You’ve probably heard teachers moan about how much information children forget over the summer. And as a parent of a child with language development delays, you've probably seen it in action. Material that your child sweated blood and tears to learn has somehow been lost in your child's memory files.
The most common areas that children forget are the ones where –surprise- there is a lot of repetition and practice. Math and spelling are two subjects that are particularly vulnerable.
However children with learning disabilities often spend a larger portion of their time learning and reviewing material that other children acquire easily. For them, the summer "brain drain" is even more devastating.
Research shows that an average child loses a full month of general studies, and two months of math skills. In other words, by sixth grade your child will have lost half a year of general studies skills, and a full year of math skills.
s there anything you can do - short of putting your child in school year round?
Yes! There are several things you can take to help your child retain most of the material they’ve learned during the year. Here are some tips:
1. Set a specific time to learn with your child, and stick to it.
Summertime is a busy time for most parents and children. Between camp, family vacations, and the occasional trip or family get-together, it can be hard to maintain any sort of schedule.
Children with learning issues, however, do better with a consistent, predictable schedule. Download this free daily planner to help keep your family on track.
2. Schedule a 15 minute block of time to learn with your child.
Review doesn’t need to take hours. In fact, the brain functions more efficiently when smaller amounts of material are reviewed over a period of time. You don’t need to set aside hours a day in order to help your child stay on top of things; 15 minutes a day spent reviewing a few math problems and a several spelling problems will do the job just as effectively as twice the amount of time.
3. Throw a few hands-on learning games into the mix.
The great thing about the summer is that you have more opportunities to give your child some real hands-on learning experiences. Use the extra time you have to follow up on some of the topics or concepts your child learned during the year, by visiting science museums, renaissance or history fairs, or even by performing a science experiment in your backyard.
Not only is it a great way to answer that popular question “will I ever need this in real life?” but it also gives you an opportunity to have quality time with your child.