This past school year was riddled with challenges and many ‘pivots’. Without a doubt, Covid-19 caused a multitude of disruptions throughout 2020 and into 2021. Even now, over 18 months we see that it is beginning to threaten us in different ways with new ‘variants’. The transitions are hard for adults with coping skills and resources, so how is a child with developmental disorders supposed to cope with all of this emotional and physical upheaval?
These kids are most affected because they have difficulty acclimating to change, they need more assistance to learn, and because of forced isolation many have missed out on social interactions which are vital to their development.
With several weeks until the new school year begins. Many parents may be wondering about how they can support their kids while we all ease back into the new school year that is just around the corner.
There are many things parents can do from home over the summer to help their children thrive during the summer months and make the transition back to school when classes resume in the Fall. For parents and caregivers looking for fresh ideas, here are a few suggestions cultivated from the internet.
During the school year there are many websites that are used by teachers to add to your child’s learning experience in the classroom. These favorites can also be helpful during the summer months and make learning a family affair too!
- National Geographic offers a variety of classroom resources you can use at home.
- TMC Teachers offers free learn-at-home resources that are organized by grade level and activity type.
- Education.com offers a learning library, with printable worksheets, games, guided lessons, lesson plans and more – organized by grade level, subject and topic – for kids from preschool through 5th grade.
- A kid favorite for years, Highlights offers free activity bundles.
Highlights for Children!
- Amplify offers videos, independent skills practice, read aloud lessons, novel guides, and guided skills practice for science, reading and more for grades K-8.
- Go Noodle is a free online resource that provides tons of ways for kids and families to be active, stay mindful and keep learning. Available in English and Spanish.
- For a screen-free option, Common Sense Media offers educational podcasts for kids of all ages. Some can even be downloaded so you don’t need to be connected to the internet to listen. Explore the entire site for many other suggestions and resources.
Social Skills Resources
Social skills help individuals function more effectively in social situations, and there are a few websites that can help parents cultivate skills their kids need to create positive interactions with others.
- Anchor Point’s Pathway to Hope Family Camp Pathway to Hope Camp is designed to create connection before correction, helping children and their families thrive.
- Meraki Lane offers tips about how parents can teach social skills, along with activities that can help social skills development.
- Learning for a Purpose offers lots of ideas and resources you can use with teens. In addition to social skills, the site also includes resources to help teach safety skills, self-care skills, homemaking skills, and community skills. Explore the entire site for other valuable suggestions.
- If your child was receiving school-based behavioral therapy during the regular school year by Anchor Point’s Hope Family Center, continuing these services during the summer – either via in office visits or via telehealth services – may be an option you’ll want to consider. In addition, Pathway to Hope Family Camp is an amazing resource that helps the whole family thrive and may also be valuable. Lastly, if you need a break from your daily caregiving duties or help managing all the demands of daily life over the summer, you may want to explore traditional or specialized respite care services. For help determining if these services are right for you and your family, and for assistance with next steps in the process, please request a consult.