Summer learning loss, also referred to as the summer slide, is a fact. While reading tends to be a focus over the summer, it is actually math skills that are often lost over the summer break. “Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.” (Cooper, 1996)
There are helpful, and often free, resources to help parents provide their children with math skill practice over the summer, without feeling overburdened or taking away from fun summer activities. By incorporating the following activities and resources into summer break, you can help your child prevent the summer slide:
Just because you’re practicing math doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Games like Mancala or Triangle are great ways to practice basic math. They’re also easy to travel with, so pack them in a picnic basket or travel bag. Or, get out a deck of cards and play math games like addition or subtraction war. Or try this pairs game using buttons or items around the house: Game of Nim.
Cooking is a great way to practice math. By scaling the recipe, children can practice their multiplication, or use smaller measurements to ask more basic questions like: “How many ½ cups will we need to make 2 whole cups?”
Skill Sharpeners: Math activity books are available at different grade levels (grades PreK–6) with quick and fun activities that are perfect for practicing math skills.
Helpful hint: If your child needs extra encouragement, try using a math log. Similar to a reading log, you’ll add a mark to keep track of every page of math your child completes. After he or she reaches a feasible and predetermined amount, reward your child with a special activity.
Taking turns telling stories is perfect for keeping children engaged. Include math in this activity by filling in the blank in phrases such as: “When Sally counted her cookies, one was missing. She only had…”
This Learning Line activity book highlights money as a way to practice math every day. As additional practice for hands-on learning, use real coins.
Helpful hint: Set up a toy cash register and play “store” with change. Have your child be the cashier to practice addition and subtraction with double-digit numbers.
Evan-Moor is also offering free online flashcards to engage your child in practicing basic math skills. Use these links to access Evan-Moor online activities: Addition and Subtraction Facts to 10 and Multiplication Facts to 9s.