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10 Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide and Keep Math Skills Sharp
Apr 29, 2019
While summer is the time for fun in the sun, it’s also when your child’s math knowledge is in danger of slipping away. On average, students lose about 2.6 months of learning in math over the summer. The good news is, there are ways to combat what educators call, “the summer slide.”
Summer Learning Loss Is Real
According to researchers, summer learning loss can have long-lasting effects, including lower test scores, lower self-confidence, and lower chance of high school and college success. Math teachers spend three to six weeks at the beginning of the school year reteaching math skills taught the previous spring. Fortunately, two months of subject-focused learning is all it takes to improve specific learning skills.
Make It Fun
The summer months are the ideal time to reinforce last year’s learning and introduce new concepts that will help in the year ahead. Children have more time, are less tired, and are better able to focus when they don’t have the burden of classes, homework and extracurricular activities. Choose whichever activities you and your child will enjoy most, and have fun making memories that you both will cherish.
How to Make the Most of Your Student’s Summer
Here are some fun ways students can keep their math skills sharp and be prepared for the year ahead:
1. Bring math into the kitchen.
So much of cooking involves math! Following a recipe uses concepts like sequencing and counting. Baking requires precise measuring, and scaling a recipe requires multiplication or division. Start with something simple, like a smoothie recipe. Once your child is comfortable following a recipe, ask them to double it, which requires thinking proportionally.
2. Play math-based games.
Any board or card games that use money, keep score, or require strategy, such as Monopoly®, blackjack, Scrabble®, chess, and Blokus®, are math-based games. There are also plenty of fun games to play when you’re traveling. Playing games can improve your child’s numerical fluency, logic and probability skills. It’s also a great way to spend time together!
3. Go shopping.
Ask your child to find the discounts, compare prices and calculate multiple items. Bring coupons and ask them to compute the savings. Visit a farmers market for a fun, healthy, math-focused activity. Give your child some cash to spend, and let them find out what they can buy with it.
4. Listen to music.
Music is inherently mathematical. The familiar patterns in your favorite songs follow a mathematical structure. Find out if your community has free summer concerts in the park. See what summer music activities are offered to children in your area. Listen to music together at home. Clap to the beat. Talk about the repeated patterns. Get up and dance!
5. Take a field trip to a science center or museum.
When the day is wide-open, go to the museum! A trip to the nearby science center or museum is a fun, math-focused experience you and your child can enjoy together. Learn about inventions and innovators, engage in interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, and stimulate your brain to think mathematically. It’s the perfect place for your child to imagine a future in science.
Read the rest of the article on the Mathnasium Number Sense Blog.