6 Fantastic Tips to Work Your Child’s Math Skills over the Summer
May 26, 2017
While your child may feel obligated to learn during the school year, once summertime comes around, all thoughts of homework are gone and replaced with dreams of pool parties, sleeping in late, and exciting summer vacations.
There’s no doubt that making learning fun for kids can be challenging, particularly during those extended breaks over the summer and winter. As a parent, you play a crucial role in engaging your child and instilling positive learning habits throughout the year.
Research has shown that mathematical skills are in danger among elementary students across all socioeconomic levels. This decline in math skills at an early age can pose serious problems as children reach middle school and high school.
With summertime coming up, it’s important for children to continue using those math skills. Consider the following 6 fantastic tips to work your child’s skills over the summer.
Set the platform for learning early on. Before summer starts, ask your child what he/she would like to focus on over the break. Set those goals for learning while your child is still in school mode so he/she can expect part of the summer to be dedicated to education. Practice being a positive role model for your child, too, by setting some educational goals for yourself. Discuss with them what you plan to learn over the summer and set aside time for learning throughout the week.
Don’t go overboard with summer lessons. Make sure to balance work with play. Summer breaks are – after all – breaks. You might feel excited about spending more time with your child over the summer and all the learning experiences you can plan together, but your child deserves some rest from school. While you want to encourage continued learning throughout those extended vacations, you also want your child to enjoy time with his/her friends and family. Listen to what your child is most interested in to see if you can combine work with play, too. Any topic of interest can be an excellent source for learning, whether it’s reading about the latest sports games and having a quick lesson in statistics, or visiting a local animal shelter to chat with a veterinarian.
Use real-life situations as learning experiences. To inspire learning of mathematics in the youth, it’s important to emphasize the correlation between mathematics and real-life situations. You can challenge your child by giving them everyday calculations. Have them calculate change at the grocery store, taxes on a bill, and tips at restaurants.
Play arithmetic-based board games on family nights.
You can help keep your child’s math skills sharp by playing games that require basic computations and critical thinking skills. This can be Monopoly, Munchkins, or dominoes. Make it more challenging by having your child take the role of scorekeeper or banker. Flash cards are also a great and fun way to review addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and a few other subjects like basic algebra. You can make your own flashcards, purchase them at most stores, or find them online for free.
Use the kitchen as a learning playground. The kitchen can serve as a makeshift science lab for kids – with delicious treats for a hard day’s work. By involving your child in the preparation and cooking process, you can help him/her exercise basic reading, math, and science skills. Pick a fun and simple recipe to engage him/her in the process, then let your child take responsibility for the task. Guide your child in carefully reading the recipe directions, in measuring out ingredients, and in observing the chemical reactions taking place. This is a perfect option for learning about ratios, measurements, conversions, costs and more.
Keep a learning log to track progress. The goal of summertime learning is to keep your child’s mind stimulated, to sharpen established skills, and to promote a love for learning. Encourage your child to keep track of his/her progress throughout their summer activities. This could be in the form of a weekly recap journal in which your child sets aside time from the week to write about what he/she learned throughout the week. You can also make it a rewarding experience by treating your child to ice cream and reviewing all the lessons of the week. As your child progresses in their summer learning lessons, provide positive feedback (and treats) are a great way of keeping them feeling accomplished for their hard work.
At Sylvan Learning, we place a student’s learning preferences above all. Our style of tutoring caters to the individual and to the importance of developing new and fun experiencing throughout the learning process. We offer math tutoring for students of all ages and math classes as well as fun and engaging camps like Fit4Algebra and even coding, engineering, and robotic courses.