Friday, June 30, 2017

Bauer Boys on Campus

The tuition's a tiny sliver of the usual cost and there are zero book fees.

Homework is never mentioned and you can forget about those 15-page essays. At this college, you are even served free snacks and a daily dance party between classes. Plus... there are only four days required to graduate. Sounds just a bit different from my college days.

The college in question was attended by my sons over the past two weeks. It's Kids' College at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, and it caters to students going into grades 1-6. Just like the version of college we know and love, kids choose their own courses, most of which are centered around science, art, or technology.

Nathan has attended every year it's been available, and he's always chomping at the bit when the course catalog arrives. He has taken the "DigiKidz" course four years in a row and learned everything from movie production to video game coding. As Owen is going into first-grade in the fall, this was his first chance, and he loved it. He didn't know a single kid or teacher going in, and he really wasn't sure what to expect. But after scrambling into the car on the first day, he was proud to tell me "I'm going back tomorrow!" He made glow-in-the-dark slime in the first hour, for crying out loud.

A college employee was also quick to inform me that no holds were barred by my son in the Whip/Nae-Nae competition. As much as Owen learned about the different forms of matter, the rest of the college was schooled on his dance skills. It was a fair trade, I think. Read on for a few more details about Kids' College 2017, straight from the boys:

Why do you like Kids' College?
Nathan: "Because it's fun and you get to meet new people. There were some cool kids there that I would not have ever known because they don't go to my school."
Owen: "I think it's fun because you get to go in classes and do science things. And I liked that we got to be very loud at Kids' College because we can't at school."

What was your favorite class this year?
Nathan: "Engineering 101 because you got to make a lot of fun stuff."
Owen: "Ooey-Gooey Science Lab because I like slimy stuff and getting messy."

What was your favorite project?
Nathan: "We made a marble course in my engineering class out of paper plates, a paper towel roll, and cut-up straws. When I finished it and let my marble roll down it, it didn't fall and went through perfectly. I was shocked that it worked!"
Owen: "In science we got to make Oobleck and that is just a liquid that is a solid. I think we made it with water and corn stuff. And my teacher was very nice and she gave me some to make at home, too."

I am happy to report two kids who are were sad to see this college year end. I love that my kids have opportunities to build on what they learned in school, but in such a different environment. It sure beats sitting on the couch!

Does your local college or school offer any cool summer programs for your kids?
Let me know what they're taking!

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