I’m writing this post on the airplane as I return from a whirlwind weekend of speaking at the Teach Them Diligently conference in Atlanta. Encouraging families on their homeschool journies is something that gives me great joy. Interestingly, these weekends away, teaching and encouraging others, is a HUGE encouragement to me! I can hardly believe it sometimes when people come to me with tears of happiness and stories of success and overcoming fears and budding confidence because of this website!
One thing I learned this weekend is that as summer approaches, we are weary. We’re all looking forward to some long, hot days at the beach or pool, hanging out with friends and family and taking a break from the normal school routine. We need a change of scenery and some time to rest.
So how do we reconcile this with the knowledge that if we do stop teaching our kids with dyslexia, they’re going to forget as much as 30% of what they’ve learned this year? Here are some options for you.
Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading
We have changed how we handle the summer break over the years depending on our level of progress, our level of burnout, and our family dynamic. Here are a few ideas for how to keep the learning going this summer:
Hire a tutor.
I wrote recently of how our 9 1/2-year-old isn’t making the kinds of progress we would like. He is likely on the profound side of dyslexia and so we committed to hiring an NILD educational therapist to work with him. Read more about our decision to hire a tutor for our profoundly dyslexic son here.
Continue with your usual program.
If hiring a tutor is not an option for you this summer, you can continue with your current research-based reading curriculum but cut back on how often you teach – say only 2-3 times per week. This is enough practice to keep your child from forgetting while easing up on the schedule enough to get 4 or 5 days of rest each week.
Add in some games and apps.
Check out the extensive list of apps available for supplementing your reading instruction in this post – 100 Resources for Teaching Kids With Dyslexia. Our boys (ages 6 & 9) are both loving the Nessy Reading and Spelling online reading program. Read my review of Nessy and a special discount for Homeschooling With Dyslexia readers here.
Use a new program for the summer.
One way to sidestep burnout is to switch programs for the summer. Sometimes this small change can give our kids that boost in motivation they need as they try something new. My recommendation for an excellent, online, complete, Orton-Gillingham-based program is Reading Horizons. You can read my complete review of Reading Horizons Elevate here.
Whatever you choose, we’re in this together!