Summer school brainstorming: special needs

All-righty then, it’s been a crashing busy week and I have so many posts and thoughts tumbling through my brain, but truly no time to sit and type them out.  But, fair warning, they are stewing….

So…in the meantime, I want to cast out a line and see what can be reeled in.I need some brainstorming help, because summer is upon us. Summer means swimming, sleeping in, boating, naps, wet beach towels, sunlight past seven, popsicles, books, movies, tomatoes, caprese salad, sleeping on the lake, cicadas, chores, afternoon booming downpours for ten minutes then done, t shirts, shorts, flip flops every day.

But summer also means I need to create multiple schedule and routine templates so my kids don’t drift into that mean-spirited snappy boredom of “not enough to do.”  Now, I’m already working on a few camps (only half day though) and we’ve plans for swimming daily if possible and I’m working up heftier chore/responsibilities etc.  But what has got me stumped a bit is the summer school work.  For most of my kids, they will have specific summer assignments sent home to prep for next fall’s classes; reading, maybe a paper.  And this isn’t the place where I want to debate all that practice, I could do a whole ‘nother post on it (but if  you must know, I used to hate all that summer work and now I think it’s great and good for them). 

But here is where I need help:  Marta.  She needs, must have, some summer school work.  Or she will lose ground. She has special needs and still her english level and vocabulary comprehension is very low.  Her reading is improving, which is great, maybe around first grade almost…though the comprehension of the english vocabulary she is reading isn’t there.  This all makes it a bit jumbly to figure out what will be a good, gentle, encouraging way to have her be able to some independent work this summer and also be challenged enough to make progress, overall and/or in her english.   Almost all of her homework from school had to be done with me sitting next to her, helping her through the phonics worksheets and such, she did better with the math.  I would hope to be able to have a combo of helping and also independent.  She is not a big reader, despite having a nook color to excite her and many many books, of all types, around the house.  The problem is finding books that are at her level that are not too “babyish.”  But the upshot is she must have schoolwork, daily, or she will lose ground.

I know, I was a homeschooler forever.  But I wasn’t a homeschooler of kids with cognitive disability and thus am a newbie in the resources area for that.  So, any of you teachers or mom’s with kids who learn differently or have different abilities /cognition….any ideas? Resources? What’s worked for you? I will be heading to Parent Teacher Store probably today, but I need a plan.  Marta {no, all of them, it’s true} function(s) happiest with a routine in place and so I need to get that summer work routine happening and figured out, now, so we can have some structure to the days.  It helps make the whole house happier, for all the kids and mom. So….

  • Resources for summer school work?
  • What’s worked great for you during summer?
  • What did you love for your kids who are working behind their age level?
  • What did you NOT love?
  • What do you think she might love or I might?
  • Where did you get it, make it, find it?
  • Any other tips?

It’s summer! I want to focus on relaxing some, reading, swimming, eating fresh berries and tomatoes from the farm stand or garden, some personal projects (painting, quilt?), hanging with my kids without the bored squabbling.  Is that too much to hope for? I think it should not be…..so, this is my fast friday beating of the bushes, virtually.  Little help?