A Summer Guide for Special Education Families

iep summer ideas Jun 13, 2024

Summer is finally here, and while it’s a time for fun and relaxation, it can also be a bit daunting for parents of children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). 


The school year brings structure and support, and summer can feel like a big question mark. 


Summer is a great time to blend fun with learning and ways to improve your child’s IEP come fall!


Fun and Educational Summer Activities


Here are some activities that can help reinforce your child’s IEP goals:


  • Nature Walks—Use nature walks to build vocabulary and observation skills. Collect leaves, rocks, or flowers and create a nature journal where your child can describe and categorize their findings.


  • Cooking Together—Cooking is a great way to practice following instructions, measuring, and sequencing. Plus, it’s a fun and rewarding activity that you can do together.


  • Community Outings—Visits to the library, museums, or even the local grocery store can be educational. Encourage your child to ask questions, read signs, and interact socially.

While you’re enjoying your summer activities, this is a perfect time to gather data you can use in the fall to improve your child’s IEP.


One of the most powerful tools you can have as a parent is data. This summer, let’s make data collection a part of our routine in a stress-free way. 


Here’s how:


  • Daily Journaling—Keep a simple journal of your child’s daily activities, behaviors, and moods. Note what activities they enjoyed, what challenges they faced, and any progress you observe. This doesn’t have to be fancy—a few lines each day will do.


  • Skill Tracking—Pick a few key skills from your child’s IEP to focus on. Create a chart to track progress in these areas. For example, if one goal is to improve reading, log the number of minutes spent reading each day and any improvements in comprehension or fluency.


  • Behavior Logs—If your child has behavioral goals, log any incidents or successes. Include details like the time of day, triggers, and outcomes. This will be extremely valuable when discussing behavioral plans with your child’s IEP team.


Preparing for the Next School Year

Here are a few more steps to ensure you and your child are ready for the new school year:


Review their IEP—Take some time to review your child’s current IEP. Note any questions or concerns you might have and jot down observations from the summer that could be useful for adjustments.


Set Goals Together—Involve your child in setting a few personal goals for the upcoming school year. This can empower them and give them a sense of ownership over their progress.

You’ve Got This!


Remember, you are your child’s best advocate. 


The time and effort you put in over the summer can make a huge difference in their confidence and success in the coming school year. 


Don’t forget to take care of yourself too—parenting is hard work, and you deserve some relaxation and fun as well.


Wishing you and your family a fantastic, productive, and joyful summer!

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