November 4, 2020

Cultivate Your Child’s Development with After-School Enrichment Classes

Advance your child’s competence in a variety of areas, with our classes in handwriting, reading, social development, and more

Life may not go back to what we knew before COVID-19 for some time. However, we are making some strides toward a “new normal.” For instance, schools are finally resuming in-person learning, at least part-time. Schools offering these “hybrid” schedules are allowing students to attend classes on certain days, while conducting remote lessons on others.

Still, there is no doubt that the upheaval and disruption of normal routines has impacted student progress, causing some to fall behind. Learning social skills by interacting with other children has suffered. Children who are already dealing with developmental or behavioral conditions have been particularly affected.

In order to remedy these particular challenges, you may want to consider enrichment classes for your child. Lumiere Children’s Therapy offers a number of specialized Enrichment Classes that can help your child regain or enhance specific skills, including handwriting, reading, and social skills. These programs can be used to supplement in-person therapy or our virtual therapy and learning tools. Our staff is also taking precautions for health and safety.

We’ll review some of these programs below so you can decide if one or more will benefit your child and give you the support you, and they, need during this pandemic.

Handwriting clubs: learning to write & shine

Handwriting is one of the most necessary basic skills for a child to learn, and how well your child masters it will greatly impact his or her school performance. For children with certain conditions, proper handwriting can be quite a challenge. Our Handwriting Clubs are designed for children who struggle with sensory processing and fine motor deficiencies. The groups are based around the multi-sensory Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.

Our therapists have two goals with these clubs:

  1. Assess and improve pencil grasp, posture, and hand strength
  2. Assess and improve sensory perception skills, including visual perception and proprioception, which is awareness of the body in a space

We also supplement lessons with sensory integration and strengthening exercises, as well as alternative seating, grasping, and table options. Taken as a whole, these lessons can help improve control and handwriting legibility.

Our Handwriting Clubs are divided into five groups based on skill level and age:

  • Super Scribblers (ages 3-4) – Pre-handwriting lessons, including strokes & shapes
  • Letter Leaders (ages 4-5) – Uppercase letters, numbers & introduction to lower case letters
  • Word Wizards (ages 5-6) – Lowercase letters & introduction to writing words
  • Sentence Starters (ages 7-9) – Introducing sentence structure
  • Wonderful Writers (ages 10-13) – Brings lessons together to improve and enhance writing skills

Reading groups: Learning to read. Reading to learn!

Reading is fundamental, and children who struggle to master reading in school will struggle with everything else. Lumiere’s Reading Groups are designed by our speech therapists using the Orton-Gillingham approach. This curriculum uses research-based, systematic, and multi-sensory strategies to improve reading, writing, and spelling skills.

The program focuses on six core skills:

  1. Phonics
  2. Phonemic awareness
  3. Spelling
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Reading fluency
  6. Reading comprehension

Our Reading Groups are divided into two sub-groups based on age:

Bookworms (ages 5-7)

This group focuses on the foundations that will help your child “learn to read.” The purpose is to build phonological, phonemic, and phonics skills, which are the building blocks of reading and spelling.

Skills include:

  • Rhyme recognition
  • Syllable awareness
  • Letter-sound correspondence
  • Decoding (breaking words into syllables to recognize individual sounds in a word)

Scholars (ages 8-10) 

The purpose of this group is to take a child to a place where he or she is “reading to learn.” We work on reading comprehension, including the ability to answer questions about a passage that has just been read.

Skills include:

  • Vocabulary knowledge
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading fluency
  • Spelling rules

SociaLights clubs: Interact and socialize

The ability to interact and socialize with others is a learned skill. A child who struggles with a developmental, emotional, or behavioral condition may also have trouble in social settings. This can make it difficult for these children to form friendships. SociaLights Clubs are designed to help children act and react appropriately in society. This allows them to gain confidence and develop relationships with their teachers and peers. A licensed and certified therapist who is trained to teach social skills leads each group.

There are four specific relation-forming skill sets:

  1. Conversational skills
  2. Problem solving skills
  3. Perspective taking skills (recognizing and relating to the feelings of others)
  4. Cooperative play skills

There are four age-level groups that can help build social skills as your child develops and matures:

  • Twinkle Stars (ages 2-3) – Turn taking, eye contact, imitation
  • Shooting Stars (ages 4-5) – Conversation initiation, sharing, problem-solving
  • Shining Stars (ages 6-8) – Leadership skills, peer collaboration, expressing emotion appropriately
  • Super Stars (ages 8-11) – Public speaking, group presentation, creating engaging conversation

Developing the skills your child needs

While this pandemic has created many challenges for children who struggle with developmental conditions, there is hope. Lumiere’s enrichment classes can provide enhanced lessons to teach your child essential handwriting, reading, and social skills.

We also provide other comprehensive therapies so children with a wide range of physical, emotional, and developmental conditions can achieve traditional milestones.

Other services include:

  • Speech therapy
  • ABA (behavior) therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Social work
  • Augmentative alternative communication
  • Early intervention
  • Teletherapy

Lumiere Children’s Therapy is a full-service, multidisciplinary pediatric therapy practice located in Chicago that serves the developmental needs of children from birth to 18 years of age. Learn more about how our team of clinicians works to improve the lives of children and their families.

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