“While they’re playing or enjoying the concepts or the topics being discussed in class, they are learning instrumental components of future career pathways,” says Valerie Corbett, the program coordinator for Workforce and Continuing Education, Engineering and Advanced Technology at Macomb Community College. “Starting them younger allows them to possibly generate additional interests.”
Getting that early exposure to careers is key to student success later on – and, through programs like this, it means these students aren’t missing out on exploring potential pathways simply because they aren’t aware of those opportunities.
While the College for Kids program is offered year-round, it boasts its largest selection of classes during the summer months. Here, Corbett offers insight into the College for Kids program in summer 2019.
The gaming trend
Fornite, Roblox, virtual reality, mobile app design and more – these topics are at the forefront of most of today’s kids’ minds, Corbett says. So it was natural for the program to focus on these areas of interest.
“For this summer specifically, we are a little bit more on a technology and gaming focus,” she says. “We’re focusing a little more on coding and video game creation and animation.”
From the stop motion-focused Bricks & Sticks Stop Animation for ages 6-8 to the Battle Royale Fornite-Style Video Games class for ages 11-14 and the Apple iO: Make Your First App camp for ages 8-10, there’s something for everyone this summer.
A young musical start
The younger set – kids ages 3-7 – can explore music through the Tiny Tunes Piano program, which has been around for 14 years. The class is offered one day per week for six weeks, Corbett says. Kids learn to read music by the end of the first class, and, by the end of six weeks, those children learn how to play a song. As they move from preschool beginner to Young 5s beginner to intermediate, students not only cultivate a love of music; they do better in scholastic areas, too.
“Studies have shown that students who study music do excel in science and math areas,” Corbett says.
Each camp takes place at the Center Campus, located on Hall Road in Clinton Township. Camps take place in three-hour increments for five consecutive days. Class sizes range from four to 15 kids. “We try to keep it where there’s a lot of one-on-one with the instructor,” Corbett says.
Having that campus experience is an added bonus to the top-notch programming. “We have kids that get excited and they tell their friends and family, ‘I’m going to college today!'” Corbett says.
Macomb County maintains a directory of all of this summer’s day camp experiences on the Make Macomb Your Home website. With themes ranging from arts and sport to career exploration and more, there is something for every child. Explore it here.
As any parent of school-age kids knows, summer vacation can be more of a hassle than a much-needed break at the end of the year. Which is precisely why Metro Parent created this summer fun and learning guide.
For children who are economically disadvantaged, this slide can be even more serious. Lisa Senac, director of education and life skills at the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, says that by fifth grade, kids can end up as much as two grades behind due to summer knowledge loss.
However, there are simple things any family can do to keep their kids’ minds working during the summer and stave off that slide. It’s not all workbooks and learning games on a mobile device, either – although those are both good choices!
Making outings educational – and fun
Parents can turn something as simple as a trip to the zoo into a learning opportunity. The secret lies in something kids do in school: KWL, which stands for Know, Want to know, Learn.
For example, Senac says, you can ask kids on the way to the zoo what they know about the animals they’ll see. You can get more detailed for older kids, asking about what part of the world the animals come from or what they eat.
Then, help them puzzle out what they want to know. This can take lots of forms. They could figure out what souvenirs they can get with a $10 budget, or they can ask someone exactly how those tempting ice cream dots are made.
During the visit, make it a family project to find that info out. When the trip is over, ask them what they learned.
“It should be specific and focused on things you will end up knowing before you leave – and maybe you learned something you didn’t think you were going to learn,” Senac says. “It’s a way of taking that time to create those opportunities to learn.”
Discussion and day camps
Just finding ways to generate discussion also helps children stay mentally active, Senac says. Engaging them in chats about community issues helps sharpen real-world critical thinking skills, which are extremely important to 21st century learning, Senac adds.
Nicole Richard, executive director of the Metro Youth YMCA, says even the YMCA’s summer day camps are taking more of a learning approach. Counselors ask campers to make observations or write journals about field trips or camp activities. “We’re taking more of an intentional stance to incorporate 21st century learning objectives,” she says.
Day camps, academically focused or not, help keep kids physically active and participating in a positive activity instead of getting into trouble.
Unfortunately, for some families, they are cost-prohibitive. There are options here too. Some camps offer needs-based scholarships. Try online activities, too, like the Virtual Camp: Summer of Science by Metro Parent and Michigan Science Center. In some cases, you can also find discounted or free options.
Central Detroit Christian, for example, provides a day camp for children in three of Detroit highest-need ZIP codes. Staff at the nonprofit, which incorporates several local churches, noticed a lot of kids on the street with nothing to do in the summer months, so they created the day camp. There is no charge to parents, and kids get three meals a day, field trips and more.
“We want to keep them out of trouble and keep their minds engaged,” says Central Detroit children’s director Russell Howard. “There are not as many programs for kids to go to in the summer in our area.”
Howard’s program uses a simple and cost-effective service: The summer reading programs at the Detroit Public Library. Kids get rewarded for reading books, which keeps them interested in reading over the summer and helps improve literacy.
Cherie Bandrowski, who runs programs for Wellspring Detroit, also recommends libraries to keep children challenged during the summer. She suggests parents drill kids on math facts as well, based on what she sees in the Kumontutoring they provide year round.
“So many of the kids, when we test them, we find them counting off on their fingers with addition problems because they haven’t memorized basic facts,” she says.
Expanding older kids’ horizons
For older kids, outdoor programs can help build self-confidence. Central Detroit sends teens to a weeklong outdoor camp where they try new activities and experience nature. Many have never been out of Detroit, Howard says, and so the chance to experience an up-north Michigan summer can help them see things in a new way.
At Wellspring, teens have a chance to join the summer kayaking program. They begin by getting familiar with the boat and how to use it safely at an indoor pool. Then they progress to taking kayaks into shallow water and eventually go on a camping and kayaking trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes.
At the Metro Youth YMCA, Richard runs programs for youth 14-16 and 17-18. Younger teens participate in a summer enrichment program, while the older ones have six-week paid internships at local businesses. They earn a paycheck, and with that comes education about financial literacy, sessions with local entrepreneurs and cultural experiences like trying world cuisines at restaurants and visiting museums.
No matter the age group, summer learning should be fun, reinforce existing skills and let kids develop a sense of self-confidence both in the classroom and out in the wider world. As Bandrowski says of the kayaking program, “It’s so encouraging to see how much they enjoyed it and how good they felt about themselves.”
This post was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly.
So trying seafood? It might be out of the question for your kids. For other families, picky eating isn’t an issue, but seafood just isn’t a regular part of the weekly meal plan.
But that may be something you want to change, according to a new study from Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report says kids don’t eat enough seafood, with more than 90 percent of the animal protein kids get coming from other sources.
Since certain fish and shellfish are good sources of lean protein, calcium and other nutrients – and the main natural dietary source of the essential nutrients docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid – it may be something parents should consider adding to the family diet. You can read the full report here.
So how much fish is right for your child? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics website healthychildren.org, kids should eat “small servings of a variety of fish and shellfish one to two times per week.”
If you’re interested in your child eating more seafood, consider these tips.
According to healthychildren.org, canned light tuna (solid or chunk) is one of the best choices for kids.
Which brands do today’s youngest adults like most? If Netflix or YouTube come to mind, you’re right on track.
A survey from Morning Consult, a global tech company that focuses on collecting and organizing survey data, recently took a survey of Generation Z consumers to find out which brands they liked most. The study measured things like favorability, trust and community impact.
Generation Z – the demographic that comes after millennials – includes those born between 1995 and 2015. Today, the oldest Gen Z-ers are graduating college and the youngest are just getting ready to start school.
This survey, though, only included results from Gen Z adults, who are between the ages of 18 to 21. The data was collected between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2019 and surveyed 1,435 American Gen Z adults, according to Morning Consult.
Here’s a look at the brands Gen Z loves most.
It’s no surprise that the kids who grew up answering homework questions by “just Googling it” rank this company highest.
Does anyone watch live TV anymore? When it comes to Gen Z, it’s probably less common than ever. Instead, it’s all about streaming services like Netflix. Which brings us to No. 3 …
It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to type that, because I’d really like to believe that all those who choose to bring kids into this world would strive to do the best possible job raising them.
But not all do.
Sad fact is there are far too many stories of parents who are abusive, neglectful or just plain slimy.
One such dad that falls under the “slimy” category in my book is Brian Couture of Oregon.
Back in March, this 40-year-old placed a call to 911, claiming that robbers had broken into his house, assaulted him, damaged a laptop and walked out with around $700 from his daughter’s Girl Scout cookie sales, The Oregonian reports.
According to another article by the New York Post, police arrived at his home and found that it had been “ransacked” and spotted with blood. Police soon noticed inconsistencies in the story Couture spun, however, and later got him to confess to what really happened.
Apparently, the dad took the money in order to pay for an erotic massage. When he realized that he couldn’t explain where the money had gone, he cooked up the robbery ploy.
After the confession, a local judge sentenced Couture to 18 months of probation, 80 hours of community service and a $100 fine. He also has to pay back the Girl Scouts the money he had stolen, which they are coming after.
I can’t believe I have to say this, but it is neither ethical nor acceptable to do what Couture did and take money from your kid’s fundraiser to pay to get your rocks off, especially if you don’t have the means to pay it back.
It’s definitely not as bad as starving or beating a child, but it’s definitely on the list of things parents shouldn’t do.
I mean really, I’m not one to kink-shame, but c’mon. Find a better way to pay for your handy-Js, man – preferably one that doesn’t involve your kid, a false police report and wasted tax-payer money.
How crazy is this story, and have you ever “borrowed” money from your kids to pay for something you wanted? Tell us your story in the comments.
Are you looking for a unique way to kick off your family’s summer vacation? Look no further than the flair and excitement of the 11th annual Lyon Township Kite Festival.
This family fun June fair kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday June 1, 2019, at James Atchison Memorial Park in New Hudson. Families who get there early can snag and decorate a free kite, which they can then attempt to fly.
Can’t get the hang of flying? No worries. There are plenty of professional kite fliers on hand to demonstrate more intricate tricks.
While kites are the main draw, this fest offers more than just aerial fun. Closer to the ground, kids can enjoy inflatable bouncers, games, live animal exhibits, magic shows, merry-go-round pony rides and meet-and-greets with Cinderella, SpiderHero and Elvis – plus community vendors and live music for grown-ups.
The 2019 Lyon Township Kite Festival runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 2019 at James Atchison Memorial Park in New Hudson. Admission to the festival is free, but there is a $5 parking fee per vehicle.
Cowboys – and cowgirls – riding into the sunset. Mining for gold along a cool stream. Navigating your way through mountain ranges or down a rushing river. Channeling the Old West is a great way to theme your next family vacation!
After all, a Western-style getaway just begs for adventure – the kind of escapades that will encourage your kids to get outside, get their hands dirty and learn a little bit about history all while trying it out for themselves.
So if you’re ready to embrace the pioneer spirit, here are a few Old West family vacationsto try with your crew (cowboy boots and hats optional).
Start your day with horseback riding lessons at the Double JJ Resort. If you’re already a comfortable rider, there are over 1,200 aces of trails to explore – or what about trying your hand at helping with a cattle drive?
In the evening, enjoy a cookout prepared by cowboys before heading off to the rodeo (Labor Day weekend in 2019). Take a break from the trails at the resort’s Gold Rush Water Park, a 60,000-square foot wonderland with both thrill rides and a lazy river.
While you will be staying in replicas of 19th-century covered wagons, these pioneer mainstays have undergone a modern-day makeover, meaning you’ll be sleeping soundly on deluxe mattresses (air-conditioned, too!). There’s even a wagon with a swim spain it. The wagons are arranged in a circle so you can gather together and watch the stars at night and roast marshmallows on the fire.
Channel Billy the Kid, who lived in Wichita, as your family walks right into a bustling Old West scene in the Old Cowtown Museum. The 23-acre museum property captures what the area might have looked like circa the 1860s and 1870s – complete with a one-room schoolhouse, family homestead and a total of 54 historic and recreated buildings to explore.
About an hour southeast of St. Paul, the town of Walnut Grove was home to the Ingalls family, who lived on Plum Creek. Eight buildings dot the museum grounds, which include a chapel, depot, dugout and, of course, a schoolhouse. The property reimagines what life would have been like for popular author Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose frontier childhood was depicted in her books and then on TV.
Part dude ranch and part lakeside retreat, here, you can take your pick of activities at this resort wedged between Glacier National Park and Kootenai National Forest. Kids ages 6-12 can enroll in the Junior Wrangler program, where they work alongside real wranglers taking care of horses.
And just for teens ages 13-18, there are daily group horse rides on the trails. Bonus: In summer the sun doesn’t set until well after 10 p.m., so you have lots of activity time!
Mining turned small towns into wealthy boomtowns in the Old West. You’ll learn all about it in Virginia City, about 20 minutes from Reno. At one time, the town ballooned to 25,000 residents; today the 900-resident city embraces cowboy-life – and your family can, too.
Tour one of the many mines, laugh your way through the Virginia City Outlaws Comedy Show, ride the old-fashioned trolley or hop aboard the V&T Railroad.
Home of the legendary O.K. Corral, where the infamous gunfight took place in 1881 between outlaws and lawmen Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, Tombstone is a must for any Western movie buff. The big gun battle is still reenacted in town. Along with underground mine tours and museums, there’s also trolley rides, a historic cowboy cemetery and much more to see and do at this Old West original.
While you could camp in a tent or RV in the Blue Bear Mountain area, why not try lodging overnight in a teepee? The deluxe accommodations include a queen-sized bed, but you can also rent rollaway beds for your kiddos.
At this central Oregon ranch, kids get a chance to become cowboys and cowgirls. As part of the Cowboy Cookout, they’re taught how Old West folks walked, talked and dressed. Other activities include riding on ponies, panning for gold and, when the sun dips down, making s’mores by the fire.
Tip for parents: There’s a kids-only clubhouse and babysitting services available if you want a little time to yourselves.
for him and for me. Now, as a first grader, little has changed.
He has ADHD, and with that, executive function disorder and sensory issues. Until we started piecing these symptoms together, I just didn’t understand and I was frustrated. Why wouldn’t he put on socks? Why is change so difficult? Why can’t he keep his hands to himself? And most of all, why can’t I parent this kid?
So many questions. So few answers. Until I started pushing for them.
Something was not right. He’s not like all the other kids. He’s exactly like some of them, though – the kids who get in trouble. He needed something more. Something I didn’t know how to give, or even offer. After six hours of evaluations, therapy and so many questionnaires, we got an answer: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD.
I’m not usually one for labeling, but this one made me breathe a sigh of relief. There are books about ADHD! Websites! Treatment options! And most of all, guidance.
Preschool and kindergarten were stressful for me. My heart had so many emotions. I wanted everyone to see his beautiful heart and charming, dimpled smile. I wanted his twin sister to have a chance at friendships. I didn’t want to be judged.
There were so many things I wish I’d known and been able to understand. Having the tools to change my mindset would have stayed some of the tears.
1. I am not raising a future convict.
At times, it seems like the principal and I have a direct line to each other. And when his temper explodes at home, he says mean, horrible things. These behaviors worry me. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t.
But every time I feel myself wandering down “visitation on every second Tuesday” road, I remind myself that his brain works different from mine. This is temporary. Behaviors change for everyone throughout our lives. His just takes more time.
2. My heart breaks daily, but it also mends.
ADHD is a thief. It steals away the child you wish you had and robs you of the parenting journey you dreamed of. Every time I get a poor report or a call from school, my heart shatters. I want so badly for people to know the good boy I know. To look into his chocolate eyes and hear him say, “I love you, too.” Because every time he gives me this gift, my heart is full.
3. I need to carry around patience by the bucket full.
Whenever I feel like I have enough patience, I’m absolutely wrong. I need more. I need patience in the morning to get him to put on shoes. I need patience at breakfast, walking to school and getting his haircut.
So many times, I can feel people looking at me. I can hear their thoughts, “Why can’t she control her kid? Why doesn’t she just make him do it?” The answer is simple: I’m being patient. This is what he needs from me.
4. The mom guilt spreads on thick.
I have regular mom guilt, but this ADHD mom guilt is next level. I wish I had two “normal” kids. I long to know what it’s like to experience the parenthood that other people have—the hard, nitty-gritty. Not the aggression, explosive temper, heart breaking parenthood.
And then I ask myself, “How can you think like that about your son? He’s your boy and you’re his mom. That should be enough.” Then the cycle starts again.
5. I need to forgive and forget. A lot.
Mentally carrying the jerky behavior of my son for hours or days was poisoning me. After we got the diagnosis, I was able to train my brain to recognize ADHD in his behavior and that helped me turn things around. After all, I wouldn’t be mad at a cancer patient if they got sick in my car, why should I get mad at my son for things he can’t control?
The forgiveness aspect doesn’t just apply to his behaviors, it applies to mine, too. I have to forgive myself faster for losing my grip. I have to be better to myself when I need to step away to regroup. I have to realize that if I forgive him for something, I probably should forgive myself, too.
… Signing up to be a parent takes courage. I remember thinking of all the things that could go wrong and wondering if I can handle any of it. The answer is, yes. I might break, make mistakes and cry more than I’d care to admit, but I feel like I’m on the right path.
My nickname for my son is “The Good Sir.” I started calling him that when he was a chubby baby rolling all over the house. It was kind of prophetic, looking back. I can see what a challenge it’s going to be to raise him, but in the long run, I know I’m going to watch him grow into a fine man.
And that gives me the strength and courage I need.
Rebecca Calappi is a freelance writer and mom to a 7-year-old boy with ADHD. She lives in St. Clair Shores, Michigan
Thrifters, grab your reusable bags – and head to the parking garage at Warren City Square for the return of Warren’s Greatest Garage Sale, running May 26-27, 2019.
Local residents have cleaned out their closets and are bringing a trove of previously loved antique furniture, artwork, clothing, jewelry, sports equipment and other household items to more than 150 tables.
Crafters and cooks also bring their talents to this annual sale. Find different handmade items and delicious baked eats available for purchase throughout the event.
There will even be special vendors, including popular seasonings and appetizer company Tastefully Simple. Nonprofits like Vista Maria will be onsite, too, so that you’ll leave with valuable information on fostering kids and other important topics.
Warren’s Greatest Garage Sale is open from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, and Monday, May 27, 2019, at the City Square Parking Garage. It’s located on Van Dyke Avenue, just north of 12 Mile Road. Admission to the sale is $1/person. Fees vary for the items on sale.
I think I must be one of about15 people in the world that has never liked Game of Thrones.
I can honestly say that I haven’t seen a single episode of the hit HBO series and, as for the books: I got through the first half of the first book – though I may give them another try.
I’m not a member of any houses, I don’t care who took the Iron Throne and I’m certainly never going to name my child after a character, but I’m in the minority.
In fact, the Daily Beast reports that in the last year, more than 500 moms have named their child after Daenerys Targaryen, who goes by Khaleesi in the show, making it the 549th most popular baby name of the year.
Last Sunday, during the second-to-last episode of the series, Khaleesi made some questionable choices – spoiler alert: The mother of dragons burned down Kings Landing and killed all the people there, including innocent children.
Almost immediately, jokes about the moms who had chosen this as their child’s name hit the internet, and many moms began to weigh in.
One such mom, Jasmine Estrada, who had named her 6-year-old daughter “Khalessi,” from a combination of the show’s “Khaleesi” and her mom’s mispronunciation of the name, was horrified by this turn of events.
She told the Daily Beast that she thought Daenerys had gone crazy and that she was “in shock” and “disappointed” in the power trip and subsequent destruction, saying, “she lost her marbles.”
On the other hand, mom Katherine Acosta, who reportedly named her daughter “Khaleesi” after a particularly difficult pregnancy, says that she understands the character’s role and decision to take out the town, but admits that her daughter might be a bit shocked to find out where the name comes from.
Both moms, however, said that they stand by their name choice, which is good – because it’s probably a touch too late to change their kids’ first names without confusing the kids.
That said, I hope they and all moms out there learn a lesson from all of this: Maybe wait until a character’s story arc comes to an end before bestowing your child with the name of a homicidal maniac.
What do you think of the name “Khaleesi” and would you ever consider naming your child after a fictional character? Tell us in the comments.