Here are some tips on how to implement a homeschool program for the summer.
Check with your child’s teachers about areas that may need to be worked on.
First, I would start by setting a parent-teacher conference with your child’s teacher. Ask their teacher if there are areas your child needs to catch up on. You can also discuss things that are being worked on so the skills can be maintained. Be sure to take notes! Ask for work samples for ideas and to see things they work on in centers. If your child has an IEP, get a copy if you need one. You can work on their IEP goals over the summer too. Ask your child’s teacher how they are working on the objectives towards the goals so you can work on them in a similar way to stay consistent. Your child’s teacher may be able to provide you with the data sheets they used for the IEP goals, if not The Autism Helper has amazing data sheets. If you want to try The Autism Helper’s Leveled Daily Curriculum, you can bring the Curriculum Levels Matrix with you to the meeting to use it to help determine which curriculum to start with.
Use the information from the parent-teacher meetings and develop a curriculum plan.
Now that you have the information from your child’s teacher, head on over to The Autism Helper’s Shop to look for the materials you need. If you want to add community outings into your summer plans, there are several adapted life skills books available on going to places. There is also Leveled Daily Curriculum, Life Skills Unit. If you need other ideas, apart from what your child’s teacher recommends, I love the Functional Leveled Daily curriculums. These focus on functional skills that sometimes get overlooked in school. I never saw things like these when I was teaching special education, so I make sure I teach them to the boys. I also love the work task packs. If you want to work on communication over the summer, the Communication Work Task Pack would be a great resource to try. I make these for the boys’ OT and SLP to work on. Everyone loves them!
Create a schedule and establish a routine
Routines and schedules really help ease anxiety. I like to start with the things that are not flexible, like therapy schedules. If your child doesn’t see therapists like speech or OT, you may be able to get them started during the summer. You can also add new therapies like music or art therapy. You can also look at library schedules or local classes to see if they have any classes or groups that you would like to be a part of. You can make a schedule as detailed or simple as your child requires. Some children need visuals from picture schedules. For other children, you can just write their schedules on a dry-erase board. Seek out your child’s teacher’s input on how they did their classroom schedule.
Has maladaptive behavior been an issue during the school year? You can spend the summer learning about behavior. Autism Helper has a wonderful Behavior Change Course. Ask your child’s teacher what scenarios are difficult for your child. You can try to replicate these scenarios at home and reach out to The Autism Helper Community for support and ideas. Another area you can work on over the summer is with building fine or gross motor and communication skills. Your child can still thrive with a routine and schedule if you do not want to work on academics. Think of fun ways to occupy their day and enjoy your summer together. The more predictable the schedule is for them, the less stressful it is for everyone. Our time with our children is precious, help make the most of it.
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