Reducing the Summer Slide
Summer has finally arrived and I am embracing it with open arms. My school year has ended and I said my goodbyes to my little friends until September. Every year we work really hard (almost to the point of exhaustion) trying to make progress on speech and language goals- and communication in general. My students always make progress- whether small or huge I am always able to see growth by the time June arrives. I hope to see the growth continue over the summer months, but for some- summer break also means a break from practicing the skills we learned all year.
To help reduce the "summer slide", I send home tips and activities that my students and their families can do over the summer. The wonderful thing about communication is that it happens everywhere! That means you do not have to be in a classroom, therapy room, or even in the house to encourage language.
The more we communicate with each other and interact within the environment, the better our language and ability to communicate becomes. Here are a few fun activities that you can do to help encourage language growth over the summer. These tasks will help your child understand new words and concepts, follow directions, become more confident in his/her ability to communicate thoughts and ideas, and help to help develop problem solving skills. All of these skills are necessary to be a successful learner. Whatever you do- remember to TALK
Play games. Classic board games teach a skills such as reading, math, problem solving, and social skills. They also help improve a child’s ability to follow directions, understand questions, take turns and build vocabulary.
Go to a local street fair. Discuss the similarities and differences between people, foods, cultures, etc.
Attend a baseball games and have your child keep score. Talk about where the teams are from and find information about the area.
Before grocery shopping have your child prepare a list. Use weekly circulars and flyers and talk about the items pictured. Allow him/her to search for coupons prior to going and to use the list to find the items in the store.
Cook with your child. Following a recipe requires many math and language skills. Try this easy recipe for dirt pudding or make your own play dough
READ!! Read books together, ask questions and discuss outcomes. Point to pictures and name things on the pages. Talk about what you would do if you were the characters. How does the story relate to things in your own lives?
Play games in the car like the “The Alphabet Game” (pick an item and take turns naming using the letters of the alphabet). Word and trivia games are beneficial.
Have fun and keep in mind-like all skills, practice makes perfect!