Prevent Summer Slide

For children with LD and ADHD, summer can (and should) be an enjoyable respite from the  demands they deal with throughout the school year. However, it’s also a time when they’re at risk for losing the hard-won skills they’ve struggled mightily to learn. To minimize summer slide use these creative suggestions adapted from Edweek’s Education Futures blog, compiled by Matthew Lynch:

  1. Enroll your child in a summer program. “Many public and private schools run summer programs for their students. Take advantage of them. They are usually for only half a day,” leaving plenty of time for play.
  2. Set up a summer reading program. Let your child choose a number of books he’s willing to read per month. If he’s not sure on titles, check with his teacher or librarian for books appropriate to his reading level. “To show solidarity, the entire family should participate.”
  3. Send your child to camp. It’s not too late to find local specialized camps that play to her strengths. “Some of the more popular ones include computer, science, and math camps.”
  4. Get a head start on next year. Find out who his next teacher will be “and ask for suggestions for summer workbooks, science activities, essay topics, and interesting summer activities.”
  5. Fill in learning gaps. Consult with her teacher to help set up an enrichment program to enhance areas that she’s weak in.
  6. Turn vacation into a social studies activity. Prior to heading off to your vacation destination, have your child brush up (aka research) on the history, cuisine, activities, etc. “Also, once you reach your vacation destination, you can schedule tours of famous landmarks and locations, which will increase their social studies knowledge.”
  7. Keep a journal. Have your child journal daily to flex her written communication skills. What she writes is not as important as the fact that she’s practicing writing. Consider making it a journal for the two of you where she writes at night, and you respond the next day.
  8. Look for learning opportunities in daily life. “If you’re at the grocery store, challenge him to add up the total cost of your purchase. Driving to grandmother’s house? Ask him to read the map directions.”
  9. Tour your town. Arrange outings to the museum, zoo, park, aquarium, etc. “Local communities are full of learning opportunities that you’ve probably never thought of.”