Summer is a fun time for kids; they get to play outside, go swimming, and even participate in activities such as camping, hiking, and surfing with friends. However, it is essential to make sure kids stay on top of their studies even during vacation time, so they do not forget crucial skills such as math and reading when it is time to go back to school. Below are some tips to help you keep math learning alive in the summer months.
Encourage intrinsic motivation.
One of the most potent forces for learning is intrinsic motivation. People tend to feel intrinsically motivated when they feel a sense of control and competency over the different subjects they are learning. Intrinsic learning can increase learning performance and even allow kids to grasp the concepts of more topics. One method of doing this is to integrate math into activities that the children already know and love. This can include cooking, baking, or even building things around the house. You can also modify the way they play with their toys to include math concepts. For younger kids, this can be done by getting them to add and subtract lego pieces or doll clothing items.
Use the power of predictions.
Making a prediction and finding you’re correct releases dopamine in the brain – it’s exciting, and the dopamine helps solidify learning. Parents can use this to their advantage by encouraging kids to predict things that are significant to them. One suggestion from Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist & educational gaming company consultant, is to “…give the child a hundred imaginary dollars to buy stocks, for example. It takes some calculating and watching patterns to pick investments, and then together, parent and child can check the stock prices every day.” Your child will be excited to check the prices each day and do the math to see whether they’ve won or lost money. That means your child will be calculating percentages and decimals every day.
Make math a secondary aspect of a project.
Stress the importance of math itself by showing children it is included in many different things. When it comes to baking, it is fun to construct the cookies, but you want to make sure you get the fractions correct, so the cookies come out the way they are supposed to. You can infuse math into many activities, such as using colored dyes in water to show different ratios and calculating a summer budget for fun activities.
Dr. Edward S. Thalheimer is the President and Founder of The Tutoring Franchise Corp. For our part, we here at The Tutoring Center® are continuing to provide one-to-one instruction combined with The Rotational Approach to Learning® to prevent children from slipping through the cracks academically. Our programs help children achieve long-term success, build concentration and focus, and, with our outstanding instructors, find the love of learning. Don’t let your child fall behind. Give them the opportunity to grow academically this summer. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at TutoringCenter.com.