How to Choose the Right Summer Math Program

Apr 11, 2018 | Fountain Valley

Plenty of summer math learning programs are available to assist kids who need or want stronger math skills. Comparing them, though, is like comparing apples to bananas: They’re in the same category but aren’t at all the same. They may all sound great in their advertisements, but how do you choose which summer math program is truly the best fit for your child?

Simple: It’s a matter uncovering the differences among the programs by asking the right questions. Just as you might “interview” a potential doctor or school for your child, ask the staff of any program you’re considering the questions below.

1. Can this program determine the root of your child’s issue? If your child has been struggling in math for a while and you’ve tried different after-school programs or tutors, to no avail, it’s likely because no one has truly determined which fundamental knowledge gaps are causing them problems in math class. Traditional private tutoring services, for example, rely on kids to say, “I need help with this,” but this is a very unreliable way to pinpoint problems. There could be numerous reasons that a child has issues with fractions or algebra, for example—reasons that need a math education expert to identify them. The vast majority of tutors and programs can’t assess exactly where your child needs help and where they are ready to progress.

2. Is it fun? Most kids don’t think of math as fun, but a summer program must have some fun elements to work. Are the instructors trained on getting kids to engage with the math on a higher level and to motivate learning by making math more interesting and stimulating? Do they do fun activities during the summer? Do they give rewards for working hard and reaching milestones? Do they build some fun into what they do each week? Remember, the more enjoyable it is, the more your child will want to attend and the more they will gain from it.

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