Summer Learning Loss Opportunity
Over the summer kids lose an average of one full month of reading skill with an even greater loss of 2.6 months in math, this is often referred to as summer learning loss. Not only do they loose previously learned material but it also takes 4-6 weeks for teachers to reteach students after summer vacation.
It's not all bad news, if your optimist, because this situation also presents us with a great opening to help our kids catch up in areas they struggle or even get a bit ahead. Summer learning loss offers us as parents such an amazing opportunity to help our kids stay strong in what they have learned and even catch up in areas that they need help in.
There is a lot of focus on having kids read over the summer which is hugely important but it seems that not as much focus is given to math which I find odd as that is where the greater loss happens. I suspect that it is because reading is more ingrained into our daily routines, bedtime stories, reading road signs, labels, and directions but math is more easily overlooked.
I wanted to share what we do at our house for math over the summer.
Every day my girls have daily math to do. Their daily math is part of their daily chore routine. There are a three different elements that we use and then we mix them up. None of it ever takes very long but it helps reinforce what they learned and keep their skills sharp over summer. We use 3 main tools to do this.
Math Practice Tools
Our three man math components are:
We use all of these in different ways. We mix things up to keep the routine from getting stale.
K5Learning has great math worksheets
Flash Cards: I couldn't find ones I liked so I made my own.
I needed some math flashcards for my kiddos. I looked for free downloadable printable flashcards but didn't like what I found. Often they didn't have the backside with the answer or if they did you could only print on one side of the page and then you needed to fold the card in half and I assume then tape it together. These are not good for stacking or keeping organized. So, I bought some decks off Amazon but really they weren't what I was looking for either. They had one problem on the back and another on the front so I couldn't set aside cards that my daughters needed more work on. Also I have children so ideally it would be good to have 3 sets. Then there were only 54 cards and didn't have all the facts. So I started a search for the flash cards I really wanted and guess what - yep, I couldn't find them. So, you know me, I made my own printable ones.
They turned out great. These are the best flash cards I have ever used.
Why I love these:
Math Moments: These consists of daily teaching moments; intentionally capturing math moments that come up naturally in conversation.
We drive a lot. I'm not afraid of driving places. There isn't a distance that intimidates me. I've been taking my kiddos on road trips since they were infants. I just love travel, even if most of the travel is confined to where I can get in my car.
You get the idea... these are everyday math moments that come up where I get to share my knowledge. I believe that talking about math and finances is a critical component to our childrens education that often gets overlooked.
BTW... I have an awesome download on 10 Money Facts Your Kids Need to Know. This one is really worth downloading. It contains 10 concepts that every child (adults too) should be taught about money.
Daily Math Routine
Once you have the tools in place - the routine is easy.
Every day each child does either a math worksheet or math flash cards. It varies if they do addition, multiplication, subtraction, or division. What they do each day and how they do it depends a lot on the overall day and what we are doing. If we have more time they may do more, if we are traveling they may quiz each other with flash cards in the car, if we need a quick hit it may be a worksheet or a quick review of easier facts. All in all we shoot for about 15 minutes of math each day. Sometimes it's 30 and sometimes its 5. We don't get hung up on the exact minutes but try to have fun and do a little each day.
At our home doing Extra Math is listed on our daily job chart. I call it Extra Math to separate it out from assigned school year math. Each kid has their daily chores listed on the chore board. They know exactly what needs to be done and when they need to do it by. Then they have the freedom to get it done whenever they want within a certain time limit. For us that is normally anytime throughout the day. I will often give them some guidance, such as "we are planning a family movie tonight, so be sure to get your math done before then", or "remember you have Suzie's party today so you might be to tired to do math afterwards, maybe you'll want to get it done after lunch and before you go." Ultimately it is up to them to figure out but I try to gently nudge. Then if they don't get it done they don't earn their reward tickets for that day. In my home my kids want to earn their reward tickets and so they are motivated to get their chores done.
But you could also do it with everyone at a set time each day. Maybe after breakfast but before play they get it done, or before any screen time or friends over they need to get it done. You'll figure out what works best for you. If you need want to use a job chart then check out my job chart and use a method similar to mine. In my home Extra Math isn't optional, it is a responsibility but I do reward them for it to give them a little extra motivation. :)
One of my personal motto's is
'all the little bits add up'.
little bit + little bit + little bit = A LOT
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Hi! I'm Robin
Welcome to Robin's Blog on NEATLINGS. Here you will find loads of stuff on chores for kids & lots of free printables.