ADHD & Summer Learning – Wishing for the Impossible?
Summertime seems to bring with it a unique combination of excitement and concern. There’s the excitement over the extra family time, maybe vacation plans and even just the relief in seeing another school year end. Then there are the underlying concerns common to all parents about how to keep children active and engaged and not turn into complete couch potatoes.
However for parents with children coping with ADHD – summertime is particularly challenging as anxieties from change in schedule and structure, the overwhelming need for activity and stimulation and parents’ desire to maintain hard-won academic skills can turn a relaxing summer into a stressful nightmare.
What can you do during the summer to set your child up for success in the upcoming school year?
There are many ways to give your ADHD children structure and goals that will help them continue to practice their focus, organizational abilities and even academic skills.
1. Reading for Fun
Probably the most popular summertime learning activities is reading. Library reading programs and incentives can help make reading more enjoyable. The idea should be to read for fun… Reading can even be turned into a fun family time. Reading together, or out loud, or listening to a book on tape, or turning a favorite story into a play… All of these activities can make reading full of life and color for your restless ADHD children.
2. Keep Active!
Science shows that frequent, full-body movement is necessary for any child to develop properly. ADHD kids in particular benefit from physical activity – this makes intuitive sense, and is also backed up by studies showing that daily physical activity helps ADHD brains focus more easily.
3. Learning by Doing
Household chores, summertime projects and initiatives, even a lemonade stand are all activities full of learning opportunities. Children with ADHD need help creating structure and extra support when they’re working towards a goal – but there are great ways to help them practice these important skills, try some of the following:
- Set 10-minute timers to help them focus on one task at a time.
- Break larger tasks into smaller ones
- Use the tendency of ADHD brains to process visually to create motivation charts or keep track of progress towards larger goals.
4. Cognitive Training
Experts worldwide are coming to recognize the importance and efficacy of cognitive training for children with attention disorders. We all know that our ADHD kids are bright, even exceptionally so. The problem is that their grades and academic performance rely on the kind of organizational skills and self-regulation and motivation that don’t come naturally to children with ADHD.
Computerized training is one of the most effective ways to help your child strengthen and maintain core cognitive abilities. AttenGo’s neuro-cognitive method is unique and scientifically proven to help children and adults strengthen attention, focus, organizational skills, impulse control and self-regulation.
Summertime is a great opportunity to keep your children learning and practicing their attention skills even as they engage in non-school activities.
Computerized cognitive training programs are an important tool, and combined with physical activity and a summer project or two can help your child keep all that he or she has gained over the school year and when the next school year starts – hit the ground running!