Studies have shown that kids can loose up to 2 1/2 months of information during an extended summer vacation. I don’t know about you, but that is a bit frightening to me. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do over the summertime so that your kids continue to learn and retain the things they learned during the school year.
We homeschool and while we do take a break, we try and maintain at least a part time schedule during the summer so that we don’t have to do too much review at the beginning of the next school year. This summer we’re really focusing on maintaining math skills since that hard-earned memorization of math facts can disappear far too quickly.
There are plenty of fun ways to maintain math skills during the summertime. With these tools, your kids will have so much fun they won’t realize they are working!
If your kids have a bit of a competitive streak, they’ll love the Beat the Clock math practice boards from Lakeshore Learning. Rote memorization of math facts isn’t much fun for anyone but these write & wipe drill pages with a built in timer allow kids to compete against each other or themselves. Siblings could compete against each other, wherever they are at, by using different boards – for example, an older sibling could use a multiplication board while a younger child uses an addition board to compete.
While I love it when kids want to learn just for the sake of learning, I’m not opposed to offering up a few rewards every now and then. If your child is struggling with any of his math facts, you could always offer a small prize when he is able to complete a page within a set period of time.
This fun math game takes the fight out of math fact memorization. You only need two dice to play this and you can use it to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
For kids that really fight you on math practice, incorporate this into a favorite board game by having them tell you the answer to whatever math fact as they roll the dice for their turn. They can then either move the number of spaces shown on the dice or whatever the answer to the math problem they solved.
I love making educational toys from things we have around the house. It’s a great way for kids to learn about recycling and it’s a very affordable way to teach important skills. This simple game helps preschoolers practice counting skills and number recognition.
Preschoolers will not only love playing this game, but they can help make it too!
My kids have a serious thing about anything that involves magnets. They love magnetic puzzles and toys and I’ve found that I can get them involved in an educational activity without them even realizing that they are learning. This has the great benefit of causing my kids to beg me to let them do something I want them to do anyway. Win-win.
The Operations Magnetic Activity Board from Lakeshore Learning includes easy slide in cards that go from very basic preschool math to more complex number sentences. My 4 year old and 6 year old both get quite a bit out of this and they actually fight over who gets to play it.
Many kids struggle with basic calendar concepts but there’s an easy way to practice those skills.
A blank calendar can turn into a fun art project and as kids fill in the months of the year and days of each month, they’ll be learning their basic calendar facts and practicing writing their letters.
What are your favorite ways to help your kids practice math skills during the summer months?