You have to know WHAT they need to work on before you can help them work on it, strength or weakness.
Here is a link to the condensed version of the developmental timelines I use to determine what skills to work on.
Other places/resources to guide you:
Weekly Letter from Teacher
If they send them, if not tell the teacher that you are wanting to reinforce skills and concepts at home. Â (Ex. Â math facts, spelling words or Word Study patterns, Social Studies or Science themes, etc.) Â There are lots of ways to incorporate these things once you know what they are and what sorts of activities lend themselves to reinforcing them. Â Check my blog- this is just the sort of thing I LOVE to do!!
Report Cards or Progress Reports
Go through the last report card you got for your child. Â Jot down any areas of concern as well as areas of strength. Â Refer back to this when deciding what to include in the Obstacle Course.
Ex. Â Math is not an absolute strength for my son. Â Because this is something I want to work on with him, I make sure I include a variety of math stations, usually combined with fine motor or gross motor skill building, where he is doing some fun addition, placing numbers in order, working on concepts like “more” and “less,” as well as patterning, which is a personal favorite for him.
I was surprised once we began doing this that literacy was actually a huge strength, figuring like most people might, that because he didn’t speak intelligibly that he would have issues with language. Â Turned out not to be the case with regards to word recognition and reading. Â We do work on pronouns and fluency (he tends to skip over words). Â My point is that while I do tend to scatter more math activity stations into My Obstacle Courses, I also make sure to incorporate reading and language activities that are fun and challenging for him to build on skills he is ready for.
Evaluations from Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Behavior Therapists, etc.
Let them know you want specifics about what your child needs to be working on and incorporate those things into Obstacle Course stations.
Ex. Â My son had oral motor issues and could not blow air through his mouth like he would need to for blowing out candles. Â His speech therapist recommended blowing cotton balls across the table. Â I turned it into an Obstacle Course station where he had to blow puffs using a straw (to help give his lips some structure) off of the counter into a cup. Â He thought this was hysterical and I got him to practice a skill he needed to work on.
IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans)
These special education plans contain the goals that parents/caregivers, teachers and therapists create to help your child progress. Â While the plans don’t provide activities to work on these goals, you can ask the teachers and therapists for activity ideas and suggestions for how you can reinforce those goals at home. Â Â Once I started doing My Obstacle Courses, I found that I learned a great deal about how my son learned, what sorts of things caused him to struggle and how much more I could get from him when a task was broken into small pieces.