As a parent your child’s education is very important to you. If you noticed they were struggling in math you would look for online math tutors, maybe find some online math games, all to get your child the best extra math tuition available. Whether it’s algebra tutors, or simple elementary math tutors, you will make it happen for your kid, but what if you weren’t able to keep up with how your child was doing in math? Say over the summer, while they aren't in school so you won’t see progress as the tests roll in, your child begins to experience what is widely called the summer slide.
Summer Slide is that tendency that kids have to forget what they’ve learned throughout the previous school year.
Time outside of the classroom and attention being spent on other activities such as playtime and videogames reclaims vital real-estate within a child’. This leaves room for the information to slip into the back of the student’s mind.
“In June my son is wholly confident in everything he’s learned throughout the year, but once September rolls around it’s like his brain was wiped.”
Harry B., Mathnasium Parent
Thankfully there are ways to encourage that information to stick around! Every student’s brain is different, but here are some general ways to keep your child on track for back to school.
Math Is Everywhere!
To keep your child interested in mathematics, you should show your child that math is involved in the things that they love. Simple statistics are a great way to encourage math learning outside of the classroom. If your child is a sports fan, have them calculate their favorite players’ batting averages, jump shot accuracy, goal-scoring accuracy, etc. If your child is a fan of video games, have them develop a chart from data collected from their favorite game. The key here is to engage your child with something more involved than a word problem, have them design their own!
Confidence, Confidence, Confidence!
There is no such thing as a “math person.” Everyone performs at their best capability, when you let your child believe that their brain just isn’t wired for math, they will not want to work towards understanding the things they don’t. This self-fulfilling prophecy creates a negative cycle that can be difficult to get out of. How you break this cycle is by showing kids that there are multiple ways to solve a problem, and one is not more correct than the other. If kids see that they can develop methods that work for them, they will be more inclined to and find that method. As long as you arrive at your final destination, the road you took there doesn't really matter!
Reading Can Make Knowledge Stick Around
More than just crunching numbers, math is about comprehension so making sure your child exercises their critical thinking muscles is key. What better way to do this than through books? While obviously, it would be ideal for your child to be reading books about math, books unrelated to math can be useful as well, as long as attention is paid to different mathematical-related things in those books. Engage your children in discussions about math, as it will help them reflect on the different things that they discover. The more discourse, the more retention.
The most important thing to remember is that every child learns differently. Spend the time with your child to learn what exactly makes them excited about learning. Always keep the door open for achievement, because as long as that door stays open you can walk through it. Make sure to keep the brain absorbent by reading and discussing said reading. If you follow these three simple tips, your child will be ready for back to school!