Keeping Skills Sharp Over the Holidays
For parents of students with disabilities, the holiday break can be filled with excitement, but it is also a source of anxiety. During this extended time away from school, it’s not uncommon for children to lose skills they have worked hard to gain. However, there are strategies that can be employed to retain these important skills and prepare your child for a successful return to school in January.
The key to retaining skills over the holidays is keeping them active. Set aside time each day for activities that engage your child’s learning and development. A few examples include reading aloud together, playing board games or card games that involve counting or categorization, or completing puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles or word searches. These activities will keep your child’s mind sharp while also providing quality family time together. Additionally, consider having your child help out with tasks around the house like sorting laundry or setting the table - chores can provide opportunities for practice too!
Make Learning Fun
Part of keeping children engaged with learning during their holiday break is making sure that it’s fun and engaging! Try using worksheets and flashcards disguised as games - instead of calling them “math problems” you could call them “speed drills” or something similar. You could even set up an obstacle course around the house that requires your student to count items along the way - get creative! One great way to make learning fun is by using apps on tablets or phones which many students find more engaging than traditional paper-and-pencil activities.
Reinforce Good Habits
It may sound simple but reinforcing good habits every day can help maintain and grow existing skills. Establishing routines like waking up at a certain time each morning, brushing teeth after meals, getting dressed before playtime - all these small things add up! Routines provide structure which helps establish expectations for behavior and performance during daily activities and encourages independence too!
The holidays don't have to mean a setback for students with disabilities when it comes to retaining skills. With some planning ahead of time and lots of creativity you can ensure that your student has an enjoyable break filled with lots of family fun while continuing their learning journey too! Active engagement through quality family time, making learning fun through interactive activities and reinforcing good habits are just a few ways to keep their minds sharp over the break!
With a little thoughtfulness, you can make sure your student is ready for success when they return to school in January.