It’s finally summertime! The children are excited about the break and the parents are excited about the deadlines being placed on hold until the next school year. Finally, it’s the time of year that everyone can take a deep breath. During the next few months, it’s important to use this time wisely to continue to foster growth in your child. Often times the summer can be used as a less vigorous learning period than the school year, but it is most definitely still a great opportunity to grow and learn. Work with your child at home. Continuing routines can be especially important in children with transition difficulty. It is also perfectly fine to establish a new summertime routine to implement. Visit places around your community such as the library, parks, community centers and even grocery stores. A grocery store is an opportunity to read food labels, perform simple math problems, and participate in life skills. Be proactive to look up events on the calendar in your area and foster the growth and learning opportunity. There are many ways to spend the days of summer engaging your child while spending little to no money at all doing so. Other ways to engage your child include playing word games, reading to your child, listening to your child read, and listen to storytellers. Set an example by giving your child many opportunities to see you reading, writing, and calculating math problems in your everyday life.
Use the summertime to work with trained professionals and, if appropriate, tutors. This is also a great time for you to review concepts and keep the material your child has been working on fresh in his or her minds. You know your child’s IEP goals so do your best to continue to review the goals throughout the summertime.
Simple games like “I Spy” can help you review a variety of concepts. Don’t forget to give the gross motor skills a chance to grow. The summertime heat can be brutal but keeping outdoor play activities and social engagements to early mornings or late evenings can help your child stay cool while participating in outdoor play. And don’t underestimate the importance of outdoor play. This is a great time for children to stretch their legs, socialize, exercise, and burn off excess energy. Sometimes taking away the academic struggles can level the playing field for children and help them build confidence. Use these months to reinforce existing knowledge, build new knowledge, and make memories with your child.
You are your child’s voice and best teacher!
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