Yes, maths. And the reason for doing maths in the summer 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 long summer, children’s loss in maths is greater than that in reading. Teachers around the world can spend four to six weeks putting children back on track once school starts up 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 much more likely to carry out summer tasks and activities linked to reading but very few are linked to numbers.
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.
Maintain skills in the break
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 encourage 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. How about baking? Letting the child help you cook can keep their number sense in tact by practising number recognition, counting and measurement. Planning a trip together can also help through calculating distances and finding out directions.
Although activities that use maths-focused concepts on a daily basis will help in decreasing the summer slide’s effects, mathematical skill does require a student to follow a specific set of steps carefully. 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’s programme 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.
Filling in the gaps
Mathnasium’s summer is also the perfect time to revisit and fortify math 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.
Mathnasium can help
We love helping our students prepare for next year’s challenges. 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 increase in grade level skills after three months at Mathnasium!
Mathnasium’s summer programme offers a customized timetable for your child, flexible scheduling, and many opportunities. It is offered in five different centres across Dubai and will be the ideal place to make this your child’s most productive summer yet.
For more information visit www.mathnasium.ae