Beat the Heat with Math this Summer

May 17, 2022 | South Friendswood

As the temperatures rise in the summertime, the heat is actually... off of students to perform in a classroom. On one hand, it is really valuable for students to take a step back and recharge. However, at Mathnasium of Friendswood, we believe in balance.  

The Summer Slide, also known as “summer learning loss” refers to the deficits that students incur after taking an entire summer off, away from school or any type of learning. A recent study, “School’s Out: the Role of Summers in Understanding Achievement Disparities,” shows that over the summer, the average student lost 17%-34% of the learning they did the prior year. Importantly the study also found that the students who lost ground over one summer were more likely to do it again.  

One thing that is clear is that families have a lot of freedom over the summer to make choices that benefit their family for a variety of reasons. At Mathnasium of Friendswood, we think the data shows that the best choices benefit a balance between your child having fun this summer while continually improving their math skills, rather than experiencing the dreaded summer slide. Here are some fun ways to help your child maintain their math knowledge while learning new skills in the process! 

  • Pool math games 

Will your child spend a lot of time at the pool this summer? Here are some great ideas for pool games that incorporate math tasks. Kids can play some of these games in a group, and some individually. Regardless, the games encourage your child to exercise their body and brain!  

  • Daily Challenges 

One thing that you could implement at your home is a daily math challenge. Find a challenging math question (your child’s teacher may know a good source of material for these!) and post it daily for your child to complete for rewards or prizes. Think – beating the heat with a popsicle for a job well done.  

You could post the challenge on a dry erase board or write it on a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge for them to retrieve. You could also try this digital version on Light and fun activities like this make kids feel like they’re playing a game, not doing homework, so keep it as casual and light-hearted as possible so the “heat is NOT on.” 

  • Outdoor Board Games Night 

There’s no way to beat the heat of a summer day than to cool off outside with a board games night. It’s no secret that at Mathnasium, we love board games! The competition may get heated, but there is no academic pressure on a kid playing Monopoly, even though they gain vital life and math skills.  

Many board games have an ice or snow theme, and there are even icy board games that can literally, not figuratively, help cool your kids off. This version of Trouble features Frozen’s Olaf and uses game pieces made of actual ice. 

  • Make a Cool Treat 

The skills kids use to follow recipes involve proportions, fractions, and measuring. Over the summer, it can be really exciting for a child to help make cool treats like ice cream, popsicles, or smoothies. Here are ten ideas for frozen treats you can make with your child over the summer.  

One of our favorites is the Too-Cool Pineapple Whip Cooler. You could double or half the recipe and talk through the process with your child as you go to practice proportions. We also love the Rainbow Fruit + Veggie pops because it helps encourage kids to experiment with different combinations and amounts of fruits and vegetables.  

  • Wind Down in the Shade 

Summer is about “fun in the sun,” but everyone needs a break from the go-go-go every so often. When things wind down for a moment, use it as your opportunity to be mindful of how you discuss math with your children. Studies show that parents who discuss math with their children help those children achieve more in the classroom. This “discussion” does not have to be overt, and in fact, it should not be. Instead, ask your child questions that make them think. For example, “Hey, how long do you think it would take for us to go get some ice cream?” or “how many times do you think we can do x activity this summer.” These casual questions get your child to think about math in an everyday sense. 

  • Enroll in a Program at Mathnasium 

This summer, we’re offering programs and camps throughout the season. Staying fresh over the summer requires balance – your child benefits from weekly math study throughout the summer. Check out our Summer 20 and Summer Unlimited programming for Math Only and Math, Computer Coding, and Robotics to see if they would work for your family, and call us at (832) 569-5073 if you want to enroll! It’s “cool” to go to Mathnasium this summer!