If a child has a learning disability, summer months can be thought of as a period of relaxation away from academics and learning. Although, it is also important to remember that students with learning disabilities can lose critical skills over the summer months. The balance is to find fun and creative ways to keep academic skills sharp during this period of time without seeming like you are doing “school.”
Here are some ideas to have fun and be creative this summer with your early childhood LD learner.
- Another name for…Throughout the day, make a game of vocabulary building with everyday objects. You can model the game for the child and then ask him for an example. Ask, “What is another word for the chair?” You can help him to come up with new words and new ways to describe objects he is familiar with and use the newer words in sentences when speaking with the child in normal conversation.
- Build bigger sentences…You can play I Spy with a twist. State what you spy. Then let your child respond: “I see a yellow flower!” Add words to the sentence: I see a yellow flower in the grass. You and your child can continue to take turns until you have a longer and more descriptive sentence: I see a yellow flower with long leaves in the green grass of the neighbor’s pristine yard.
- Board games…Play board games with your child and have him describe what he is doing as he does it. Model the same when it is your turn. Try to use new and innovative vocabulary to describe the events of the games and encourage your child to do the same.
- Read to me…Read stories to your child. Let your child choose the story to be read and read it together – a little bit each day.
- Read with me…Take turns reading with your child. You can do this by pages or by paragraph, etc. Choose a funny voice to make the literature interesting. Encourage your child to read with expression and intonation.
- Make a flip book…Use your child’s favorite book to help him make a summary version he can enjoy on his own. Have your child tell you an oral summary of his favorite book. Help him to pen the words of his summary with a sentence or two per page. Your child can illustrate each page and you can bind the “book” with ribbon or yarn. Your child can read the flip book he has made with you.
- Make an audiobook…Choose a story your child is familiar with and knows well and record him reading it. He can use the audio to read along with the story later. You can also record yourself reading the story and your child can listen to the audio to read the story.
What’s next? When watching a movie or a television show with your child, ask your child what he thinks will happen next? Discuss the story and plot with your child during a commercial break. After the movie or show, you can discuss with your child if his prediction was correct and what events in the story led him to make the predictions he made.