Hallelujah, it’s summertime! I can almost hear the waves crashing and the seagulls squawking…and my children asking, “What can we do now, Mom?” My response, “Girls, it’s summertime. Play in the yard!”
Love those girls, I do. There are, however, a few struggles when it comes to the loads of free time summer provides us. I know you’d agree when I say these struggles are important for children to wrestle with as constant entertainment isn’t helpful in the long run. It’s why FamilyConnect suggests teaching children how to handle free time and creating space to intentionally unwind.
I don’t, however, think we should let the entire summer be a free-for-all. Whether your child is in daycare, full-time summer camp, or staying home with a parent, family member, or sitter, your child likely has additional, homework-free time or school-free days that can be used for educational endeavors. Endeavors there just wasn’t time for in the fall, spring, or winter. Yes, thank you, summer.
We previously talked about encouraging summer reading and assistive technology use to avoid summertime regression and incorporating fun, hands-on activities to spark learning; today, we’ll focus on helping your child find a role model who is also visually impaired.
If you already have a peer or adult in mind, perfect. I suggest scheduling a few summer get-togethers.
If you don’t know a peer, older child, or adult who is blind or visually impaired who may make a wonderful role model for your child, I suggest contacting a local service provider and/or asking your child’s Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments or Orientation and Mobility Specialist for a few suggestions.
Because while yes, you can conduct a mentor search using APH CareerConnect’s online tool to find a virtual career-mentor, there are particular benefits to meeting face-to-face and interacting with an individual, best case scenario a peer, who is also blind or visually impaired.
Just what are these benefits? Read the following to get a clear picture:
My favorite example from one of the above resources is a young boy who recently lost his vision who did not want to learn braille or use his cane. After meeting a peer who was blind who knew braille and used a cane, he realized “on his own” he wasn’t alone, and he would benefit from braille and cane use.
Yes, helping your child find a peer mentor who is blind or visually impaired is worth the effort and time.
So this summer let the children be bored! Schedule, too, a few opportunities for growth!