Everyone is going to make their own but we are going to help each other
Thirteen students aged seven to 12 years of age along with five of their parents attended a fun-filled but also very educational Sun West Distance Learning Centre (DLC) Learning Camp on March 13 in Kindersley.
Organized and facilitated by DLC K-9 Department and Personalized Learning Coordinator Kathy Grad, the camp included hands on science, art and physical education activities that kept the students busy while also keeping a smile on their faces.
While teaching the students useful information consistent with their learning goals the Learning Camp also provided a valuable lesson in cooperation. When Kathy was asked by one student whether they would be working in groups or on their own she answered: “Everyone is going to make their own [project] but we are going to help each other.”
Selena Edmunds who brought two of her children to the Learning Camp stated: “It’s a positive community – [it includes] kids of all ages and the older ones help the younger ones – [it’s] an overall positive experience.”
It is this element of students working together that motivated the parents to bring their children to the Learning Camp. As Jamie Pittman, who had three children at the camp explained: “Learning Camps help create a sense of community . . . [they] provide an opportunity to collaborate with the DLC staff and other parents and provide the kids with an outside perspective; seeing other kids that do school the same way they do, is the most valuable part of these camps.”
Jaime Pitz, who brought her three children from St. Walburg, nearly three hours away from Kindersley, indicated that she felt the social aspect of Learning Camps were “. . . a great opportunity for kids.” She said: “[they] allow the kids to have fun learning.”
At the camp, Kathy taught the students how to apply some basic aeronautical principles by creating their own whirlybirds. Made with paper and scissors, the students had a great time making their whirlybirds and then dropping them to the ground to see how their paper rotors worked similar to that of a helicopter. They also enjoyed creating a paper box using the principles of Origami.
The students responded enthusiastically to instruction from Kathy, which was another reason the parents brought their children to the camp. Children taught from home through distance education generally have only one or perhaps two instructors, their parents, so the chance to learn from Kathy was a nice change of pace. Rachel Kornelson who brought three of her children to the camp said: “[Learning Camps give the students] the chance to be with others kids and get a different instructor; it helps them know they are not alone.” Jamie Pittman agreed saying her children: “love listening to someone else.”
While giving their children some variety in instruction, Learning Camps give parents a chance to meet other parents who respect their decision to teach their children from home. Jeanette Jackson who brought two of her children to the Learning Camp commented: “Learning camps are valuable as a socializer [because] here parents and kids don’t have to be defensive or feel different.”
The DLC holds Learning Camps as well as other activities to bring home-based students and parents together on a regular basis. The DLC encourages all parents to consider attending. Announcements about upcoming events will be forthcoming as dates grow closer.
The students who participated in the DLC K-9 Learning Camp on March 13 in Kindersley.