We’re approaching a school break soon. While many educators and students feel the excitement of receiving a pause in formal learning, parents and guardians of students with disabilities may feel a bit of apprehension. Loss of learning time, regression, the ability to relearn lessons or tasks are valid concerns that families have when their child is home during a school break.
We’ve put together a few tips for you to share with your students’ parents/guardians based on the education solution you utilize in your classroom. These ideas would be best to share with families a couple of weeks before longer school breaks are scheduled. This will allow them to practice, create or prepare activities and packets for their child throughout the break.
Keep in mind, each student’s home life will look different, and it’s important to keep student culture top of mind – we don’t want to assume what is or isn’t available in a student’s home environment.
For parents/guardians of younger learners, you can create a brief video that communicates how their child can work on two different activities. This video shouldn’t last longer than four minutes. Offer examples of activities that most children can complete at home.
For families of children who are developmental ages 2-10, highlight a few generalization activities. For a week break, choose two or three activities and practice them with your students before leaving school for the vacation. The generalization lesson can be sent home with the students as written, or you can determine what works or what the students need to be successful. You can also create a brief video highlighting the objective of the activities, as well.
If you’re working with families of students in grades K-8, encourage parents and guardians to have their children read a mastered book from a previous unit while they’re at home. In addition, you can prep a few generalization and extension activities connected to the current unit and send them home with the child for the break.
For students ages 4-15, encourage parents to work on extension activities. Provide parents and guardians with different examples of extension activities and then determine one or two different ways that they can facilitate the extension activity with their child. You could also create a brief video for the families to play at home to their child.
Transition to Adulthood
For families of transition-aged students, offer ideas for generalization lessons. You can choose a few lessons from a mastered unit and offer the parents/guardians different ideas on working on the lesson. You can also create a video here walking the families/student through the different lessons and goals.
Remember, no matter what the student’s age, you can’t assume what can or will be done at home. You can provide families with simple tips and guidance that they can implement effectively in their daily lives.