Ask the Experts by Sara Martin
Q: I’m concerned about keeping up with my daughter’s language skills during summer break. I am always hearing about the summer slide and I don’t know what I should be doing.
A: This is a great question! During summer, there are many ways to keep up with language skills. Many of these suggestions can be done year-round.
First, ramp up the reading. Visit the library and check out new books often. Read with your daughter everyday. If she’s old enough to read, take turns reading. At least 20 minutes a day is recommended!
Secondly, engage in conversation throughout your day. Conversation sounds obvious, but with such great access to digital entertainment these days the art of conversation is dwindling because there is much less of it going on. Make it a point to have a screen-free time of the day. You pick the time and stick to it for both your daughter and yourself.
Play games. There is so much learning that happens with games from when children are toddlers all the way into the teen years and beyond: pragmatic communication skills, vocabulary, strategy & more.
Since it’s summer, make it a point to do some activities outside. Enjoy the weather, have a picnic, go for a bike ride, etc. All of these activities make for a great time to have a conversation. Regardless of what you’re talking about, there will be growth and learning happening all summer. Keeping up with those speech and language skills should be fun. Skip the screen, skip the flashcards and use yourself as the interactive toy/playmate/conversation partner.
Owner/Speech-Language Pathologist Sara Martin offers private therapy specializing in speech-sound disorders, language delays, reading impairments and orofacial myofunctional disorders. Sara can be reached at 313-815-7916 or email: email@example.com. Speech with Sara is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals.