Summer Continued Education

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
29 May 2013

Summer is around the corner. Many parents are wondering what to do with their children’s day once school is out? Should they just take it easy and have children enjoy a non-scheduled routine? Or should they send them to summer school or summer camps and keep them busy?

In the US the number of days in school is 180 days in average. This is a low attendence rate worldwide. Add to this the fact that the school day is short and there is no homework on Friday so children can spend a relaxed weekend.

On the other hand, in Japan, South Korea, China, and many European countries education occupies more time and place in children lives. That is the reason behind the great scores in math, science,…


1- Keep your child engaged in as many activities as possible. Days in summer are long and outdoor activities become most convenient. What a great opportunity to socialize and meet new people! It will also widen your own network and helps you connect with new people and make friends.

2- Diversify the activities to make them appear more appealing and interesting to your child. Teaching acedemic subjects are great. But knowledge can also be acquired through an artistic, a cultural, or a physical activity. Exposing your child to different experiences will help her/him discover her/his favorite subject. The favorite subject will eventually become her/his area of strength, and most probably can turn into a career.

3- Read aloud to your child. Reading aloud nourishes the imagination and activates new thinking channels. While reading aloud you are using all your skills to pass on a message. You are acting out, intonating, and making facial expressions. This is an inspiring experience for your child. You are animating the words as you read and give them life. The child in return will naturally get into the habit of reading books. Visit the local libraries and check out books, DVDs, and CDs. If you can make reading a routine, this habit will grow with your child and settle for the rest of her life.

4- Send your child to a summer camp if you can afford to pay for it. Again meeting new people and participating in group activities helps with social and communication skills.

5- Take your child to a farm if you have a friend or a relative who is willing to host you even for a few days. When Temple Grandin was sent during one of her summer vacations to her aunt’s ranch, her mother didn’t know what to expect. This summer in Temple Grandin aunt’s ranch has changed her life. She became an animal science professor. Besides, she is designing the live stock facilities across the nation. She wrote many books and lectures now nation wide.

There is a kind of therapy called “farm therapy” that is believed to be ideal for individuals with ASD. It has an amazingly positive impact on autistic children. On a farm the children live in a naturalistic peaceful setting: away from all noises of the urban life, very close to the earth (soil) and animals. Living on a farm can heal many sensory integration issues, like the touch. Touching the soil or an animal, like a horse or a chicken or a rabbit, has a healing effect. It creates a connectedness with other living creatures and develops empathy. Grooming a horse creates a deep friendship and a sense of belonging.

On a farm you become a teamplayer. This is the nature of farm chores. Many adults with special needs can hold jobs and live happily for living a productive life. Caring for animals and cultivating the land is very rewarding. A common growth is in progress. Woodwork is another interesting job. There are endless jobs on a farm that special needs population would enjoy and would be very good at doing them.

On a farm your child gets in direct contact with real life experiences.

6- Enroll your child in a summer school program, whether in a public school or a private school depending on your budget. In summer school a balanced mix of work and fun is combined to allow children to learn at their own pace.

7- If you are travaling away from home, make sure your child’s needs will be met. On the plane, cruise, hotel,…there are situations that you can avoid in order to have a pleasant traval, stay and keep good memories too. Take the things that would help you keep your child on a schedule and continue a structured life style. I know that some airlines provide special services to accomodate autistic children’s needs.


Engaging the brain in doing an activity is training it to process, accumulate, and accomodate data. What else would you wish for your child to do?

In previous articles I have discussed the importance of having a daily schedule, as well as the role of discipline and consistencey in children’s life in order to succeed and progress. Bringing stability and order in children’s life help them grow and develop in the best environment.

Kids who are kept at home doing nothing during summer break, lose a lot of knowledge they have previously acquired. This drop in cognitive/academic level makes it harder the following year to build up on what has already been taught. A structured summer break will allow a smoth transition into a new school year.

Get ready and consult with your child-if she/he is old enough- which activities would she like to do. Give choices and suggest options of classes: dance, painting, drawing, musical instument, sports and martial arts, clay, ceramics, tampoline, legoes, reading,… the subjects are countless.

Plan ahead of time and prepare your child for the summer schedule. When mentally and psychologically prepared the outcome will be more satisfactory. Being prepared invites your child to cooperate.

Exercisng regularly helps keep a good blood circulation.

Bottom line: keep your child’s brain stimulated.

nadia shanab

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