School’s out for summer, but unlike the classic song, it’s not out forever! So how can parents ensure there’s no summer slump, when the kids are away from school? We’re here to help you keep the learning at a steady yet fun momentum, so that come fall, the kids will be prepared to take on new challenges at school. As always, we like to encourage learning in a fun capacity, and this is even more important come summer break, when all kids want to do is play! Incorporating learning into play will help as kids will not feel pressured or stressed and instead come to view learning math as a fun activity, and even see that math is present in our day-to-day lives as well.
Summer Learning Loss
It’s all fun and games until…somebody forgets everything they’ve learned before summer break! Summer Learning Loss isn’t just a fancy term to describe a passing phase, it’s been identified as a legitimate problem faced by many students (and subsequently, teachers and parents) following the holiday season. There is even an organization called the Summer Learning Association, that was created to generate awareness on this being a problem, whilst also helping to prevent and reduce such occurrences nationwide. Based on their research, students can stand to lose up to about two months of math competency over the summer break. Unfortunately, these statistics tend to affect lower income students more than this in terms of learning, due to the fact that they may have even less opportunities to learn over summer. All these statistics add up, and can eventually lead to less young people graduating or getting the chance to enter college. That is why learning over the summer needs to be consistent and accessible to all. Teachers, parents and mentors can collaborate to see what type of learning best fits a child, but we’d like to think you can’t go wrong with games.
DIY Summer Camp
While some parents will opt to send their kids to summer camp to help them maintain their knowledge of math, or any other subjects, we realize sometimes that just isn’t an option for everyone. In lieu of that, how about creating your very own enrichment program for your kids? Not only will it be of minimal cost, but it will be a great way to bond with your kids as well. Teachers can also recommend such activities during breaks, to get the ball rolling.
Turn Household Chores Into Learning Opportunities
A sneaky way for parents to get more help around the house? Perhaps, but believe us when we tell you it’s got more benefits than that! As adults, we may take for granted the very many things around the house that require math skills. Cooking up a simple meal, baking cookies or making a glass of lemonade all require measurements, which in turn requires knowledge of math! How’s that for clever?
Make Games A Routine Activity
We’ve dissected the importance of play and games to a kid’s well-being, and this is no different. If games are incorporated into daily routines then it will become second nature to kids, and they may not even realize they’re learning at the same time. What’s more, these can be done both indoors and outdoors to add some variety to the routine.
Indoor Math Fun
We’ve talked about board games before, and those are definitely a great way to get learning done during summer, but there are tonnes of other games that can help too. Taking it back to the classics, chess would be a great way to create an awareness of logic and practicality — two skills very much needed in math, especially for the common core method. For other ideas, this page provides a wealth of resources for parents and teachers to utilize, including printable math lessons and more traditional workbooks, along with other cool activities that can be done at home in game form.
Outdoor Math Fun
If you’re staying home over summer, there are plenty of games that require only a clever imagination and your kids. Some of the activities featured here make use of gardens, parks, sidewalks and the like to help kids get a math boost in their daily lives. If you’re going on a holiday, perhaps near a beach, seashells are a fantastic way to learn math. Yes, you heard us right. This fantastic idea was shared by mom and blogger Meghan, whose kids love it. So next time you go to the beach, collect some shells!
With technology at our grasp, we know screentime is an inevitable occurrence. What matters is making that screentime valuable and educational while being fun for the kids. Check out these STEM approved games/apps for download that will have your kids fluent in each category in no time at all. Of course we have to mention our dear Zap Zap Math as well, which promises an entire universe of mathematical fun, and one that you can be assured complies with Common Core Standards, while being completely entertaining and fun.
Being physically active and fit is another initiative worth backing, and guess what? Most games involves scores, which translate to more math, hidden in plain sight! And if playing is not feasible, watching helps too. When kids have to learn how to keep score and compare records of players, they will naturally come to see the importance of math.
Sing A Song of Math
In the 2003 film The School of Rock, Jack Black’s character famously (and hilariously) taught about math in song, and the results were positive to say the least. Now not all of us can replicate rockstars while teaching, but thank goodness for YouTube. There are now lots of resources with “math songs” and raps to help kids learn in fun ways, and this is just one way to keep learning going throughout summer. For starters, check out this math song page.
Summer Time, So Sublime
With all these and more, you’re well on your way to creating your very own summer camp, wouldn’t you say? Let’s work together to eliminate the dreaded summer slide together, so that we can achieve great things from learning continuously. Do you have any ideas on how to combat summer slide? Share them with us!