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Education

Prevent the summer slide!

For most kids, summer time means swimming, sports and sun. Mathnasium UAE explains why it should also be filled with algebra, angles and arithmetic

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For most kids, summer time means swimming, sports and sun. Mathnasium UAE explains why it should also be filled with algebra, angles and arithmetic.

Yes, maths to be exact - and the reason is simple. Research has shown that students lose approximately two months of grade-level maths skills in the summer months if they do not participate in maths related educational activities. This ‘summer slide’ is what happens when students’ minds sit idle for three months while on summer vacation. The American National Association of Summer Learning provides additional research that shows that during the notorious summer slide children’s loss in maths is greater than that in reading, and teachers around the world spend four to six weeks putting children back on track once school starts again in September.

Many parents do not realise how much educational ground their children could lose during the three-month break. Many parents make their children read over the summer but they often forget about maths. Children are more likely to carry out summer tasks and activities linked to reading but very few are linked to maths.

A child’s maths loss during the vacation months is made worse because keeping maths skills sharp takes more rigour and focus from both child and parent.

Larry Martinek, Chief Instructional Officer at Mathnasium USA, sees that much like the muscles athletes use in competition, a student’s maths muscles have to be exercised to remain in top form. That is why summer is the perfect time for children to focus on tuning up skills, and it can be done in some fun and engaging ways.

To start, taking a break from school should not mean taking a break from learning! While parents likely don’t want to torture their children with maths drills this summer, it is a good idea to keep their brain active during the school break!

Parents should engage their children to maintain and improve their skills, through everyday maths activities. This could be as simple as playing a card game for a few minutes every day. A game of chess could be done on a traditional board as well as a smart phone. And baking! Letting the child help bake can keep their number sense in tact by practicing number recognition, counting and measurement. Planning a trip together, calculating distances and finding out directions.

Although activities that entail maths focused concepts on a daily basis will help in decreasing the summer slides effects, mathematical skill does require a student to follow carefully a specific set of steps. Without a tutor, teacher, or parent reminding a student to do each step, most students have a tough time tackling maths problems on their own. This is where Mathnasium’s summer program steps in and is aimed not only at helping students keep their maths skills sharp over the holidays but at helping them progress as well.

Mathnasium’s summer camp is also the perfect time to revisit and fortify maths foundations. Maths concepts build over time, and often, we find that students fall behind because they didn’t fully understand topics taught in earlier grades. While filling in these gaps is a primary objective of the Mathnasium program 365 days a year, without school stress or homework pressure to worry about, kids have even more time to step back and master these skills over the summer.

Another summertime perk: more time to get a head start on material they’ll encounter next school year - and the more prepared students feel, the more excited they’ll be about challenges that lie ahead. Third party studies show significant increases in grade level skills after three months of participation in math activities or games. Mathnasium’s summer program offers a customised program for your child, flexible scheduling, and many opportunities. It is offered in five different centres across Dubai and will be the ideal place to prevent the notorious summer slide and make this your child’s most productive summer yet.
Visit www.mathnasium.ae for more information.

By Time Out Dubai Kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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