Summer is a long time.
(Unless you ask a teacher or a child, in which case they’ll probably say it’s too short)!
Six whole weeks of freedom from school; with no daily routine for a lot of people and no formal education! It can be a time for children to do more of what they enjoy – see friends, sleep or play on the Xbox! Over the summer, our brains can get a little lazy and there’s been numerous studies showing the impact of this. One study found that a students reading ability in America dropped by nearly 2 grades over the summer. I know we’re not in America, but the results are just as valid here. Hence; in most libraries now you’ll see the summer reading challenge is a common activity.
I used to volunteer regularly for the summer reading challenge in libraries – and I think it’s a fab scheme! You can sign up for it free of charge and there’s lots of incentives for children to read a book, take it back and swap it for another one. It gets children reading, keeps up their skill level and keeps them engaged when they are outside of the classroom.
With maths, there’s no equivalent.
Not because it’s not needed, but because there’s no central funding for it.
So, without an established scheme in place, what should (or could) you do over summer to keep a student’s brain in check? Below we list the five top things we recommend.
- Maths Calendar – This is one thing that we absolutely love all year round, but it really comes into its own in summer. One question, once a day. It’ll take a few minutes and will help keep the brain fresh. We send out maths calendars with each of our boxes every month, but if you don’t have one, drop us a line and we’ll send you a pdf version free of charge.
- Use maths around the house – this works well with children of all ages. Get students to use their maths in everyday tasks such as getting them to work out the ratios for a recipe, measure the length of a piece of furniture or work out how long it’ll take in seconds / minutes / hours until they go back to school! For example; if you’ve got a family of 4 and you eat two scrambled eggs a week, how many eggs do you need to buy that week?
- Play board games – Now I bet this is one you weren’t suspecting. Board games are great for general number skills and can help practice the basic maths (such as counting, adding or subtracting) without them even realising. My favourite game to play is monopoly (no calculator allowed) due to level of maths involved and the fact it involves money (albeit pretend money).
- Involve them with money. Whether you’re doing a weekly shop, paying a water bill or eating out, get children involved with money. You can get them to work out how much it’ll cost, what change you should get (if any) or what coins you should use for the exact amount. I am a firm believer that everyone should understand and learn about finance and money, and there are so many great resources out there (and a lot that are free) to help people with this!
- Watch our webinars. So we were bound to say this (!) but this is exactly why we designed them – to support students when they’re not at school. It doesn’t matter where a student is in the world, as long as they can access the internet, they can access our videos! This makes it the ideal way for students to learn during the holidays or whilst on a break; it’s on their terms – when they want, wherever they want for however long they want. It promotes independent study skills (which are super useful) and you hand them over control of their learning. Our webinars are live every month or available to watch pre-recorded at anytime. Just drop us an email for full info.
With all the education done; all that’s left to say is HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!
*Bear in mind these are just our personal views …