Catch Up On Math with a Summer Math Program

It is widely recognized, that students forget or lose from 3 weeks to 2.5 months of academic skills over the summer break .  Studies have repeatedly proven this and the phenomenon even has a catchy name, Summer Brain Drain.

As parents, if we are concerned about keeping our kids at the top of their game, we find a nice summer reading program from the local library or book store.  If we think there is a reading problem, we might step it up a notch and sign the kids up for an engaging summer reading program from a local tutor or learning center.

If you think that's all you need to prevent summer brain drain, please read on.

As it turns out , math skills deteriorate more from summer brain drain and deserve at least as much attention as reading skills.  A thorough review of 39 studies concluded that math suffers the most from lack of use during the extended summertime break.

Of course we can involve our children on a daily basis with practical math in fun ways at home.  One of my favorites is reviewing fractions while making cookies or other treats .  (e.g. Measure two quarter cups of brown sugar because I need a half cup total )  These at-home math drills can easily be adjusted for the appropriate age and grade with older students calculating surface area for painting projects and younger students counting out the right number of nails.   Little gardeners can figure out how many plants or seeds to buy to fill an area with tomato plants.  Young travelers can map out a journey and estimate how long the trip will take.  Shoppers can figure out sale prices or which box of waffles has the lowest cost per unit .

While these activities help, especially when you know and focus on your child's weaker areas and calculations which are easily forgotten, studies still show that much of the computational skills which generally are not practiced over the summer, are simply lost .  For this very reason, many schools have changed from a traditional school year calendar to year round school.

Most states in the U.S. now have several schools with year round calendars.  Many schools are currently debating or actively switching to year round schedules.  If your child is not attending school year round , studies show he or she will be forgetting at least one month of math each summer, and that summer loss is cumulative.  Your child will forget approximately a year of math instruction and will later be competing with students who have had the benefit of year round school.

So what is a concerned parent to do?

The best solution I've found is to enroll kids in a great summer math program.  While not as readily available as summer reading programs, summer math programs are out there and are even more important.

Some things to consider are as follows.

Does the program create an individualized plan after thoroughly evaluating your child?

Is the curriculum is both fun and comprehensive?

Are the teachers academically qualified with appropriate degrees?

Will you receive appropriate reports to track your student's progress?

What results are to be expected?

This summer, give your child the opportunity to have fun and get a step ahead of the coming school year.  Your choice of summer activity will either leave your child behind, with the old summer brain drain, or put your student far ahead of her peers, and spare you the tortuous nights struggling with math homework for next school year .  The choice is yours.  Good luck!

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One Response to “Catch Up On Math with a Summer Math Program”

  1. As a child, and still to this day, i had dyslexia. This made transitions from grade to grade really hard for me because I read at a slow pace and with much more difficultly than others. One thing that really helped me were summer camps that encouraged reading. So I full heartily support camps like these!

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