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Summer is almost here. Homework, tests and projects will soon be behind us. You may be as excited as your kids and students about this much deserved break; just imagine – soon we’ll be relaxing and enjoying the warm sun. You may not want to do a single piece of school work for the entire summer break, but don’t put all the books and worksheets on the shelf just yet.

While summer is an excellent time to relax and recharge, a long break from academic work may result in significant backward slides for students in reading and math. Such a decline may be even more significant for students with learning differences. Plus, these “summer losses” accumulate over the years, and can result in even larger gaps between the students with learning differences and their peers.

This does not mean there is no time for fun. Children should get a chance to enjoy their time away from school. What I suggest, however, is to incorporate small doses of reading and math into daily routines to keep pace with their peers. This could be making time for daily reading books for fun such as decodable chapter books to practice reading fluency and listening to audiobooks to continue building vocabulary. Also, spending 15 minutes on math facts or worksheet on a regular basis keeps the math skills fresh.

Even more important than academic skills, summer is a great time to nurture the soft skills and the emotional well being of a child. During these months, children should also get the opportunity to spend time on their hobbies, build on their strengths and explore new interests. After all, children should find ways to enjoy life and explore the opportunity to be content with who they are.

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