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News from Mathnasium of Glendale

Top 5 Reasons to Enroll in a Math Program Over Summer

Mar 24, 2019

By Justin Smith, Mathnasium Instructor


School’s out! Well, almost. Summer vacation is right around the corner, and kids are waiting in eager anticipation, knowing that for two months, they won’t have to learn anything. But… maybe they should. Research has shown that over the months of summer vacation, the amount of learning that is lost or forgotten equates to approximately one whole month of instruction and schooling (Cooper et al, 1996). When it comes to math, that’s a special kind of problem, because math is cumulative. There are a lot of reasons why it’s beneficial to continue learning throughout the summer months. Here are the top 5.

Summer at Mathnasium


1. Prevent “forgetting” math concepts

Math isn’t like other subjects, where you can learn a concept for a test, then forget it and move on. In math, you need to fully understand a concept before you can move on. If you forget anything, it can be extremely difficult, or sometimes even impossible to learn anything beyond that gap in learning. As studies have shown, the long summer break is a prime time for forgetting information accumulated throughout the school year. If you combat this forgetfulness by continuing to learn and study, the new school year will start off much easier and the new math concepts will be much simpler to understand.


2. Get ahead & boost confidence

An even better reason to continue learning throughout the summer, on top of just “not falling behind,” is to actually move ahead of the curriculum, so that the first “new concepts” presented in school in the fall are not new at all, and actually seem very easy. When math becomes easy, kids’ confidence is boosted, and they begin to believe, “I can do math,” instead of being hard on themselves or believing that learning math is “too hard,” or “pointless.” When a child believes him or herself capable of doing the task at hand, learning becomes much simpler, and more fun.


3. Promote active minds

An active mind is just as important as an active body. It is often stressed in schools that kids should exercise and take up sports to remain active and healthy. One thing that is neglected, especially during the summer, is the added emphasis to mental exercise as well. Keeping the mind open and receptive to new concepts promotes critical thinking skills, and the belief that learning is never “complete.” Graduating from college doesn’t mean that there’s nothing in the world left to learn, and school being out for the summer shouldn’t either. Reinforcing the belief that learning is an ongoing part of life will strengthen a child’s desire to ask questions and learn even when they aren’t being forced to.


4. New friendships

One of the hardest concepts for me to grasp as a kid was the idea that it was okay to make friends with people who were older than me, younger than me, or from different schools. I had little to no exposure to anyone outside of my usual class of 50 kids, and I fell quickly into a comfort zone. Instead of learning to make new friends, I shut down, closed off, and lived in my safety zone of the few friends I had made at my school. Had I been enrolled in summer learning programs, I might have learned to talk to kids in different grade levels, or from different school districts, just because we were both struggling with the same math concepts. Having worked at a learning center, I’ve seen some of the most unlikely friendships forming with kids who initially thought they had absolutely nothing in common with one another, but came together through learning.


5. Alone time

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, as a parent, you need a day off. Or even an hour off. If all the kids are at home the entire day, you might not get a chance to think, relax, breathe, or run any of those errands that have been eluding you the past few days. It may be the most selfish reason on the list, but it’s okay to think about yourself now and then. And if you get to feel good about the fact that your kids are actually learning while you’re enjoying yourself, that’s just icing on the cake.


Whether you’re looking to prevent your kids from falling behind, get them caught up, keep their minds busy, or you’re just looking to have a little alone time, there are plenty of reasons to enroll kids in summer learning programs. Math is one of the trickier subjects, so it’s important to pay extra attention to making sure information is retained. Regardless of your reasoning, it’s never a bad idea to promote learning.


Learn More about Mathnasium Summer Program 2019.

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Source Cited

Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Education Research, 66(3), 227-268. EJ 596 384