Summer Activities to Support Summer Learning
As we get closer to summer break, you might be scrambling to find ways to make sure your students retain as many of their new speech-language skills as possible. Unless your students qualify for extended school year services or have access to private speech therapy time with you during the summer months, the struggle to keep students from the summer slide is something educators and school therapists have been battling for years.
Pros and Cons of Summer Speech Activities
Looking beyond the summer slide, there are advantages to creating summer speech activities for your students and families.
- Children have a chance to practice, reinforce, and begin building new skills.
- Allows family to become more involved and engaged in their child’s therapy.
- Children can come back to school having made faster, solid improvement of chosen skills.
That doesn’t mean that creating summer speech activities to work on home isn’t without drawbacks.
- An activities packet may be lost or forgotten about, thus meaning no progress is made during the summer.
- It can be additional out-of-pocket cost for you to put together.
- A considerable amount of time is usually spent putting together activities for each student.
If you believe the pros outweigh the cons, here are some things to get you started on the way to creating summer speech activities for your students.
Creating a Summer Learning Plan
There’s no rule that says you must create a summer learning plan for your students. The summer is meant to be a break for everyone but that doesn’t mean students and parents should abandon all the things that were accomplished during the school year. In the same vein, it doesn’t mean that those pain points the student, the parents, and you are still struggling with should be abandoned either.
Creating a summer learning plan for home isn’t meant to be a punishment for you or your students. Yes, it takes some work to create and implement but with these tips, you’ll have plenty of ideas.
One way to create a supplemental learning plan for summer is to is to think of the skills you’ve built thus far:
- What skills need more focus?
- What are your goals for your classroom?
- What theme can you create?
Themes create a foundation upon which to build your summer plan on. Your theme can be fluid or more structured depending on what skills you’d like your students to work on. If you opt for a more structured theme, break the them down into more specific categories. By asking yourself about the skills and the goals for your classroom, you can develop a theme that will meet everyone’s needs.
Some themes to think about:
- Road Trip
- Fireworks/July 4th
- Ice Cream Party
How you choose to put together the activities is up to you. Many speech-language pathologists create simple packets of papers that go home with the student at the end of the year. Others get more creative and fill tote bags or shoeboxes with a variety of items including printable worksheets or instructions.
The goal is to keep students engaged in learning over the summer and with some imagination and planning your students will continue to learn and have fun all summer long.
Do you have any more suggestions for summer therapy activities? Feel free to share with us in the comments section below!