How to Prevent Learning Loss Over the Summer in Math

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Almost everyone remembers to read over the summer with their children to keep up with literacy skills, but what are you doing for your child to keep up their mathematics skills? According to researchers at Duke University, math skills decline the most compared to other academic skills with some students losing up to three months’ worth of learning (Mukisa, Math Insider). Here are 8 great tips to help prevent the “Summer Slide” and might help to increase your child’s mathematical thinking. 

1. Read a Math Story. As mentioned, most children are continuing to read over the summer, so why not read a math story together? My favorites include the Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan. This book series is appropriate for students in grades 1-8. For younger children (Pre-K-2), consider reading “How Much is a Million?” by David M Schwartz or “The Math Curse” by Jon Scieszka. 

2. Play a Game. Anything with dice or cards are great games to play with kids. Playing with dice with help children automatically recognize numbers up to six and addition facts up to twelve. To work on subtraction facts, have your child roll only one die at a time. For example, if your child is seven spaces away from winning and he rolls a 4, he will begin to intuitively know that he needs a three to get to the desired location. With cards, students will recognize numbers up to 10. Even younger children can work on their skills such a similarities and differences. For older children, you can introduce them to other classic games such as chess or checkers. 

3. Math Websites. There are so many great resources available to you online. You can find a game about anything and everything! Prodigy is a great game for students in grades 1-8. If you are looking for something more academic, check out Khan Academy. Khan Academy has material for all ages from three to ninety-three. I go on myself sometimes to brush up on my calculus skills or to increase my computer programming knowledge. 

4. Let Children Use Real Money. Money is such an important part of everyday life, and it is crucial that children get exposed to the value of money. If your give your daughter a five-dollar bill to buy her $1.75 drink, let her figure out how much money she should get back. She can even determine the different ways to make $3.25. Even young children understand the power of money and they will feel important if they are permitted to help. 

5. Bake. Baking involves a lot of math, from measuring the ingredients to telling time. Although it might take longer or be a bit messier to bake with your child, it is worth the memories that are created. Then at the end, you have something delicious to eat that your child will be proud of! You can try having your child help you cook vegetables, too. Maybe she will be more likely to eat them. 

6. Set a Lemonade Stand. If your child has practice dealing with money and baking, now is a great time to put these skills to use and set up his own lemonade stand. He can go to the store and buy the supplies, determine how much he needs to sell to make a profit, measure the lemonade to put into pitchers and cups, multiply if someone buys more than one cup, and then provide exact change to his customers. Maybe you will even inspire the next Alex, who gave the profits from her lemonade to childhood cancer research. She raised $2,000 at the age of 4 and over a million dollars by the age of 8. 

7. Visit a Museum. You are looking for something to keep your son entertained and a museum is the perfect place to go. Of course, you can go movies and the playground again, but there are more educational places that you can visit. Take advantage of this time so that he will associate learning with something fun. 

8. Help Plan a Trip. Since you already planning a trip to visit grandma and family vacation to the Grand Canyon, why not let your child help? You and your daughter can pick out the flight and then she can determine the total cost by multiplying by the number of people in your family. She can let you know what time you need to arrive at the airport so that you are two hours early and help determine what time that means you should leave your house. Your son can help you map the miles between all the great National Parks near the Grand Canyon and can make a gasoline budget based on the fuel efficiency of your car and the price of gas. He can even determine when and where are the best spots to take breaks based on how much gasoline fits in the car’s fuel tank. 

Whatever you decide to do, try to be conscious of your child’s education throughout the summer and incorporate fun activities to instill the value of learning!