Attend Summer Camp or Lessons
There are many area summer camps and programs for children with learning disabilities that are fun and offer experiences that help children and teens build social skills and self-esteem. Camps designed specifically for students with learning and social challenges help develop positive behaviors while promoting age-appropriate and engaging activities.
Trying to figure out which local camp is best for your child? Julie Billiart Schools' Beyond Camp at our Lyndhurst location is an award winning option for children in grades K-8 (ages 5 to 14) with special learning needs. Specialized programs like Beyond Camp provide an environment that encourages academic and social activities for children with autism, ADHD and other specific learning challenges. Campers build skills that help prevent “summer slide,” and improve confidence. Camp is also a great place for children with social challenges to build friendships and improve their communication skills.
Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, in cooperation with the Akron Area YMCA, also offers a range of options with their day camp, overnight camp, respite programs and sibling camp. Find more camps and programs in Northeast Ohio in this Special Needs Camps Directory. In addition to summer camp, enrolling your child or teen in music lessons, horseback riding, swimming and other types of lessons are also great options for the summertime that help grow skills and self-esteem, while building upon your child’s interests.
Prevent Summer Slide
Help your child or teen with learning challenges avoid academic decline over the summer months by encouraging boosting activities throughout the summer months. Summer learning loss in children and teens, also known as “summer slide”, can be attributed in part to the lack of structure and educational opportunities over summer break. According to the National Summer Learning Association, about nine out of ten teachers will spend as much as three weeks on review at the beginning of the school year, with an average of two months of learning loss per student.
For children and teens with learning difficulties, staying consistent with staying on top of things over the summer months is an important component of building skills for the practical application of classroom knowledge. In particular, setting aside time for reading and practicing math facts can help prevent summer slide. Online games are a great way to encourage learning while children also have fun – find free educational games by grade level on Education.com for math, keyboarding, coding, reading and writing.
The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free, online reading program designed to help students turn the “summer slide” into a “summer leap” by helping them track summer reading minutes on the go. Technology is a great tool to encourage learning, but so is the freedom of summer itself! Take a trip to your local library, bring books to read on vacation or by the poolside, and encourage your kids and teens to track their reading progress.
Another great way to stay learning over the summer is by taking advantage of the nice weather! Get the family active, while learning about Mother Earth – consider joining a local nature club or make it a point to take walks and hikes to get the most out of the summer weather. This immersive learning experience is only here for a few months!
Make & Play Music
From DIY instruments to family karaoke sessions, find enjoyable opportunities for your kids and teens to make and play music this summer! Studies indicate that when children with autism, ADHD or learning disabilities learn to play a musical instrument, often times their attention, concentration, impulse control, social functioning, self-esteem, self-expression, motivation, and memory improve.
Whether learning challenges affect them cognitively, emotionally, and/or behaviorally, music is a tool that can benefit most students. Many camps offer music therapy services or incorporate music activities. During the summer months, there are also many family-friendly outdoor concerts, musical library events and more opportunities in the community going on to enjoy music, oftentimes at no cost. For music activities that can serve as a creative outlet this summer, find fun outdoor musical games to suit everyone.
Looking for more summer activities that are beneficial for students with learning disabilities? Connect with us to talk about additional resources and local programs that would be a good fit for your young learner.