What You Need To Know
About IYE Accelerated Full-Day Summer Camps
for Summer 2021

You can see most common questions below. To read an answer, simply click on a question that is of interest to you. If you have a question that is not answered here, email scheduling@improveyourenglish.com

You can see full schedule and prices of IYE Summer 2021 Camps here: IYE ACCELERATED FULL-DAY SUMMER CAMP SCHEDULE

Why does my child need to enroll in an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp if he is currently in 1-1 tutoring with IYE? +

Question: Why does my child need to enroll in an accelerated summer camp if he is currently in 1-1 tutoring with IYE?

Answer: Mastery of English requires mastery in four areas: vocabulary, reading, writing, and grammar. 

With reading, your child needs time to read. With writing, your child needs time to write. In our 1-1 tutoring program, these are homework assignments. 

If you child were to spend time reading and writing during a one-to-one tutoring session, your tutor would be doing nothing for, say, 20 minutes while the student is writing. There are more efficient and more effective ways to be spending time in one-to-one tutoring. 

This is why with IYE 1-1 tutoring, your tutor assigns your child homework and during 1-1 tutoring sessions your tutor actively interacts and engages your child. 

But does your child read and write enough at home? Unless your child reads at least 10 hours a week independently and receives immediate feedback from someone, like a teacher or a parent with an advanced degree in English, for his writing at school, the answer to this question is no. This is where accelerated full-day summer camps come to help. 

IYE accelerated full-day summer camps offer a number of benefits, such as accelerated learning of vocabulary, immediate feedback on iterations of writing, helping students brainstorm ideas, working in a distraction free environment for many hours at a time (no devices, no YouTube, computer games or social media), and more. 

After receiving this in-person reading and writing, your child will read and write more efficiently and effectively when sitting at home at his desk. 

For a full list of the benefits of IYE accelerated full-day summer camps, see this page

To improve his reading skills, can’t my child just read a list of high-interest books? +

Question: To improve his reading skills, can’t my child just read a list of high-interest books?

Answer: This is a lot like saying, “Can’t my child become a better basketball player by going to a playground and running around with friends?” Playing on a playground is valuable exercise, and it is better than staying and home and playing video games, but it will not help your child master passing, shooting, and team defense. Playground warriors do not make the varsity team.

Similarly, reading high-interest fantasy and science fiction will not prepare your child to read this passage (taken from an actual College Board SAT):

Society is indeed a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure—but the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties.

Now, if your child is already reading literary classics for fun in his spare time several hours a week, you have very little to worry about; he will easily outrank the kids who are reading Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He does not need to take an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp.

For more information, see the answer to the question, “Why is my child likely to cheat when reading Shakespeare?”

My child is currently not enrolled in 1-1 tutoring with IYE. Can she attend an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp during winter break or summer break? +

Question: My child is currently not enrolled in 1-1 tutoring with IYE. Can she attend an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp during winter break or summer break?

Answer: Yes, she can. This being said, we will need to make sure that the camp is a good fit for her and she will not be too ahead/too behind compared to other kids in the camp. For more details, email scheduling@improveyourenglish.com

My major concern is that your accelerated full-day summer camps take kids from 5th - 8th grade. And there is no placement test. How can I make sure this camp is suitable for my kid? +

Question: My major concern is that your accelerated full-day summer camps take kids from 5th - 8th grade. And there is no placement test. How can I make sure this camp is suitable for my kid?

Answer: When a family expresses interest in a camp, there are two options:

  1. The child is an existing IYE student
  2. The child is not an existing IYE student

With existing IYE students, we review student records and talk to the tutor to make sure that the child is a good fit for a camp.

If a child is not an existing IYE student, the family either comes for an assessment or sends us information, such as grades, essays, and test results, to prove that their child is a good fit for the camp.

We wouldn't accept a fifth or sixth grader to a middle school camp who we feel is significantly behind, to the point where it would be impossible for all children in the camp to make a lot of progress.

This is why in all our years of teaching accelerated full-day summer camps we haven't ever had a case where a student thought the camp was too easy or too hard.

If a camp is a good fit for my child, why hasn’t my tutor recommended the camp? +

Question: If a camp is a good fit for my child, why hasn’t my tutor recommended the camp?

Answer: IYE tutors spend their time tutoring and helping your child obtain results in the time that they have. They are not keeping track of which camps have sold out, which camps still have spots available, and so on.

Also, to be honest, sometimes a tutor may be shy about recommending a camp for which you will have to pay extra money.

We are currently reviewing the records of our students with a goal of providing personal recommendations to sign up. This being said, if you are looking at a description of a camp and are wondering if the camp is a good fit for your child, email scheduling@improveyourenglish.com or talk to your tutor. If we feel that a camp is not a good fit for you, we will give you reasons why we think so.

We are relatively clear about my son's weakness in writing; would you be able to identify his specific weakness (which could be different from other classmates) and address his writing problems in the 1-week winter program or 2-week summer program? We'd also be happy to tell you what we (and he) feels his weakness is in writing, would you need that kind of info? +

Question: We are relatively clear about my son's weakness in writing; would you be able to identify his specific weakness (which could be different from other classmates) and address his writing problems in the 1-week winter program or 2-week summer program? We'd also be happy to tell you what we (and he) feels his weakness is in writing, would you need that kind of info?

Answer: Yes, please send the information to scheduling@improveyourenglish.com

Our middle school camps are designed to cover a wide range of student weaknesses in writing, ranging from problems with grammar to problems with conceiving and developing essays. When they finish the course, students will be able to write compete essays with thoughtful intros and conclusions and well-developed body paragraphs.

After the camp, you, the parent, will also have an individual meeting with your tutor (in-person at our office or online). The goal of the meeting is to discuss the progress of your child during the camp and outline a plan for continued improvement after the camp.

At IYE, we are committed to the long-term success of our students. This is why your tutor will talk to you after the camp about “next steps” so that your child maintains and develops his skills during the academic year.

Many children begin the IYE program with weak writing skills. Teaching them to write well under supervision is step one. Guiding them to writing independently and receiving high grades in AP English and on the SAT essay is step two.

During the meeting, your tutor will show you your child’s writing from before and after the camp. He will discuss your child’s performance in writing, reading, and vocabulary. You will receive a personalized recommendation for strengthening all of these areas. For Nat’s SAT Camp, the discussion with also include a personalized recommendation for strengthening test-taking skills.

In the past, IYE was offering half-day camps. Do you plan to offer more half-day camps? +

Question: In the past, IYE was offering half-day camps. Do you plan to offer more half-day camps?

Answer: No, we don’t. Most IYE parents are very serious about the education of their children (this year, we are offering a camp during Thanksgiving week because parents requested one).

We conduct surveys of our clients on a regular basis. The majority of IYE families said they want their children to be spending more time writing and reading, which is why parents have been asking us for full day summer camps.

For this reason, in the future we plan to be offering full day camps, no half-day camps. If you have a group of at least five families who want to sign up for a half-day camp, contact us.

Will you teach IYE Accelerated Summer Camps online or onsite? +

Question: Will you teach IYE Accelerated Summer Camps online or onsite?

Answer: At IYE, safety and health of our tutors, students, and parents is our top priority.

For this reason, starting Saturday, March 14, 2020, we moved all the lessons online following the guidelines from Santa Clara Health Department.

You can see the current guidelines here: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/home.aspx

Since then, we have been busier than ever handling additional tutoring and summer camp requests (the record at IYE is the family who upped their child’s tutoring hours to 11 hours a week) and making sure our college counseling students are making best possible progress with their academics and extracurricular activities (this year, all the IYE college counseling students who applied to MIT were accepted to MIT).

In the future, we also plan to follow the guidelines from the Santa Clara County Health Department. This means that there are three possible outcomes:

 

  1. The current guidelines get extended and stay in place while the camp is in session. In this case, we will be teaching the camp online. All our tutors have experience teaching online and all our camps have a small number of students in them, which will allow us to deliver high quality education you expect from IYE, even if we have to conduct the camp fully online.
  2. The guidelines change before the camp starts and the current Shelter in Place Order is no longer active. Should the guidelines allow us to do so, we will be teaching the camp onsite at our Sunnyvale office. We are currently paying the rent in full on both of our office locations and plan to start using them again as soon as the county says it is safe to do so.
  3. The guidelines change at some point during the camp. In this case, we will most likely survey the parents of the students to see if the parents are able and willing to drive children to the office for the camp. It is possible that some of the families will need some time to arrange their matters. In this case, we will keep teaching the camp online. If everyone can come to the in-person camp, we will teach it onsite.
I really want to enroll my child in your camp, but I will be traveling for some of the days of the camp. Can my child attend a camp partially? +

Question: I really want to enroll my child in your camp, but I will be traveling for some of the days of the camp. Can my child attend a camp partially?

Answer: No. This is similar to a doctor prescribing three items. The patient then decides to ignore two out of the three and wonders about the absence of desired results. In certain instances, we may allow a child to attend a camp partially if she signs up for another full camp. This way, partial camp becomes an introduction or follow up.

If you absolutely must miss a few hours of the camp but still want to take it, you may. However, by missing camp time for the Final 80 SAT camp, you void the score guarantee.

Where can I find more information about IYE accelerated full-day summer camps? +

Question: Where can I find more information about IYE accelerated full-day summer camps?

Answer: you can see the schedule of camps on this page

I really want my child to get ahead. Should she take Creative Writing camp with Lara S. or Middle School English with David M.? +

Question: I really want my child to get ahead. Should she take Creative Writing camp with Lara S. or Middle School English with David M.?

Answer: Building fundamental skills is the first step to improving writing ability. If your child has received poor grades or test scores in reading, she should take Middle School English to improve those skills. If she already has top grades and test scores, she should take Creative Writing.

If you would like a personal recommendation based on your child’s unique circumstances, please email scheduling@improveyourenglish.com.

I would like to sign up for Session 2 of an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp, but I can’t make Session 1. Can I still take Session 2? +

Question: I would like to sign up for Session 2 of an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp, but I can’t make Session 1. Can I still take Session 2?

Answer: Each session of an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp is independent of the others. Students do not need to take Session 1 in order to take Session 2 or 3.

If I sign up my child for a camp, do I need to buy any books for the camp? +

Question: If I sign up my child for a camp, do I need to buy any books for the camp?
Answer: No, we provide all the reading materials.

If I sign up my child for a camp, do I need to pack lunch? +

Question: If I sign up my child for a camp, do I need to pack lunch?

Answer: No. We will take care of learning and food so that you can spend the day taking some time for yourself instead of running around to grocery stores. And when your children come home, you can spend some time with them instead of planning and making lunch for the next day.

Oh, and by the way, we do not order McDonalds or some other junk food. We believe in offering the highest quality possible, not just when it comes to education. We also believe that peak mental performance requires peak physical performance, and peak physical performance requires the highest quality nutrition.

We order food from nearby restaurants that are committed to healthy ingredients like hormone-free chicken and grass-fed beef. (In the interest of full disclosure, we offer pizza once a week. Call it “elite performer cheat day” if you want.)

One of the questions my son asked is, can the skills he learns in SAT camp help boost his ACT score? He hasn't made up mind on which one to take (or both). +

Question: One of the questions my son asked is, can the skills he learns in SAT camp help boost his ACT score? He hasn't made up mind on which one to take (or both).

Answer: Yes, the grammar and reading strategies will help with his ACT score. The emphasis is on improving fundamental skills, which applies to both the SAT and ACT.

Last summer, a student from the East coast heard about our Final 80 camp from a friend and signed up. Even though we didn’t cover any ACT questions, he improved his ACT scores on the official test: His English score increased from 35 to 36, and his Reading score increased from 34 to 35. His dad said, “My son credited his English and Reading improvement to your class as well, which came as a surprise to me since your class is SAT, but he explained the relationship between.”

Many of your accelerated full-day summer camps are based on certain books. Do my children need to read these books before their accelerated full-day summer camp? +

Question: Many of your accelerated full-day summer camps are based on certain books. Do my children need to read these books before their accelerated full-day summer camp?

Answer: No, they don’t. Our camps are full-day camps. We also intentionally keep our camps very small. Children work in a distraction-free environment under the supervision of an experienced tutor.

This allows children to progress at an accelerated pace, receive immediate feedback, and experience English and classic literature in a fun and exciting way. Because of this, children in accelerated full-day summer camps make a lot of progress during the days of camp, so there is no need for homework or preparation.

How can I keep track of what my child learns in an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp? +

Question: How can I keep track of what my child learns in an IYE group accelerated full-day summer camp?

Answer: At the end of each day of the camp, you will receive an email update from your child’s teacher. The update will explain what the tutor covered in the camp and the assignments the tutor gave to camp participants. This way, you will know exactly what your child studied. You will also be able to keep track of your child’s progress.

How can I make sure that my child doesn’t forget what he learns in an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp? +

Question: How can I make sure that my child doesn’t forget what he learns in an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp?

Answer: If you are concerned about the long-term success of your child, you will want him to practice the new vocabulary words regularly so that he transfers them into his long-term memory and starts using them in his own writing. Vocabulary quizzes will help him practice, and vocabulary quiz reports will give you peace of mind that he is learning the material.

As part of the IYE Middle School English and Final 80 camps, students come to the office on Saturdays for follow-up quizzes. The follow-up quizzes are optional for students in Middle School English and mandatory for students in Final 80. Eight mandatory Vocabulary Learning Sessions mean a session per week for two months. As I explained above, during each session in the class I will be covering between 120 and 200 words. If you wish, you can help your child practice more by covering 20% (24-40 words) of the list each day (which will get to to 120 to 200 words in five days) and spend two additional days before the next Vocabulary Session reviewing the list as a whole.

What can I as a parent do to help my child master and retain the knowledge he gains as an IYE student? +

Question: What can I as a parent do to help my child master and retain the knowledge he gains as an IYE student?

Answer: Much of the material that IYE teaches is too advanced for parents to assist with on their own. For example, our grammar program teaches grammatical terms that parents—in fact, most public school English teachers—will not know or understand. When it comes to grammar, then, you will not be able to help your child by teaching him at home.

Vocabulary is a different matter. You can assist your child with learning vocabulary by making sure she has put the words on cards and by giving her daily vocabulary quizzes. Learning vocabulary words is a simple matter of spaced repetition; you probably used a similar method in order to learn vocabulary for English and other languages. For this reason, you might want to spend time each day testing your child on the vocabulary that she will review in the weekly vocabulary review session.

If my child will read a certain book in school, won’t an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp needlessly duplicate his reading assignment? For example, he is already scheduled to read Macbeth in school next year. +

Question: If my child will read a certain book in school, won’t an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp needlessly duplicate his reading assignment? For example, he is already scheduled to read Macbeth in school next year.

Answer: I can say with high confidence that taking an IYE camp is the only way your child is likely to actually read an author such as Shakespeare, Dickens, or Homer.

What I am about to say is true for all the authors, but I will focus on the example of Shakespeare. Shakespeare is unusually challenging to understand. In addition, most teachers do a poor job of teaching it.

Here is how Shakespeare is typically taught in high school:

- Teacher assigns students a scene from the play to read at home.
- Students find they can’t possibly understand the scene on their own.
- Students read SparkNotes version of the scene.
-
Teacher leads a dull and uninspiring class discussion of the scene.
-
Repeat for the rest of the play’s scenes.
-
Teacher assigns an essay; students cheat by using SparkNotes.
-
Teacher gives a final test. Students pass test by reading the plot summary of the play.

The same happens not just with Shakespeare, but many other works of classic literature.

What is the value in assigning these works? The student could have spent the time in class reading SparkNotes. He would have learned just as much.

You can read more about how children read in an IYE accelerated full-day summer camp in an interview with David McCalmon here: http://improveyourenglishproducts.com/interview-with-david/

Why are you saying that my child is likely to cheat when reading Shakespeare in his school English class? +

Question: Why are you saying that my child is likely to cheat when reading Shakespeare in his school English class?

Answer: Even if you were born in another country, you might already have read many Shakespeare plays. However, if you read them in translation, you probably don’t realize how difficult it is to read Shakespeare in the original English. The English language has changed a lot since Shakespeare’s day, so reading Shakespeare in the original often feels like reading a foreign language. But since the purpose of a translation is to make a play easy to understand, translators remove all of that difficulty.

Here’s how difficult the play really is. Take one of the early lines:

He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.

The thoughts in this sentence have been mixed up. Here’s what this passage actually means:

Based on his wounded condition, he looks like he can report on the latest news of the revolt.

Teachers regard this passage as easy. In other words, they don’t even bother explaining it to students. But students find such lines difficult—and the entire play is written in this way.

Passages like the one above are just the beginning of the difficulty your child will face when reading Shakespeare.