Summer Learning: “They Are Doing Math – And Don’t Even Know It!”
Summer vacation doesn’t have to mean losing the structure you work to maintain during the school year. Learn from these mom-tested strategies for using outdoor activities, projects, and learning apps to keep kids focused.
Afraid that your child with ADHD and learning disabilities isn't retaining all of the information he learned at school last year? ADDitude asked real moms to share how they're keeping learning alive for their kids this summer. What are you doing to help your ADHDer stay on track?
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Our Summer Schedule
"We have a schedule we follow every summer, courtesy of Pinterest: Make Something Monday (craft), Time To Read Tuesday (reading), Workbook Wednesday (handwriting), Thoughtful Thursday (service, manners), and Fun Friday (visit a museum, etc.)." – An ADDitude reader
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Structure for Teens
"My teenage daughter is enrolled in a camp for young writers at a local college and an online driver’s education course. She is also working on her summer reading assignments for the fall." – An ADDitude reader
"My 9-year-old daughter chose to do a project on lollipops this summer. She got books, will make the candy, as well as craft the wrapper – and we'll top it off by visiting the Jelly Belly factory near San Francisco in August! Summer should be fun – and that goes for summer learning as well." – Patti R.
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"We participate in the Summer Reading Program at the library. It’s a great way to keep kids reading! Also, my son likes computer games, so I have him play some math games before he can play something else." – Jill D.
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“Every morning we start the day with writing a list while eating breakfast. Then, we have reading time for 20 minutes, followed by regular summer activities. Throughout the day we try to practice math facts while in the car. As a teacher, I know that learning isn't limited to sitting still at a desk; real life activities are the best way to learn.” – Deanne L.
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Tech for Teaching
"My 8-year-old ADHDer uses learning apps on the iPad, we play card games that incorporate math, and we read together almost every night. We also go over last year's spelling words. I'll also give him play money and charge him for things, so he can practice this life skill as well. He's busy!" – An ADDitude reader
"I harness my son’s strengths with science experiments, hands-on learning, and, of course, LEGOs and Transformers! I painted a visual schedule with the days of the week and times for OT, equine therapy, and swimming lessons. He also started dance for group participation – it’s amazing how he's able to pay attention when he’s moving." – Abbie N.
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"My kids and I are keeping learning alive by getting outdoors as much as possible and using nature as our classroom. Last week, we went on a bike trail, stopped at a pond, and counted the number of different species we saw. The kids were doing addition and subtraction – and they didn't even know it!" – An ADDitude reader
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Summer Punch Cards
"My 9-year-old with ADHD and 7-year-old use ‘Summer Punch Cards’ with various activities on them. The activities range from reading and math, to chores and outside play (which they need just as much as reading!). Each day they complete an activity and get a punch on their card." – An ADDitude reader
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"Throughout the summer, my son practices the exact same routine that he does when he is in school. He gets up and leaves the house at the same time, he eats meals at the same time, and he goes to bed at the same time as he does during the academic year. Although we fill the days with summer learning activities, we are adhering to the same routine in terms of time." – Amy R.
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Use the Day-to-Day Activities
"We try to find opportunities for learning in regular day-to-day activities: Paying for items at the store, counting change, baking, taking a weekly trip to the library, reading bedtime stories, practicing science in the backyard, and doing fun experiments in the kitchen!" – Gillian B.
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Summer Camp Success
"Our 8-year-old child is attending social studies and cooking camps this summer, and we are playing board games and card games with her to keep her math skills up. We are also reading lots of books, including George's Secret Key to the Universe(#CommissionsEarned) by Lucy and Stephen Hawking." – An ADDitude reader
#CommissionsEarned As an Amazon Associate, ADDitude earns a commission from qualifying purchases made by ADDitude readers on the affiliate links we share. However, all products linked in the ADDitude Store have been independently selected by our editors and/or recommended by our readers. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.