3 Things to Consider When Planning a Summer Break For Your Dyslexic Child
Summer is a time to relax, recharge, and have some fun!
But if you are the parent of a child with dyslexia, the summer may also be an opportunity for your child to make progress in the areas of reading and spelling.
Parents are in a tough situation. While they want their child to have a break this summer, they also don’t want them to lose the progress they’ve made throughout the school year…and maybe even make some additional progress!
It can be very difficult to decide how to plan a summer break for a child with dyslexia.
To help in that decision we’ve created 3 questions for you to consider when planning a summer break for your dyslexic child.
1. Is your child making progress toward their goals?
If your child is making progress toward their goals in reading and spelling, continued practice and specialized instruction are critical.
Maintaining progress towards goals is especially important for children with dyslexia. Because they learn best with a structured, systematic approach that includes review until mastery, it is critical to keep services in place with fidelity until automaticity is reached with a particular skill. If we stop or skip instruction and review before a skill is completely mastered, the student may be unable to continue making meaningful progress.
If your child has an IEP, they may qualify for Extended School Year services to maintain your child’s progress. Parents may also choose to hire a qualified tutor to not only maintain progress but help close their child’s achievement gap.
2. Are you willing and able to invest the time?
Research shows that students make progress in reading when the intervention is consistent, repetitive, and intensive.
In fact, to make real progress, a student with dyslexia should meet with a qualified tutor or teacher for structured literacy instruction a minimum of 2 times a week and preferably, four or even five sessions a week depending on their personal deficits.
If you know that you cannot be consistent and intensive with reading intervention, there is no need to do it “halfway”. It is best to recognize that and choose activities that better serve your child.
Why waste time and money on a specialized reading teacher or tutor once a week when research shows that this amount of time is not enough to make meaningful progress?
3. What is your family’s mindset around continued remediation?
For many children with dyslexia, the school year can take a toll on their mental health. We would be remiss if we didn’t consider and acknowledge your child’s mindset around continued remediation. If your child is resistant to working over the summer, it’s important to get to the bottom of why they are feeling this way.
Sometimes children feel resistant to working closely with a provider who is not the right fit for them.
Not only must your child’s tutor be qualified to teach with the appropriate instruction, but they must also
have the ability to connect with your child and make learning fun. Some tutors may come highly recommended, but if they fail to connect with your child the experience may end up being a waste of time and money.
We recommend you find a tutor that has experience teaching your child’s age group and children with your child’s disability profile. For instance, if your child is in first grade and has dyslexia and ADHD, a tutor who incorporates movement, games, and breaks into their teaching will have better success with your child. Read our blog, “How to Choose the Right Tutor for Your Dyslexic Child” for more information and interview questions.
As is true in most areas of life… Attitude is Everything!
A parent’s mindset can often influence a child’s perception.
If your child is in that spot where they are making progress...Congratulations!! That is an exciting time to celebrate! Share the excitement you feel about their progress with your child and make sure that continuing their pace of instruction is not projected as drudgery but as an exciting opportunity to celebrate these emerging skills and find even more success.
Your child can still take breaks while progressing toward those reading goals!
Perhaps your family will choose to take a week off once or twice in the summer. You can build excitement for that week as a celebration of your child’s success and terrific work ethic. You can plan a “staycation” or vacation for that time.
Other families may choose for their child to meet with their teacher or tutor one less time per week, allowing an extra “break day” per week.
Some families may choose to do all work before noon, thus creating free time for kids every afternoon.
Maybe you prioritize your child’s needs and only focus on progress for one main goal, instead of requiring your child to work long hours each day or working towards multiple goals.
Everyone needs a break so the key is choosing the right type of break that best fits the needs of your child and your family. Whatever you decide, we wish you all the best for this upcoming summer!
As an educational advocate with over a decade of experience, Lorraine and her team are here to answer your tough questions and share the possibilities that exist when you hire the right professional to advocate for your child.
Are you worried that your dyslexic child is falling behind in school?
Are you ready to see your child learn and thrive?
If so, we can help!
Our advocacy practice has helped countless families transform the lives of their children, and create more peace and harmony at home.
While it isn’t always easy, it CAN happen, and we will support you every step of the way. Let’s Talk about how we can help your family!