Can anyone recommend school holiday classes that will extend g&t kids? We have 9 and 11 yr old boys and have been in Auckland just over a year. Last year we tried a camp run by Active Kids (or some such name) but it was not aimed towards kids like ours. We also tried some computer workshops but there were too many kids with one teacher - a young guy, and I felt the age range was too wide. Again it wasnt just directed at gifted kids and overall rather expensive when we considered the number of kids in the group (I counted 26). We would ideally like to find something that would extend but at the same time entertain them so it should not be too much like school. Any ideas gratefully received. Tamzin
You are in luck - there are holiday classes in Auckland specifically for gifted kids. They are run by Jean Hendy-Harris, who has been providing these for many years now. You can find out about what is on offer in the next lot of holidays at http://www.holidayseminars.co.nz/next_seminar
You might also like to have a look at the workshops on offer from Bubbledome - although not directed solely at gifted kids, the topics they run are of interest to many, eg architecture, 3D computer animation, photography and design, science, movie-making. Their website is www.bubbledome.co.nz - click on the Holiday Workshops icon.
I think prices run at around $250-300 for three days for both Holiday Seminars and Bubbledome.
For those who might not be able to float the cost of Bubbledome etc you might want to check with the local teacher training institutions. Down here Canterbury offered drama workshops last year. Very cheap - something like $5 per half-day?? I may be wrong about that but I do know that it was very affordable. I can't say what they were like (can anyone help???) but perhaps something like drama gives more scope for creativity and imagination, all the while giving teacher-trainees more experience with kids.
Of course, in an ideal world our children would do classes and workshops with other children who were passionate about the topic and not with children who are there only because their parents had limited options. But, we all know it's not an ideal world.
We have attended community classes (like drama, art, etc) in the past and they are good and cheaper of course. I guess they must be subsidized in some way because sometimes there were only 8 or 9 kids and they could not have made money for anyone. The Bubbledome stuff was OK but we felt classes were too big at times and just a bit chaotic.
We have tried Active Kids also but they were maybe just a bit too, too active (well they warned us). We are going to give the Achieve Potential ones a go these holidays. They look great on paper so fingers crossed! Hey this forum is great isnt it?
we run afterschool science and technology clubs during school term
Howick on Thursdays ( 4-5;30pm)
Devonport/northshore on Tuesdays 4-5;30
Parnell/newmarket on Wednesdays 4-6pm
Papkura /Mondays 4- 6pm
fee for full term .. 9 weeks is $ 240 that covers material for take home projects .
kids are working towards science and technology projects or CRET awards.
i also plan to run a programme called
EXTENSION SCHOOL FOR YOUNG INNOVATORS IN May this year from Parnell
please send your mailing address for leaflets and other info.
we have also been running hands on activities during school holidays.
Maximum numbers are 10 per session/ tutor but never more than 15 for two tutors.
Melvin Din works separately from Bubbledome Im sure and his workshops are very good if the kids are into that kind of thing. Our problem is that our girls (11, 9 & 7) are not into it and not into computers much either. I am wondering about the others mentioned by Sue. Has anybody tried them recently?
Di you all receive the email from NZAGC about this one. It looks fantastic!!! Some of them are free while others cost standard entry free. Only downfall is that they are in Auckland so might be inaccessible to many of you. Sorry...
Biomimicry Family Quest Day – Learning from Natures Designs – for all ages.
Wed 7 April – Auckland
Look at how things work in nature and compare with how we would do it. What can we learn from nature to develop and/or modify solutions to problems that we face?
Choose from six quests:
Auckland War Memorial Museum – Heritage focus - FREE
Auckland Zoo – Animal focus – Standard entry fees apply
Maritime Museum – Marine/Design focus – Standard entry fees apply
MOTAT – Technology/Agricultural focus – Standard entry fees apply
Arataki Centre, Waitakere Ranges – Rainforest focus – FREE
An Environmental Restoration Site – Location yet to be confirmed
For full information please visit http://www.kaitiakitanga.net/biomimicry/ .
Many thanks to Sue who directed us to the holiday courses for gifted kids. We tried them and my boys were stoked. Really well organised and the boys were kept busy all the time. A great choice of classes and my oldest (at first doubtfull about going at all) just loved the ancient history stuff he did with this terrific teacher called Russell (sorry cannot remember his second name). Josh came home with a fabulous painting and done on a real canvass which he loved. I was impessed.
Hi Joanne, flying up from where? Even if it was Ch.Ch. it would be worthwhile I'd say. In fact there was a kid from Queenstown there last week and heaps had been before (more than once) and they seemed to come from all over. What I liked was that the tutors were not just students earning money in the holidays but really experienced in there field and a couple were quite unusual people. One guy Paul Wallis (I think) was an actor and he took a Shakespeare class - and it was just great with all the kids really involved. And Elaine who did forensics and solving mysterys was terrific and got all the kids involved in a medieaval feast. The costumes were fantastic.
Mine are dead keen to go again and I might be a helper/supervisor next time because they have a scheme where you can reduce the fees that way.
Im interested in this because the little guys can get really bored in the holidays. What was the age range in these classes? We went to a holiday course last year where it was 7 to 17 years!!! Supposed to be organised into age groups but dident turn out that way. A real rip off.
Hello everybody - just a thought but its worth asking about funding or scholarships. Our son was given a Todd foundation scholarship just over a year ago and I know that the woman who runs the classes does sometimes give places or will reduce the cost if its possible but thats always at the last minute so not so good for organising travel. Aaron had a great time and is very keen to go again. He did one of Elaine le Sueurs detective classes and also one on Ancient Greece.
I highly reccommend Melvin Din science and technology classes. My nearly 7 year old is attending his Howick after school class and has also done a Rocket science school holiday class and he has really enjoyed it and it has provided the extension he needs which he does not get in school science. We have also tried Bubble Dome and again my son loved it and it is well worth the cost I believe.
We have also tried drama holiday program and a one day drama peformance class with Performance Net which was great if your kids are into acting and singing.
This last holidays he did a 1 day Cartoon Drawing Workshop booked through Active kids website which was good.
I try to vary the things we try each holiday and there are some great programs and course avaiable and for us I find as long as they have a wide age range my son can fit in with what is being taught. He is not very social so that side of things is not an issue for us as he does not care if he makes friends or has anyone to play with, he happy to do his own thing.
We have not tried Melvin Dins' courses so we might give them a go. Its great to have something for after school. Bubble Dome used to do after school classes and I think they were better value over all than the ones in the holiday periods because there were less kids there. The active kids ones might be worth trying too. We have tried most things because I work partime and its always difficult in the school holidays. The most expensive classes I think are the ones put on by Parnell Trust. Very expensive and not worth while for us (might be different for others I guess). We are giving the Achieving Potential seminars a try in July. We have heard great things about them and the programms certainly look good. Has anybody tried other classes than those allready mentioned?
We have found the Achieving Potential seminars to be great-just make sure you figure out first which-Junior or Senior your child will prefer-can depend on the cohort at that time.
We did the computer Bubble Dome three day holiday program one year -quite intensive and after which my child was both worn out, ratty and restless at same time(sorry-can't express it any better).
Both my kids have done the Children's Art school holiday program at Epsom (Auckland Uni's Teachers Training College)-it was terrific. Interesting -just as long (in hours)-just as intensive as Bubble Dome-but children tired, relaxed and sort of satisfied at the end of the week compared to the Bubble Dome computer course (and both my kids are computer focussed).
This is all pretty subjective -of course. I also try and vary from holiday to holiday what the kids do, they hate being bored.
We tried Parnell Trust robotics course and the kids enjoyed it but it was expensive (very) and the guys running it were a bit young, students I think.
We also tried Bubbledome and the class was very crowded and breaks a bit long considering what we were paying. We did one Melvin Din and it was great.
Sorry but this has to be said - it's all very well to criticize what is provided (i.e. holiday computer courses) - i.e. it makes your kid ratty, its too expensive, to many kids in class and so on but have you ever stopped to think it may simply be over your kids head? Theres no way its easy and thats a fact. Also there are a lot of kids because its very popular and these other courses such as Jean Henry Harris might simply NOT be. Another thing is that its a business and has to make money and if the teachers are somewhat young I bet they know there stuff. We think there pretty good value for money and stack up well against all the others being discussed.
I know what you mean. Mine were very disatisfied after doing the computer course and I dont think they felt that they were given any real time from anyone. The information was just kind of dished out to them and they had to sink of swim (mine sank I believe). The Achieving Potential Seminars were quite different. The only complaint they had was that the lunch breaks were short but Im not sure what the time frame was. If your kids like Art there was a teriffic woman teaching an art class. Her name was Hillary and she was great and taught the kids a heap about art appreciation and each child had a lot of attention. Also the other thing I liked was that poor behavour wasnt just overlooked but attended to at once and problems sorted out. Mine both came out really buzzing.
Hi there, I didn't mean to sound so critical actually but when things cost a deal of money its hard not to be. My biggest gripe was that there are 25 kids in the class at our school - and 26 in the computer workshop. I know that indicates that its popular but.....! Anyhow the good thing about this forum is that we can all say what we mean I thought.
My ds8 attended JHH last year and enjoyed it, this last holidays he attended bubbledome and absolutely loved it, not two questions!!! I will have a fight trying to get him to go anywhere else, he is already asking about the next one. It just depends on the kids I guess.
I think Marshe is right - it totally depends on the child involved. My son went to Jean's seminars and he enjoyed them but he loved BDome even though the class was packed. My daughter hated BDome, said it was to noisy and just loved Jeans courses. My only concern with computer courses is that the kids are interacting mostly minus a real person.
I had not thought of that and your right. Also all the programs being used are freely downloadable as far as I can gather so theres no real expense involved involved except for the person teaching. I cant really see why some of these things have to be so expensive but I guess you go into it with your eyes open.
Well I guess you cant blame them for wanting to make a buck or two and to be fair lots of the kids really enjoy the classes. My own concern is that they are not directly aimed at G&T kids and just appeal to a certain kid of kid (boys mostly). I wish there was something organised just for G&T but I guess thats elitism.
I just wanted to make a comment. My boy is now 9 and when he was just 7 he was accepted into the APS in the holidays. The thing he loved more than anything else was the historian who brought with him lots of ancient Greek and Roman artefacts which the kids could just pass around, etc. That memory has stayed with him for two years now and he often tells me that he wishes school could be like that.
My daughter (who is a Tech Angel and blogs, writes games, very geeky) hated BubbleDome. There was no personal attention, the teacher was stressed out, and the front desk staff grumpy and resentful.....
She has continued on with some of the content, but has had far happier experiences with the same tech in different settings. The Christchurch library system ran far better courses when we were living there - and possibly still does.
Yes they do still run those courses through Christchurch libraries or at least they were running them this time last year. My kids just loved them. They have not been quite so complimentary about the others under discussion however. Complaints include the following: no personal attention, lunch breaks long and boring, bullying during classes and breaks, boring content which is available free elsewhere. My own complaint? Way too expensive for what you get for your money.
Well the APS courses could not be accused of breaks that were too long. In fact that was the only complaint Sassy had - that the lunch was too short for her taste. And there was plenty of interaction with adults as well. In fact plenty of adults around each time we went. We had no problems regarding them being poor value for money. At times I thought once or twice about the expense when two of mine were attending though.