I have noticed something interesting about my sons since they started at Turning Point School. The choices they make during independent playtime have expanded: they are just as likely to turn towards interactive activities (such as building a fort), as they are static activities (such as watching TV). They seem less afraid to try new activities and reach for new goals. In a nutshell, their curiosity has blossomed.
I have enjoyed watching this unfolding of independence as they start gaining the confidence necessary to try new ideas and take calculated risks. But there is a shadow lurking right around the corner that has me—and maybe you as well—worried that this growing curiosity and confidence might recede: Summer Break.
This is how I picture the summer: my children, happily engaged in play with their peers, intent on creating something they envisioned, gaining the courage and confidence to take risks and view failure as a pathway to success, continuing to exercise and grow their creative muscles despite the absence of the regular school day and talented teachers to guide them.
This is what I fear will really happen: Too much screen time. Too little play time. An atrophying of creative muscle. Unhealthy snacks. A deep, diving plunge into… boredom.
What if I told you that during the summer months your child will not simply maintain, but expand their curiosity, creative expression, and thirst for innovation?
Turning Point has specifically developed our summer programming with a “what we imagine can happen” mindset. We do this both through our in-house programs as well as our partnership with Galileo Innovation Camps, which provides students from Levels K – 8 with six different innovative week-long programs from which to choose.
We chose Galileo as our partner in summer programming because their mission is to develop innovators who envision and create a better world—a natural complement to Turning Point’s mission, philosophy, and core values. Inspired by the Stanford d.school, their award-winning curriculum is designed to encourage children to be bolder, more creative, less discouraged by failure, and hungrier for challenges.
Campers in Kindergarten through Level 5 unleash their innovators by exploring art, science, and the brave outdoors; they develop the courage to create, celebrate mistakes, and boldly transform their ideas into reality. Imagine what they might explore in one or more of these weekly themes:
- Galileo Amusement Park: The Art & Engineering of Circuses and Carnival Rides
- Galileo Makers: Move It – The Art of Science and Motion
- Medieval Adventure: Royal Art and Inventions of the Middle Ages
- African Safari: The Art and Science of the Serengeti
Students in middle school can choose from more than 14 immersive majors—including brand new offerings rife with puzzling escapes, YouTube-ready videos, and inventive breakfast bites—that encourage them to think big.
Galileo has a great track record, with over 60+ camps in the Bay area, Southern California, and Chicago. And their program works – after just one week of camp, we see children developing a new mindset about themselves and the value they can bring to the world through their creativity and innovation. In fact, Stanford has been conducting a longitudinal study on Galileo campers to measure how creative confidence increases as a result of attending the program. I know I am excited to see the results of this study and will share those as they become available.
And, of course, our in-house programming—which book-ends the Galileo program with an End-of-School Camp and Back-to-School Camp—is specifically designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore their passions and curiosities in several different disciplines, with an emphasis on student choice. So, in the elementary grades, some students will make robots and others might elect to work in the garden to make and serve healthy snacks through our Dirt to Dish program. In middle school, students can participate in our Counselor-In-Training program and hone their skills in specific areas of athletics and arts.
In addition, throughout the summer, programs for our returning Primary students act as a bridge to the next school year as we create a nurturing, stimulating, challenging, and familiar setting to meet the needs of our students as they continue to explore the world.
If you have yet to explore the myriad options Turning Point provides through our Summer Programs, please explore our website to learn more. We would love to help you make this the summer you imagine for your family.Laura
Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School
Photo Credit: Galileo Innovation Camps