, meaning plenty of kids are having too much fun to enroll in just one class. The courses start at $30 (just try to find someone to watch and enrich your kids for a few hours a day for a week at that price, y'all) and go up, depending on the child's age and course level, i.e., the rocket science course would, understandably, cost a smidge more than the blogging class.

The TCC Web site is the best place to get a course listing and to get signed up. If you prefer to pick up the phone, dial 918.595.7566 to enroll.

Happy learning, kiddos! Don't forget to invite me to the mini rocket launches; I always love a good rocket launch.

1 comment:

Jill of All Trades said...

We utilized those programs many summers when my girls were young...my, my that was a long time ago.

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