With the end of the school year drawing to a close, teachers and students alike are looking forward to the long, beautiful summer days free of responsibilities and the rigors of learning. Before you put away your pencils and calculators in favor of sunglasses and beach towels though, it’s important to take in consideration the reality of summer learning loss. It is defined as the loss in academic skills over the course of summer vacation. A meta-analysis of 39 studies found that all students score lower on standardized math tests post-summer vacation compared to their performance on the same tests prior to vacation (Cooper et al.).
- Make Time for Math
Set aside a time during the day to do Mathletics activities alone or together – 15 to 30 minutes is all it takes! This can become a fun challenge or a daily task to complete.
2. Focus on specific skills
Summer is a great time to pinpoint specific areas where your child had troubles throughout the school year and work on strengthening them. Sit down with your child to determine them, then assign activities pertaining to those skills. Overcoming challenges will help your child feel more confident, thus making learning more fun. This will help your child return to school with a renewed sense of academic self-esteem.
3. Encourage creativity
Math is often overlooked as a subject in which creativity can thrive. We believe that students learn better by doing. Encourage your child to be creative in the problem solving process by asking open ended questions with multiple possible outcomes. This takes out some of the rigor often associated with math, encouraging student ownership and engagement. Creative students are more likely to become self-directed learners when given the ability to approach problems in unique ways.
Parents and children who employ the above tips can see strengthening and improvement in academic skills, as well as avoid losing hard-earned knowledge.
Are there any tips and tricks you use over the summer? Let us know in the comment section!
- Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. 1996. “The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and metaanalytic review.” Review of Educational Research, 66, 227–268