8 Know-How Ideas to Boost Math Learning This SummerJuly 10, 2018
Summer is a time of well-deserved rest and relaxation for both students and teachers alike! While your child is taking time off from learning this summer, it’s important to remember that kids can lose up to a month of learning over the long break from school. Ensure that your child avoids the “summer brain drain” by incorporating small math tasks into his or her daily routine.
Luckily there’s no need to sign your child up for a math enrichment summer program or camp when you can create your own at home! Simply find ways to mix in math with everyday activities and your child will be practicing practical math skills on a daily basis.
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To start, try out the following 8 ideas to boost summer math learning:
Going on a road trip? Calculate distance!
Keep long, boring road trips interesting by challenging your child to calculate distance while on your family vacation! Calculate the distance between landmarks, cities, or from start to finish.
For older kids, work on calculating gas mileage and discover how much gas your car will use on your trip, and keep track of how much it will cost. If travelling by plane, when allowed to use electronics on board, help your child track your flight and discover the altitude and speed while flying to your destination.
Note the numbers, explore the possibilities!
Look around you, and you’ll notice that you are surrounded by numbers! From clocks, to calendars, and food labels to newspapers, numbers are on many items and objects inside your home, and on the road. No matter where you are, ask your child to find the numbers.
From there, you can create countless activities or have conversations about the numbers your child finds. For instance, ask kids to count calories for a day, or calculate the time since they last slept or ate. By simply finding numbers, talk about the different ways numbers are used in daily life, and your child will flex their math skills in a relevant and meaningful way.
Prepare a beachside treat
Are you headed to the beach this summer? Whether you’ll be beachside or poolside, help your child plan tasty treats to take with your family as you head out the door. Make sure that the planning entails planning quantities and measuring food to ensure that each family member has a portion to share. Use measuring cups and divvy out portions into plates and bowls of various sizes to practice division skills.
Order from a menu, any menu
The next time your family goes out to eat at a restaurant, ask your child to pay attention to the prices. Ask them to find the cheapest or most expensive dinner entrée on the menu. Tell your child how much he or she may spend, and to find items within that price range.
Open a lemonade stand
Awaken your child’s inner entrepreneur and open a lemonade or Kool-Aid stand this summer that will teach your child about the math behind building a business. Help your child learn to create a budget for supplies, shop for items, and price their product. Watch as your child sells to the neighborhood outside, learning about what it takes to make a profit and keep their stand running.
Younger children often struggle to realize just how much of something large numbers represent. This summer break, encourage your child to make small collections of 100. Collect 100 seashells, pebbles, sticks, leaves, blades of grass, or anything your child can get their hands on outside. Help your child notice how 100 items may look different depending on the size of the item they collect, but is still a lot of whatever it is they’re collecting!
Break out the card and board games
Whether your family is headed on a vacation or not, don’t forget to get out the games this summer for a fun family game night that will also put your child’s math skills to the test! Play a few rounds of Uno, or Phase 10, or play a riveting game of Monopoly, chess, or Blokus.
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Plan a trip or summer event
There’s no better way to learn about finances, than planning a trip. Give your child a starting price and task them with planning an event or trip. For instance, a trip to a local amusement park may charge $75 per ticket.
Add up family members and prices, account for food, beverages, and personal needs within the park, and allow for any souvenirs or games, if possible. Whether the trip comes to fruition or not, your child will have a blast planning, while realizing the true value of money and strengthening real-life math skills.
When your child is in between these fun-filled tasks, don’t forget to offer targeted math practice, like summer math worksheets available from Kids Academy, to build skills in short bursts. These activities, when combined with math mixed into the daily routine, will sharpen your child’s math skills and ensure their success come fall!