I don't know about you, but schools closing due to a national pandemic isn't what I had in mind when I thought of the end of this year. Most of us teachers love the end of year celebrations, end of year gifts, hugs, tears, and pictures on the last day of school.
My job was slightly different through e-learning. I had constant web conferences, and a lot of what I did was help the students where to go even to find their assignments and trying to help them keep progress going with their independent reading. A lot of the students I work with have either a Specific Learning Disability or behavioral interventions in place. Holding them accountable when we were at a distance was very challenging. Though as challenging as it was for the teachers, my hearts went out to those parents.
If these students were lucky enough to have parents at home, and the parents were blessed enough to keep their jobs, working from home and trying to home-school a child is something most did not sign up for. I feel you, parents!
Now I know many students (especially elementary level) didn't get the full benefit of learning some things via e-learning. It's hard to concentrate, hard to learn when you can't ask the teacher questions, and get instant answers... it's just hard! So, keeping your child's brain active over summer is so important, especially now! Most children regress slightly in the first quarter because they have to remember everything they learned the previous year. Special education students sometimes have a significant regression over summer that makes it difficult to catch up.
Here are 5 things you can do with your child to keep their brains active, even if you're stuck at home!
1. Grocery shop: helps with writing and math. Even if you're using an online delivery service) have your child write out the list as you're going through what you need. Let them go online with you as you select the items and have them tally up the cost. (older kids, you can tell them to stick within a budget!)
2. Cooking: measurement, following directions: Cooking whether you do it meal per meal or meal prep, kids can help get it done by learning how to follow step-by-step instructions and learning and using measurement skills! Plus, it is delicious and fun!
3. Write a story: Whether your child is into fairy tales, comics, or sing along, you can staple or tie a few pieces of paper together and create their own story. They may need a little help if they are younger, but drawing the actions and writing sentences is HUGE!
4. Build a reading fort: either in their room, the living room, or ANYWHERE, you and your child can build a fort for reading. Want to make it even more awesome? Put some pillows, blankets, and a lantern and tell "camp" stories. Heck, maybe throw some smores in the mix!
5. Write and mail a letter via snail mail: Most kids these days know we check mail, but have they ever written a letter and sent it to someone and had to wait for a response? Everything now is so instantaneous, its fun to set kids up with pen pals. Try asking a family member if they can send them a letter and get a reply!