With school out for the summer, children everywhere rejoice! At the same time, parents and educators tend to worry about the same problem: Where will all that new learning go? This is particularly true for children with ADHD, who not only have academic skills that have grown over the school year, but skills in terms of self-management, organization, and responsibility. Parents who bring their children to Littleton for ADHD counseling often ask “how can I keep my child’s brain active and engaged over the summer?”
Fortunately, the answer doesn’t need to involve summer school. It doesn’t even need to involve homework! In fact, there are plenty of fun ways to help your child maintain growths in learning, practice executive skills, and be prepared for the next school year without ever lifting a pencil! Read on to find out some of the best activities to keep learning active!
Math requires a lot of remembering, so it makes sense that students will lose a little over the summer. Spice your child’s summer break up with some alternative math ideas! For younger children, quick reviews can help maintain gains. Consider asking your soon-to-be fourth grader to help you figure out how many hot dog buns to buy for the family picnic if 12 people are coming and each will eat two hot dogs, or have your middle school student learn financial skills by calculating the tip at your favorite restaurant—without a calculator.
With nothing to do all day, your children will have plenty of time to explore the natural world around them. To make it more exciting, consider staging a scavenger hunt, outdoor dissection, grow a garden, or even raise some animals, depending on where you live. This is the chance to interact with the environment.
The secret to raising a reader is to help them love reading. Model reading yourself, and seek out fun things that appeal to your child. They don’t have to read Shakespeare this summer—graphic novels, comics, or other “non-academic” pieces are perfect for summer fun. Check out your local library for reading promotions with prizes!
A vacation to a historic site or political area can leave memories for a lifetime, and your child will have the best “what I did last summer” essay ever!
Executive or Organizational Skills
Most ADHD counselors in Littleton will tell you that children with ADHD tend to do better with structure and routines. But tell your teen that you’re going to keep the school-year schedule all summer, and you may be in for a battle! Instead, work with your existing schedule and emphasize flexibility. Remind them how some routines (such as showering or tidying up the living space) continue year-round, and encourage the same self-management tools you have used throughout the school year for summer management—those summer camps, marathon sleepovers, swim lessons, and more can be planned and prepared for just like anything else, and are usually easier to prepare for as well.
If you feel like your child has typically “lost” more learning over the summer than other children, your child may benefit from a psychological assessment to better understand strengths and limitations to learning. To find out more, or to discuss parenting and behavior management tips, contact Dr. Lazarus.