When the sun is shining, the days are long and lazy, and the sounds of children’s laughter ring through the air, it’s easy to forget that summer learning loss is real. Research from Duke University (1996) shows that students lose up to 2 months of learning in math computational skills (and spelling) regardless of student intelligence or family income. Before you go ahead and cancel summer, read on to find out how to prevent your child’s math summer learning loss this year and still leave plenty of time for “building a rocket, or fighting a mummy, or climbing up the Eiffel Tower” [Phineas & Ferb (2007)]
How to stop the summer learning loss:
1. Identify what needs to be worked on
Are there math topics that your child or their teacher have flagged as needing work? Do you have a nagging feeling that your child isn’t really confident with their times-tables or takes a long time deciphering word problems? Digging out your child’s report card or chatting with your child about which topics they liked and didn’t like over the past year will give you some curriculum areas to focus on. You might even want to preview topics coming up for the next school year. For a more evidence-based approach, give your child a math skills assessment that covers the whole school year, to see which areas need attention.
Thinkster Math offers a free Diagnostic Test to all students with its free 1 week trial.
2. Do the math
Armed with a list of topic areas, gather your resources and set up a schedule. Most children can cope with at least 10 – 15 minutes of math daily (the start of the day, after breakfast is a great time from my personal experience), whether it’s in a workbook, on an app or on the computer. Math games can also be used to reinforce students’ learning.
Thinkster Math provides personalized and targeted math work on tablets.
3. Highlight everyday math
Start weaving math into your child’s life. Choose a math storybook to read, watch a fun math video on YouTube (try Vi Hart, Numberphile or even search for multiplication raps!), play board games, highlight the math of baking, trip planning, and sports scoring. Don’t forget to find out if there are any special math or science workshops running in your local area over the summer!
No more summer math learning loss!
To paraphrase Phineas and Ferb once again, “As you can see there’s a whole lot of math stuff to do before school starts this fall.” Or in other words, once you’ve made your plan, math can easily be slotted into those endless summer days leaving plenty of time for summer fun.
For busy families who aren’t usually able to do math every day, the Thinkster Math summer program is a great way for busy families to build a powerful and fun math routine. With just 10 minutes a day, help your child prevent summer learning loss and start Back to School with confidence. Follow this link below to start today.