Not going to school during the summer causes brain drain. Whether the student loses up to three months of learning is debatable, but the fact is they do lose some of what they were taught the previous year. The biggest loss is in math.
So what does a parent do for the summer to keep their child’s math abilities up to speed? The problem is that in the summer, activities should be fun. Here are a number of fun ways your child can have some math brain gain during the summer months:
Cooking in the Kitchen – Cooking is an excellent way to use math skills, especially where the recipe calls for exact measurements of cups, teaspoons, pounds or kg. For the mother, it is more time consuming to teach your child how to cook, but the benefits pay off in the end. Not only have you kept them busy using math skills, but you will have gained another chef in the family. That budding chef will someday make your dinner.
Sewing Projects – Sewing projects are another good way to keep up those math skills. It doesn’t matter what sewing project it is, math is involved; geometry, fractions, measuring in inches or centimetres, etc. and etc. Don’t make the first project complicated; keep it simple like a handy shopping bag.
Grocery Shopping – Grocery shopping is a great way to teach your child financial math. Have them figure out the approximate cost before they get to the cashier till. If you are more than one of the same item, have your child multiply the numbers to get the cost. Not only will you be teaching them math, but they will also learn the value of groceries and may not be so demanding for their favourite junk food when they see how much food actually costs. You are then teaching a life skill to your child.
Math Games Online – there are lots of online math games. Some are better than others. One good math game site is Cool Math.
Building Project – Get your child to build something, either on paper or with the building material. Perhaps they only do a blueprint, or if you have the time and resources teach them how to build a bird house, or some other small project. Here they will be using a number of math concepts to build their project.
Summer Math Camps – If you are lucky enough to find a fun Math summer camp, then by all means send them to that. It will get them out of the house, stimulate their brains and help them with their math.
Academy – There is always an academy but this may not necessarily be the most enjoyable way to retain math abilities. You could talk to the academy staff to see if they incorporate fun activities in their summer math classes.
Learning math does not have to be boring but it does require a certain amount of effort on the part of the parent to have your child have a fun-filled math gain summer. The other plus side to this is that you and your child can spend some quality family time together.