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Don't Slide This Summer

Posted May 17, 2021 in Articles

Don't Slide This Summer
Don't Slide This Summer

Author: Vanessa Diffenbacher, Associate Head of School

You might be thinking the last thing your child wants to do right after another busy school year is spend their summer reading, writing, and doing math. As a mom—I get the need for a well-earned break. However, multiple studies prove skills and knowledge deteriorate during this extended time away from class. For children with learning differences, the summer slide can be even more pronounced. That’s why a little focus on academics, whether a few solid hours per week or just fifteen minutes every day, is essential. There are lots of ways to do this and it can even be fun!

First, I’d like to encourage you to register your children for Lions Leap. After close to three decades of experience with Lawrence School’s OG-based summer program, I consider myself it's official cheerleader. This deep dive into reading, writing, and math is a continuation of our Lower School curricular offerings and has helped hundreds of kids build foundational skills (my own children included–see their photo in the image gallery above, circa 2006!).

In just four weeks, our evidence-based, multisensory instructional techniques solidify concepts that are shaky or inconsistent. But the goal of Lions Leap is not only to improve academic performance, we also focus on building executive function skills (of which, deficits are very common for children with learning and processing difficulties). Organization is explicitly taught and practiced during every class period and routine is embedded. Students spend four 40-minute periods on multisensory language and mathematics. And in between those periods, they have fun on the playground. Registration is open until June 5.

Another option to consider this summer is private tutoring through Lawrence’s Ethan D. Schafer Center for Learning Differences. We have qualified and well-trained tutors offering both virtual and in-person options. Even if you only register for one session per week, our tutors can provide multisensory activities, tailored to your child’s needs, to practice at home. Parents report having structured appointments really helps to keep academics and practice top of mind.

If formal education isn’t something your family wants to embark upon this summer, there are lots of informal ways to learn and grow. Set a timer each day and encourage your child to choose from a list of helpful activities. Options could include: reading a book, listening to an audio book, or following a story along on screen using Learning Ally. Another choice could be journaling about summer fun. If you went to the zoo the day before, ask your child to write about the experience. Reinforcement of sight words and math facts can also look a lot like play: write them in water using a squirt gun, in sidewalk chalk on the driveway, or even in the sandbox. The possibilities are endless.

Regardless of how you spend your summer, be sure to enjoy your time together and try to squeeze in a little learning.

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