What If We Just Kept on Learning?

Without structured educational activities during summer break, children with attention deficit (ADD/ADHD), learning disabilities, and other special needs often suffer learning loss. Try this plan for an alternative summer school to keep your child learning while still making time to have fun.

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Special Needs Alternatives to Summer School

My daughter's personalized summer school, Hannah School, runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. four days a week. Working around vacations and other activities, we get in about six weeks each summer. Unlike hour-long, sit-down sessions, the four-hour time blocks allow for frequent breaks, multisensory and experiential learning, and field trips!

Because Natalie shares tutoring with her friend, Harry, each session is an anticipated play date. Weldon sees advantages to group learning: "As children discuss problems, innovate, create solutions, and move forward, they gain comprehension. They also develop social skills and maturity."

Near the end of the school year, our tutor spends part of a day in Natalie and Harry's special-education classroom, and meets with their teacher to learn about strengths, weaknesses, and learning goals.

Last summer, Hannah School started each day in a study room at the public library. Having a door to close gave the trio privacy and allowed them to express their excitement without muffling their voices. They had access to library books, computers, and special programs. A big plus was the park, one block away.

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