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Summer Activities for Children with Learning
When summer vacation arrives, parents are faced with selecting meaningful activities for child with learning disabilities. Many parents see summer as a time for catching up on academic skills through tutoring, summer school, or one on one instruction with parents. Other parents view summer as a much needed time to rest and be free of the stress that is associated with school and learning activities. Still others see summer as time for learning new skills that there isn't time to learn during the school year. There is no one correct answer. It all depends on the child and his needs.
Summer is a great time for students to do volunteer work. Volunteer opportunities for teens are often listed in the newspaper. Red Cross has a youth volunteer program as do many hospitals. Other opportunities exist in nursing homes, senior centers and summer camps. Volunteering has many advantages including enhancing self esteem, job sampling and experience that can be listed on resumes or for future job applications. Some schools also recognize distinguished service graduates who contribute a significant number of volunteer hours.
Swimming lessons, summer camps, summer sports camps and music lessons are also summer options. These activities focus on areas of development that might be neglected due to the demands of the regular school year. When selecting summer activities, make sure that the leaders or teachers of the activity have some understanding of your child's special needs. If your child has trouble with following directions, for example, provide information about effective ways to give him directions. If he needs time to process information, tell the leader how this is handled at school. Summer activities should have a positive effect on the child. Not everyone is knowledgeable about learning disabilities, so be prepared to share your knowledge to enable your child to have a successful experience.
Some parents find that summer is the time to enhance skills. Tutoring to improve reading, math, writing or study skills is often selected. If formal tutoring is selected, it should be scheduled so that the student still has some break in academic instruction before school starts. Tutoring is often available from private tutors, at some community colleges, through the community education programs at some schools, through park and recreation programs, and through teacher education programs at universities.
The following activities are some ideas that enhance learning that could be done at home:
Elementary School Level
Secondary School Students
The lists could go on and on. These are just a few ideas of how learning can continue in the summer. Short learning sessions throughout the summer can be very productive. There should be plenty of time set aside for the child to have fun as well.
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