A Cure for the Summer Blahs
Most bright and inquisitive children enjoy learning, especially if it’s something new. Summer break is always an exciting time for kids, but for those with a drive to soak up new knowledge, the long days of summer can quickly descend into the summer blahs.
The Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community has the cure! This summer we are offering a number of courses that will present youngsters with interesting and challenging learning opportunities.
High among them is Sharon Kaye’s Western philosophy course. By the time the students work through arguments from Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Newton, Locke, Leibnitz, Rousseau, Hume, and Kant, they will have had a thorough intellectual workout. Dr. Kaye has written novels that are engaging and fun, so the students are drawn in but then find fundamentally difficult problems that they have to stretch their minds to answer. Dr. Kaye will also be teaching in the fall, as will Ingrid Klass, whose Eastern philosophy course is no less intellectually rigorous.
Frances Spielhagen is offering introductory Latin this summer. This is not your normal translation and flashcard memorization course. Instead, it provides a fun and intellectual challenge of making meaning from context. The joy is in figuring out the words from the images and context clues, and many children appreciate getting there.
We are offering an introduction to screenwriting course to challenge kids to think about plot, characterization, storytelling, and audience reaction in ways that are new to them. Students will watch films and analyze them at many unfamiliar levels, which they will find intellectually and imaginatively demanding. The instructor is actor/writer Tom Kemnitz, Jr.
Michael Clay Thompson is offering two literature classes this summer. One will have students reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Wind in the Willows and comparing and contrasting characters, situations, plot, and many other aspects of the novels, while the other class will pursue the same activities with Treasure Island, The Call of the Wild, and The Invisible Man. The students who take Michael’s literature courses are empowered to think beyond short answers to the real substance of what they have read.
Students will be challenged to think in new ways about interior design and art history in Nicole DeLambo’s two courses this summer. Students are often astonished to find out how many elements that they have never noticed go into understanding and assessing interior design. Similarly, her art history course will help students develop new ways of seeing, as well as new knowledge and appreciation of the great artists in the Western tradition.