Ask my children to name the two most anticipated words of the school year and they will unanimously say: Summer vacation
And the two most dreaded words: Summer Reading
The end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation is a juxtaposition of extremes. There is no transition from the rigorous routine of early morning wake up times, breakfast and carpools and after school activities, homework and bedtime to our summer break.
With the first day of vacation, those time sensitive pressures suddenly end. There are still carpools for day camp and a semblance of a routine. But with the extra hours of sunlight and lack of test schedules, the pressure is off.
Except for summer reading.
My children bemoan the dreaded summer reading list. As an experienced speech therapist, I understand the value.
Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement.
The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect.
The same is true for speech therapy.
Think about it. You diligently schedule speech therapy appointments during the school year and the momentum and consistency are huge factors in maximizing progress. And then summer vacation comes, and our school year routine comes to a halt.
But your child’s need for language development does not end with the school year. Working on children’s speech and language progress is a year-round priority. At a minimum, the goal of summer should be to maintain skills. Optimally, our children should start the new school year ahead of where they left off.
The beauty of virtual speech therapy is the flexibility of time and place. If you go on vacation, you can take us with you, as long as you have Wi-Fi and a computer. The same is true if your child goes to sleep away camp. With a quick switch of the schedule and permission to use their laptop, the therapy sessions can continue: Different time, different place but same therapist and routine.
Here are three tips to help you build speech and language practice into summer activities:
Make it Fun: Online speech and language therapy is inherently cool with a built in technology factor. Our therapists are trained to kick-it up a notch, adding a summer coolness factor while cranking up the heat on skills,
Keep it Simple: Simplicity is important no matter what the season, but it takes on a new meaning during vacation or travel periods. Remember, the most powerful things in life – and in therapy – often are the simplest. If you are traveling, or trying to incorporate summer therapy sessions around camp schedules, let simplicity be the guide. The less complicated the logistics, the greater the chance for success.
Offer Incentives: Schools and libraries offer rewards for summer reading. Positive reinforcement helps promotes success. Every family has their own reward system. You know what works best for each of your children!
Spring, summer, fall or winter, our Great Speech therapists are available year-round to ensure consistency. Schedule your introductory call today for more information.