Summer is usually a great time for dyslexic students – out of the daily grind of school. Hopefully the pandemic truly is easing and more activities are returning to normal.
TAKE A BREAK
Students have been working hard and under stress these past months, so make sure they have a chance to really have some time for rest and recovery.
How long that break might be depends on how tired or stressed they may be as the school year comes to a close.
Having unscheduled time can do some good things – encourage some students to finally pick up a book of their choosing and begin to read, start a new hobby or return to one, or deepen relationships with family and friends.
LOW STRESS ENJOYABLE READING
Students who have had very difficult times, including being depressed or anxious, may need their summer largely unscheduled, although if there is a way to keep up some low stress reading that might include reading along with listening, it might keep students from losing reading progress over the summer.
Reading old favorites, video game strategy books, graphic or illustrated novels, magazines, or combining watching and reading with movie-book pairings can all be good ways to maintain or even improve reading fluency skills.
EXPERIENCE THE WORLD AND DEVELOP STRENGTHS
Experience is a powerful way for dyslexic people to learn – so think about summers as a way for getting students out into the real world experiencing new things. It may be visiting and experiencing something new, traveling to take in a different time and culture, and meeting new people. Travel to national parks and historical landmarks, play sports, and take in the great outdoors.
Summer is a good time for students to get summer jobs, explore activities they might be interested in for future careers, and develop leadership skills by volunteering, planning projects, and helping carry them out.
SUMMER SCHOOL, TUTORING, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Some families may want to pursue summer tutoring or school if it might help them with the upcoming school year. This can be valuable if classes or tutoring are tailored to what a student needs. Students have less stress from other school demands over the summer – so if the instruction is well matched to student needs, she or he can make progress, and reduce academic pressures in the upcoming school year. Some summer schools or camps for dyslexic students also interweave fun outdoor or extracurricular activities with reading and writing work, making the days pass quickly.
Summer may also be a good time for students to try out and get proficient at assistive technology. While some students may take easily to technology, others will have more trouble. Use the summer to experiment with and decide on favorite apps and devices that will help them as school work demands increase in the upcoming school year. Students transitioning to middle school, high school, or college, might especially find it a good time to pick up these skills. Some colleges and professionals hold assistive technology summer camps, while other freelance professionals offer services. Sometimes training can also be conducted remotely. Private schools of dyslexia may also have teachers that offer minicamps or workshops for students.