Mother saying farewell to kids

Prepping our Kids for the New School Year: How we do it in our family

Written by Andy Kavulich, Parent Contributor | August 26, 2010

It has been stated by educational research and experts that all children regress academically during the summer. As for how much a “normal” student regresses, this “brain drain” might be two-fold for an LD student. This in itself is not startling new information, however, what is so critical is how we react as LD parents. As parents of several children with LD, my wife and I have found a plan which has paid great dividends and actually has improved our quality of life as a family.

It has been stated by educational research and experts that all children regress academically during the summer. As for how much a “normal” student regresses, this “brain drain” might be two-fold for an LD student. This in itself is not startling new information, however, what is so critical is how we react as LD parents. As parents of several children with LD, my wife and I have found a plan which has paid great dividends and actually has improved our quality of life as a family.

Once my wife and I came to grips how vitally important summer learning is to the LD child, we decided to utilize the summer to its fullest. We have never looked back as it has been one of the best decisions we have made on our LD journey. We enrolled the children for the past four summers in programs tailored for their needs: they attend a four-week session (usually the second half of the summer), Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to noon. The beauty of this is, these kids go hopping, skipping, and jumping to these sessions because intuitively they know it is what’s best for them. They understand this because they are receiving the correct remediation. Ultimately, it comes down to the proper programs taught by qualified teachers at the correct intensity — children respond to the correct instruction.

In many ways, we feel our school year starts in July rather than September. And the benefits of the work in the summer are fully realized the first week of school when these LD kids hit the ground running because they have “warmed up” their brains. Most importantly, there has been no summer regression. Also important is that this summer school session has not affected the kids “fun” as they still have had plenty of time to participate in activities and take advantage of all summer has to offer. No doubt this plan requires commitment and work, but my wife and I feel it’s our responsibility as LD parents — no one is going to knock on our door and ask what they can do to help our kids. Well, my kids are calling for “dad” right now, so it’s time for me to sign off. Thanks in advance for listening to this idea. It’s worked for our family and it may work for your family, too. Best of luck on your LD journey. Enjoy what’s left of the summer!

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