If you’re the parent of a school age child, the term “summer slide,” is likely one you’ve heard before. If not, summer slide refers to a child’s loss off academic skills during summer vacation. There have been numerous studies on this topic and researchers found that regardless of a child’s socioeconomic status, all children loose more math skills during the summer months than they do reading skills. There are many theories as to why this happens; but mostly likely, families simply aren’t thinking about math skills the way they do for reading, during the summer months. Most reading routines have become part of our everyday lives. Activities such as reading before bed, attending story-time at the library, participating in a book club, are usually far more engaging than solving equations. The majority of students end up returning to school in the fall further behind than when they left in the spring. The good news is, there are many ways you can practice math during the summer with your child. The Harvard University Graduate School of Education suggests the following ideas for keeping math skills sharp this summer.
Highlight the math in everyday activities.
Some examples include:
When shopping, help kids calculate change or discounts.
When watching a baseball game, talk about what players’ statistics mean.
When cooking, try halving or doubling a recipe, and assist kids in figuring out the new proportions.
Read short math stories together.
Reading math-focused stories to children, can help boost math scores in school.
Play math games. Some suggestions include:
Playing these games will require your child to rely on skills necessary for math, such as counting, categorizing, and building. Even playing with blocks and assembling jigsaw puzzles can help kids learn spatial skills and recognize patterns.
Find small ways to practice math at home. For example:
Create a problem-of-the-day.
Record summer temperatures.
Use chalk, water and a paint brush, or shaving cream to practice math facts.