Summer! Such a wonderfully fun season. The kids whether home schooled or in a public school, always look forward to summer. Who knows what actually runs through those little heads? But as parents, we remember the last summer and what actually happens after just a few short days of school being out. Yeah, you guessed it, “Mom, I am BORED.”
Not everyone who homeschools takes a summer break, but we did this year. It is a time for us to reassess the year and see what needs to be implemented in the coming year. Some of you may be thinking, “Ahhh freedom!” But really, a break doesn’t have to be a full blown let’s learn nothing kind of break. It is really good to continue to keep some resemblance of structure even during the summer break.
There are lots of fun ways to encourage kids to keep learning, even while they’re not in class or working through a homeschool curriculum. This will also help fight that looming boredom that no one looks forward to! Just a few ideas to think about:
- Start by reinforcing everything that was learned throughout the school year through every day, educational activities.
- Let them pick out their very own summer reading list, maybe something that wouldn’t normally be on the “school” reading list.
- Take that summer reading list and create a summer book club! This is a great way to associate reading with fun.
- Find some fun but educational summer learning apps and games to keep their mind engaged.
All the while, you can be watching and planning out what needs to be on the curriculum when the break is over. Because while it may seem like there is plenty of time, that break comes and goes rather quickly!
Keeping up with a structured plan throughout summer break is especially true for kids who might experience learning and attention issues. No matter the size of the issue your child might face, there are some remarkable resources out there that can help!
Summer can be especially challenging for kids with learning and attention issues because of the change in routine, new social situations, and unusual environments. That’s why resources like Understood.org can be so helpful – for example helping kids tackle the unique challenges of Events and Outings, or creating new routines in your daily summer activities can be the difference between surviving or thriving this summer!
Any child can struggle, no matter what kind of school they are in. And not every child will have the same battle with education. There are so many kinds of challenges that a child can face with learning and the attention that it takes to sit and focus. Understood offers resources and support to parents at all stages of this journey – those who don’t yet know why their child is struggling, as well as to those who have been on this journey for years.
Understood was created by a coalition of 15 nonprofits, and its content and tools were informed by a survey of more than 2,200 parents of children with learning and attention issues. Understood offers free daily access to experts through chats and webinars, a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools including:
- Through Your Child’s Eyes: A series of interactive simulations and videos that enable parents to experience firsthand how smart people can struggle with a seemingly simple task when they have reading, writing, math, organization or attention issues.
- Tech Finder: Expert-approved apps and games searchable by a child’s grade and issues.
- Just For You: An opt-in system that provides additional levels of personalized content recommendations. (Parents don’t need to sign in to start getting customized recommendations on Understood; all they need to do to hit the ground running is check the boxes about their child’s grade and issues.) Parents who choose to complete a secure, confidential profile will receive recommendations for each child in their profile as well as for topics they’ve expressed interest in, such as siblings, travel and communicating with family and friends.
- Decision Guide: Key questions to help parents think through big topics, such as whether it’s time to request a formal evaluation, let a child start dating or decide which path to pursue after high school.
Available in English, Spanish and read-aloud mode, Understood provides parents with clear explanations about learning and attention issues. It also offers practical advice for parents on everything from how to partner with their child’s teachers and help with homework to how to explain their child’s issues to friends and relatives and plan family gatherings that are less stressful and more fun for everyone!