Add Math To Back To School Prep List
Here you are, enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer with your kids, with maybe a getaway or two still on the calendar. Ah, the calendar. You look at it and realize that school will be back in session in just a few short weeks. You may have already got a ‘welcome’ packet to look at and are faced with starting your back to school planning with your child right now.
While you’re preparing for school by buying supplies, juggling carpools and planning after-school activities, you should also take some time to help your child feel confident and prepared academically. A child’s relaxed ‘summer brain’ will find dealing with the rigor of math a hard transition – unless it’s been warmed up in advance.
This effect is fairly common. According to John Hopkins School of Education, students lose 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math during the summer. Math skills are often spiraled, with each year building on the learning of the previous year. While teachers usually build in review time at the beginning of the year, with the increased requirements for the amount of material to be covered each year (especially with the Common Core State Standards) they have to get through it at a pretty fast clip. Students who have ‘forgotten’ much of what they learned in the previous year will have a tough time catching up and that may very well make the rest of the year difficult for them.
You already know that math proficiency is critical for your child’s academic success. With the first day of school just round the corner, you as a parent can take a few simple steps to help your child walk in to the classroom with confidence instead of dread.
1. Do a review.
Sit down with your child and review old assignments, exams, and projects from the past year’s math course. Ask them questions, and figure out what the trouble spots were for them. Did they overcome what they were struggling with? Do they need some extra help with those areas? It doesn’t have to be tense and stressful or dull and boring – kids may enjoy remembering what happened in the classroom, stories their teacher shared or what their friends said, and of course, you could make a game of practically anything!
2. Test the Skills.
Doing a test is a great way to assess if a student remembers (and has mastered) the requisite skills for the upcoming year. For example, if your kid is going from middle school to high school, she can do a pre-algebra or algebra readiness test. There are many online resources for tests and sample problems covering a variety of topics and you can find the one that best suits your child (https://www.khanacademy.org/ http://www.math.com/). Added bonus: taking these tests will also get those neurons firing and your child’s brain ready for study!
3. Get ahead.
Summer classes are a great way to keep the learning skills sharp. It also gives a space for your child to ask teachers questions on their problem areas that they might’ve not been able to work through during the school year. If it’s too late to sign up for a class, you could get a tutor to help your child with key skills. There are many online classes available too, letting your child continue to enjoy the last few days of summer while brushing up on math skills – check out Meemli Academy for some options!
Reviewing, testing and brushing up math skills will ready your child to face the new school year with more confidence. With a little bit of extra effort this summer your kids will be ready to zoom into their classes with a fresh mind and enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
Do you think a little math prep before school starts will help your child? Share your thoughts!