As the end of the school year looms near most kids are overjoyed with the thought of a Summer without books and homework, but taking the summer off can lead to a loss of those hard earned skills and is what educators call “the summer slide”. Studies have found this is especially detrimental to student with learning difficulties.
Not to fear here are some fun educational activities you can do with your children to keep their brains in shape over the summer:
Make summer learning part of the fun by encouraging struggling readers to use audiobooks to build their knowledge and vocabulary while exposing them to age-appropriate content beyond their reading level.
Help kids “frontload” for the next school year by exposing them to information they will be able to apply to next year´s curriculum. For example, students who will be learning about American history next year might prompt a family trip to the Freedom Trail in Boston or to a local area of historical interest.
Sign up for a library summer reading program these usually offer awesome prizes and incentives to inspire students to read and improve their school performance
Limit screen time to activities that build competencies-games that build math skills, word games, and films that will inspire students to the read the book on which they were based. Even education screen time in no substitute for unstructured play or quite reading under a favorite tree.
Read books together as a family and make a treat or visit a place that goes along with the theme book when you finish it.
Make one day a week science day and build a project, collect specimens on a nature hike, or try out some interesting experiments.
Taking a family trip or vacation? Help your children create a travel journal and document events of the day and gather pictures and mementos.
Do your children love to help you in the kitchen? Have them practice measuring and following recipes directions while trying out some new recipes.
Visit local museums, galleries, city gardens etc.
Sign your child up for an academic based day camp or class in a subject they enjoy. At our learning center we offer fun and challenging summer programs to help keep improve your child´s abilities and keep their brains in tip top shape. Give us a call today at (210) 495-2626, or JOIN USand other parents at our Parent Information Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore possibilities.
PROBLEM – How do I get started with EACH assignment???
Some students struggle to get started because they are unsure about what to do. They often fail to read or understand instructions. Some really need to be shown as well as reading or hearing the instructions.
We want students to be as independent as possible on homework, but getting them started and reassuring them that they are on the right track can alleviate a lot of wasted time.
SOLUTION – Use The “Getting Started Questions”
Here are 5 questions to ask your child to answer at the beginning of each assignment:
What should I do first? (Put my name on the paper)
What do the directions say?
Is there an example I can look at?
In this assignment, are there questions I will need to answer after reading something? If so, where are those questions? Read the questions before reading the section (paragraph, chapter, etc.).
Do I need to ask for help?
Are there other questions that should be asked at the beginning of every assignment?
Write all the questions on a card that your child will use every time he does homework.
Now “walk your child through” each question. Direct your child through using the questions on several assignments.
Finally, have him try to use them independently.
Once you have gotten your child in the habit of using the card at the start of each and every assignment, homework becomes much faster to get into and to finish…which means more time for fun!
How to Make Learning Easier – Parents the First Line of Defense Against Learning Disabilities
“Children who learn differently or with difficulty need our help to tap into their full intellectual potential.”
Dr. Stanley Greenspan; Author of “The Learning Tree: Overcoming Learning Disabilities From the Ground Up.”
A recent poll by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation shows an alarming lack of knowledge by most parents and educators about learning disabilities and their underlying causes.
Learning Difficulties such as attention deficit, hyperactivity and speech problems are usually a symptom of a neurological interference rather than a diagnosis.
Neurological interferences lead to auditory processin problems, as well as problems in reading, writing, math and motor movement.
Children with good memories can get by unnoticed in the early grades but usually hit a wall when they reach 4th or 5th grade and are expected to learn more abstract concepts.
With the early intervention of parents, and a cooperative effort between teachers and learning specialists, your child will be able to realize his/her full intellectual potential.
“The solution is to identify the essential sensory or processing skills that need to be strengthened. For example a child may have a very strong visual memory–if you show her a series of cards, she’ll readily remember the picture and words written under them–but she may have poor visual-spacial processing. Some children may have motor problems but be very good with abstract visual problem-solving.”
How to Make Learning Easier – Is My Child Learning Disabled?
“A new GfK Roper poll found that seven out of 10 parents, teachers and school administrators incorrectly linked learning disabilities with mental retardation.”
Health News Digest
Much has been said lately about how many children are being diagnosed, misdiagnosed or NOT diagnosed at all with some kind of learning disability. We know that around 30% of the student population struggles with school despite having appropriate intelligence. Here are some tips if you suspect your child might be learning disabled:
Don’t wait for them to “grow out of it” – Many parents make the mistake of attributing immaturity to their child’s learning problems. This leads children to be identified until after the 7th grade, when the warning signs can be detected as early as 3 years old. Warning signs include – clumsyness, speech delay, inability to socialize with others or trouble establishing a dominant hand.
Don’t mistake it for lazyness or lack of motivation – By the time children with learning disabilities make it to grade school, they have already learned to cope with their difficulties in different ways and their frustrations are manifested by different behaviors. Most have already given up because they think that no matter how hard they try, they will still not succeed, so they stop trying. Be patient with them and find them the help they need.
Don’t ignore the consequences of inaction – In this changing economy, having a proper education is more important than ever. Approximately 25% of students with learning disabilities drop out of high school, and only 61% graduate with a regular diploma. The percentage of prison inmates with learning disabilities is also alarmingly high.
Don’t lose hope – MOST learning disabilities can be corrected through specific and consistent cognitive training programs such as the ones offered at Learning Foundations. Whether it is dyslexia, attention deficit, speech or developmental delay, the earlier your child is diagnosed and gets treated, the better his confidence will be when he goes to school and at home. You don’t have to settle for a life filled with hours of homework every night and frustration every grading period. Make the right move towards your child’s success NOW!