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News from Mathnasium of Stapleton

Ways to Help Prevent Summer Slide

Jun 6, 2019

With tests, finals and school bells behind them, school is out and summer break is here for kids! Summer is a time where most students take a break from tight schedules and lots of extra curricular activities. It’s a time for students to refresh and rejuvenate before they head onto the next grade or set of courses. However, with a big break from school, summer is also a time where students can lose a lot of the skills they learned the previous year. Students can lose up to 2.6 months of math learning during the summer, which is referred to as “summer slide”.

Summer slide doesn’t just happen in math – it occurs in many subjects and because it can slide kids so far back, it can have long term effects on their self-esteem, lend to lower test scores and lower their chance of overall success in school for subsequent years. Many teachers understand summer slide happens and spend the first month covering material that was taught in the previous year, but they may only teach to the majority of the class, leaving those who have more significant slides behind. Because math is a subject that builds on conceptually, math can the one that sees the most slide. 

Never fear! There are active ways to prevent summer slide. Summer months are an ideal time to keep practicing last year’s learning and possibly introduce new concepts time to practice concepts that have already been learned and introduce new concepts that can help jumpstart the new year. Again, summer should be fun, and without kids being in school and attending extracurricular activities, they are less tired and have more time. It’s then a great way to incorporate some of activities below into your summer routine. 

Play Board Games

There are many games out there that involve math and math strategy, and not just counting spaces. Skills such as algorithmic expression, computational thinking, rotation, pattern recognition, critical thinking, estimation and memory can all be found and actively practiced in board games. Hereare a few that are great ones to help bring the family together, while preventing the summer slide.

Listen to Music

Math and music are totally related! Math is what gives music structure and why it sounds good to you instead of just sounding like noise. Having your child attend a music camp, summer concerts, and listening to music at home can help them connect math to the real world. Even simple songs like 5 Little Ducks incorporate basic math skills, including counting and subtraction (by reducing numbers with each verse), matching and comparing (through changes and pitch) and pattern sequencing (through a repetitive melody, lyrics and rhythm). Have them try and count to the beat or pick out how many times the chorus repeats. 

Take Trips

Taking trips doesn’t always mean traveling far or vacationing. Go to any museums that might be near you or summer sports games. Natural history and discovery museums often naturally incorporate math in their displays and experiments and sports games, like baseball, certainly incorporate math and statistics with every inning and play. They are both great ways to stimulate kids’ brains and have them think about math in more practical application. They’ll be having fun without even knowing they’re using math! 

Cook and Bake

Cooking and baking are very hands-on training that require measurement, fractions, multiplication and division. Even time and temperature require math in order to make sure your creations turn out well. So much fun can be had with tasting goods and meals that come from practicing math!

Enroll in a Summer Math Program

Just as summer can create summer slide, it also presents a time for kids to focus on areas that were sticky while they were in school and get a little ahead of the math curriculum and concepts they will be headed into in the next grade. Summer provides a time for kids to learn at their own pace, with less pressure. If you’re looking for summer math programs that specialize in creative, effective ways to teach math and work with your family’s schedule, we’re happy to help at Mathnasium of Stapleton. We offer summer programs that focus on multiplication, long division, fractions, algebra and more. We help kids head into the school year successful, while having fun. 

This summer, have some fun in the sun and let your kid discover how fun math learning can be!