Summer break is here, but thereís never a vacation from Attention Deficit Disorder! What can you do with your kids? Letting them vegetate is not a good option. When your children have Attention Deficit Disorder, you will definitely need a plan! REAP the benefits of having a good strategy in place. REAP is an easy mnemonic to remember Relax/Routine, Enhance/Educate, Activity, and Projects.
School is stressful, yet it provides a structure to the day during the school year. Keep the structure and dump the stress. Find out what your kids need to relax. Do they prefer quiet time or time with friends? One thing that they donít need to relax is to become heavily invested in video games. Limit their time, or the whole summer will revolve around sitting in front of a computer screen.
Keep a routine. It doesnít have to be the same one that you use for school. There need to be defined times for sleeping, physical activity, family events, and meeting with friends. Intellectual pursuits also need to be factored in. A routine helps kids with ADD be able to manage their stress levels better. They know what is going to happen, and that automatically takes some of the stress out of the day.
Summer can be the time to enhance your childrenís lives. Are there classes that they have wanted to take to explore their interests? Check with your Parks and Recreation department. Also, look at local community colleges for special interest camps. Sometimes, local libraries have great summer programs.
Read with your children and discuss the books. Have them keep a reading journal. Read for twenty minutes, and then paraphrase what you have read. You do it too! Trade journals and read about the otherís book. You can raise your childís reading comprehension greatly by doing this daily.
Play math games. It sounds corny, but kids like to spend time with adults who they value. Make up your own math games using playing cards. There are also math games on the Attention Deficit Disorder site. Itís a great time to work on multiplication facts and positive and negative integers. Have fun while you are learning!
Plan a film festival. What has your family wanted to learn more about? Have each person in the family choose a video using a specific theme. This is a fantastic way to learn about science and social studies topics. One summer, our family watched all of Ken Burnsí Civil War series. We checked it out from the library.
People with ADD need regular physical activity. Whether it is taking daily walks, exploring a neighborhood park, or martial arts classes, make sure that there is time in the daily routine to exercise. Yoga and Tai Chi help with focus. Many students blossom when they take a dance class. Learning dance routines helps with concentration.
Sports camps or leagues are a good way to indulge a special interest and get physical activity at the same time. Swimming and diving are good summer choices for kids with ADD who want an individual sport. Coaches promote attentiveness. Make sure that any teachers and coaches are familiar with your childís particular needs. If there are affordable classes, camps, or sporting opportunities nearby, your kids might want to take advantage of them.
How many times have you seen a haunted house at Halloween or whimsical holiday decorations and said, ďI wish we had time to do decorations like that?Ē The trick is to treat yourself to a summer project. Build the decorations with your kids over the summer.
Have you wanted a gorgeous vegetable garden or to xeriscape your front yard? Start the project in the summer! Do you enjoy a backyard pond? Research it and build it yourself! Our family built a backyard pond as part of a Scout project that our youngest son had to do. Itís given us years of joy. Without summer vacation, it would never have been completed. Another year, we took all of the grass out of the front yard and started a xeriscaping project. This year our front yard is full of the flowers that are made possible by that earlier project.
Kids who are bored tend to make their own fun. Kids with ADD/ADHD are endlessly creative in their quest to end boredom! With the REAP strategy, nobody will be bored during the summer break. Your kids will be refreshed and ready to slide from summer vacation back into the routine of school. The largest benefit that summer break can bring is the time that you will spend together playing, learning and working as a family.