VBT# Is My Kid Stupid ? - Nzingha West - Part 1/3

Today's VBT# host is Nzingha West with her book "Is my Kid Stupid? Avoiding an Educational Disaster". For us in New Zealand, I am glad I was able to feature it this week as we are in Autism Month for NZ.

Guest Post :

5 Steps to a more productive summer for your child

1. Plan activities outside of summer camp or day camp

If you want to make sure your child is having the best summer he/she can possibly have, you should definitely make some time for family and look into the free programs being offered in your community. Take advantage of the museums, zoos and amusement parks in your area. Many times the zoos and museums have free days and free activities. Check the local museums and zoos’ website for additional information.

2. Do some school work activities with your child

I know, I know, school is meant only for the time between September and June, after that it’s playtime. Did you know that most children forget much of what they have learned during the school year over the summer break? In order to combat that, you should plan to do some school based activities with your child. Reading books, writing book reports and brushing up on math can be fun. Make the book reports theme based using what your child likes as muse. Make the top score on the math test rewarding by offering a movie night. Anything you do with your child can be fun. Use your imagination

3. Create a Schedule

It’s hard to break a child out of 12am to 12pm sleep schedules. Combat that by developing and sticking to a schedule that will be helpful for everyone in the family. Offer children rewards like family night, or pizza night (or whatever makes them happy) for sticking to their “in the bed” curfew.

4. Enroll your child in a program or swap days with other parents

If you can’t afford to enroll your child in summer or day camp and there are other families in your same situation, you may be able to swap days with other families. It’ll be similar to a carpool, where one mom ships everyone’s children on one day etc. This is a good way to keep your sanity (and the other parents’ sanity) and to differentiate your child’s learning and activities over the summer without paying tons of money. If you enroll your child in a summer program you should make sure they have an activities sheet which outlines all trips and daily schedules. You should also check for licensing and background checks. Keep copies of all contracts and/or agreements and paid checks, they may come in handy.

5. If your child has been held back

If your child has been held back, the summer is the perfect time to build up the skills he/she is lacking in. Investing in a good tutor and creating a plan with the school can possibly reverse your child’s retention. You should make provisions with the school prior to the last day and enroll your child in summer school if it is available to you. Once you have your plan in place have a meeting with your child’s teacher and principal to see what reading/math levels would be acceptable to move your child to the next level and work on that for the entire summer. No need to accept the retention, just work on changing it.

Nzingha West is a special education advocate and instructor in New York City. She is the author of the book “Is My Kid Stupid? Avoiding an Educational Disaster”.


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