Welcome back to the Flamingo Feathers Podcast! Just a reminder that sharing this podcast with other special needs homeschooling moms, as well as leaving a great review on your favorite podcast app is a great way to get this resource into more hands! I know it takes a few minutes of your time, so thank you so much!
I think it's safe to say that this summer will not look how we had originally hoped. You may have canceled vacations, closed parks, closed museums are more. But that doesn't mean we can't still have fun with our kids while helping them to thrive and have a successful summer.
One of the biggest needs in our family is routine and structure. My kids do so much better with a predictable routine--not just because of personalities and disabilities, but just from the sheer fact that we have 10 people living in our home!
The school year just ended for us, but I am already planning for the fall. I don't know about you, but if I am not intentional with my kids to keep them learning over the summer, we see serious regression in the fall when school starts back up. This summer, when we have empty calendars (as sad as that may be), is the perfect time to help our kids keep learning and making gains.
In this episode of the podcast, I highlighted the three things that our family is going to be very intentional to do over the summer in order to keep a routine that my kids crave, keep the kids healthy mentally and physically, and to keep them moving forward without a major regression in the fall.
3 Things My Family Is Doing For A Successful Summer
I'm guessing it's 50/50 split as to whether my listeners homeschool through the summer. But I'm not talking about hours of bookwork.
Our family chooses two subjects per child to focus on. Almost always, one of them is math, because that is where we see our kids regress the most. Then I choose another subject for the kids to work on as well. One of my sons has been struggling with spelling again, so we are going to go back and revisit our favorite Orton-Gillingham style curriculum, All About Reading.
Summer is a great time to try new things in school as well. In the podcast, I shared about the benefits of summer school for our family, as well as our family's past unit studies during the summer. It's a great way to tie in school and learning with any trips you take or activities you are doing.
Plenty of Nature
This one seems like a no-brainer for summer. But getting out into the fresh, warm air can be so therapeutic for kids that can tolerate it! Summer is a time of swimming and camping and so much more.
But think of all of the other ways you can tie in nature to your summer. Some ideas I mentioned were painting outside, watching shapes in the clouds, visiting state parks, going for nature walks, and more! We even take the tubs of our younger kids' toys outside and have them play with them on the back patio rather than in their bedrooms.
On the podcast, I shared more benefits of getting into nature. And I also shared about sitting next to a psychologist on a flight who told me about her research on how nature affects behavior. Indeed, my kids who have behavioral difficulties tend to calm down and relax so much better when they go outside. I have a lot of ideas on why nature is so therapeutic, but I'll save those for a later day.
The third and final thing we're going to be focusing on this summer is cooking! Seems odd, possibly. But I truly believe cooking is such a great way to teach all kinds of skills to kids in a very non-threatening and rewarding way (especially if your kids love food as much as mine do!)
Here are some benefits of cooking that I discussed in this episode:
- Learning to follow directions
- Sequencing skills
- Fine motor skills
- Other OT skills (such as pouring, wrist bending, hand eye coordination)
I mentioned that I have been pinning interactive cooking sequence cards on Pinterest lately. You can find them on my Pinterest board.
Oh, and that word I couldn't remember??? Any guesses? It was FUNNEL! Oh my!
How to Get Involved with Flamingo Feathers
On Facebook, the Flamingo Feathers page can be found here. Follow the page so you can be the first to find out when the Flamingo Feathers community launches this summer! www.facebook.com/flamingofeathers
You can also follow Flamingo Feathers and my family on Instagram: www.instagram.com/flamingofeathers_beth
Finally, I mentioned in the podcast that I would love to hear what YOU are going to be doing with your family this summer. Drop me a line and I'll read it on an upcoming episode!
That's it for this episode. See you backfor Episode 3!