Summer will be here before we know it; and, with summer, the fun vacations, exciting adventures, and no school! Although it’s always important to spend time relaxing and enjoying the summer, it’s not a good idea to let your child completely take a break from their schooling all season.
Think about it, if you stopped exercising all summer, would you still be as strong when fall rolls around? Of course not! In the same way, if your child stops exercising their math skills all summer, they will inevitably experience a decline.
Fortunately, there are lots of FUN ways to keep your child’s math skills sharp over the summer. Keep reading for shocking statistics about what happens when your child doesn’t exercise their academic skills all summer, and how to stop this decline from happening.
Statistics About Academic Decline Over the Summer
Summer learning loss is, not surprisingly, a very real and prevalent occurrence. Going back to our analogy used above, if you don’t exercise something for a while, it inevitably gets weaker. Here’s some statistics showing what happens over the summer if children aren’t still stimulated academically:
- According to the American Education Research Journal, 52% of students lose an average of 39% of their total school year gains during the summer months
- According to Brookings Institute, students experience a greater decline in math over the summer than in any other subject
- According to the National Summer Learning Association, up to 6 weeks of the fall semester is spent relearning content from the previous year
Fun Ways to Keep Your Child’s Math Skills Sharp Over the Summer
After already experiencing some inevitable learning loss due to the pandemic, the last thing your child needs is to have another set back over the summer. So, here are fun ways to keep your math skills sharp over the summer.
Play Math Games
One of the very best ways to make math exciting for any child is by incorporating it in a fun game. Your child won’t even realize they’re exercising their math skills as they're fighting off aliens or racing to win! Fortunately, the educational gaming world is becoming more and more advanced, with new and exciting games emerging constantly. With just a quick Google search, you’ll find tons of both free and paid math games that are super fun and engaging. We have an entire blog article about online math games your kids will love if you need a few resources to get started.
Try to make a deal with your child that for every hour of regular video games they play over the summer, they have to play a half-hour of educational games, or something along those lines. This step alone will tremendously help keep your child’s math skills intact over the summer.
Incorporate Math into Everyday Life
There’s plenty of opportunities in everyday life to exercise important math skills, for both younger and older students alike.
For younger children, while at the grocery store, have them add up the total of a few items and count out the money to pay for it. You can also ask them questions like how much change they’d get in return if they paid with a larger bill or how much would three oranges weigh after having them weigh one on the scale. The good thing about this is that depending on the child’s grade level, you can make this activity as easy or complex as needed.
For older children, you can have them create a budget and break down what percentage of their allowance or income will be contributed to each expense. Or, have them help with trips to the grocery store, too.
Cooking always requires a little bit of math, especially if you’re following a recipe! So, have your children join you in the kitchen every now and then. Doing so will help them maintain several math skills, like measurement, addition, subtraction, and fractions. While cooking, have them measure different ingredients and ask them questions like “how much salt would we need if we doubled this recipe.” You can even throw in a few more challenging questions, like add in 3½ cups of water using a ¼ measuring cup. We’re sure they will enjoy the experience and love to help out!
Visit the Science Center or Museum
Whenever you have a full day available, take your kids to a science center or museum! Not only is this experience super fun for everyone in your family, but it’s also educational. Your children will love learning about different inventions and phenomenons, engaging with interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences, and participating in everything else that the museum has to offer. Museums and science centers are highly stimulating and inspirational, and will help your child both understand the importance of math and envision a future in the STEM field.
Here’s a few science centers and museums near Burlington, NC that we recommend:
- Greensboro Science Center | Greensboro, NC
- Children’s Museum of Alamance County | Graham, NC
- Museum of Life + Science | Durham, NC
- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences | Raleigh, NC
- Marbles Kids Museum | Raleigh, NC
Start a Business
Summer is the perfect time to break out the lemonade stand or baked goods table! No matter what type of “business” your child is interested in, whether it be doing yard work, walking dogs in the neighborhood, or opening a lemonade stand, encourage them to make a little money over the summer and keep a detailed record of their earnings and spendings. This will help improve their accounting skills, and with that, basic, important math skills.
Build or Create Something Together
Break out the tape measure and have your child help you build something! There’s a long list of DIY home-improvement projects on the Internet that you’re sure to love, from the simplest endeavors to ones mainly for the experts. Not only do they provide something new and improved for your home, but DIY projects also offer a great opportunity to exercise your child’s number sense, measurement, geometry, fractions, , spatial thinking, and problem-solving skills, depending on the project at hand. Your child is also sure to love the bonding experience of crafting something together!
Enjoy Our Fun, Themed Summer Days at Mathnasium
To make sure your child’s math skills don’t just stay in tip-top shape over the summer, but that they exceed what’s expected come fall semester, enroll your child in our summer program! Every day at Mathnasium, we offer a fun, themed day, like Doughnut Day or Egg Hunt Day, that your child won’t want to miss, all while students rapidly grow in their understanding of math and even develop a love for it. Our Burlington math tutors are here and ready to help with our individualized math tutoring plans, and would love to help make your child’s summer both fun and educational!
To learn more about our summer programs here at Mathnasium, to enroll your child today, or to schedule a free trial, give us a call at (336) 792-7000.