The Summer Slump

When I meet with parents for homeschool assessments I recommend their child read some each day throughout the summer and if they are younger, math facts are reviewed too. As much as I hated math packets myself as a youngster, I can look back and see the value for having to review.

Did you know that there really is such a thing as “the summer slump”? According the an article I read in Psychology Today it states, “A systematic review of 39 studies published in 1996 found summer loss equaled about one month of classroom learning, and students tended to regress more in math skills compared to reading skills.” You can read the full article here: Psychology Today

Wow! And you thought that your son was just pulling your leg  about not remembering or your daughter just didn’t want to start school again in August. The article goes on to say that if we “encourage kids to stay engaged in learning throughout the summer, students may not only maintain, but improve their knowledge. ”

You can make learning more enjoyable than just drill, drill, drilling those math facts. Math card games are fun and an easy one to play is War. You can do this for addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. Take out the face cards and divide the cards evenly among the players. Each person turns over one card and the person with the highest number must (in this case) add the numbers together. If they answer correctly, then they get to keep your card and theirs and the game continues. There is war if two players turn over the same number (a two, for instance). Each player must lay down three more cards and turn the fourth card face-up. The person with the higher number then has to correctly add those cards together. If they do, they get all of the cards played in that round. One thing I tell my kids is that I may give the incorrect answer from time to time and if they catch me and can answer correctly, they get the cards I normally would have if I had answered correctly. The same thing goes for them. I usually give a lot of wrong answers because it keeps the child engaged, but I would only do this for a child who is reviewing and not one who is just learning their facts. The player who loses all their cards has lost the war.

You can also play Concentration. Write a math problem on one index card and the answer on another index card. For instance: 3 x 4 on one card and 12 on another card. Do this with as many problems as you like. Lay the cards upside down in rows in random order. Each person takes a turn by turning the card right side up. If they are able to match the problem with the answer, they get to go again until they do not find a match. If there is no match, then they must turn the cards face down and the next player gets their turn. The person with the most pairs is the winner. I would also have your daughter or son say the problem when they turn it over out loud and the answer (for instance, 2×6 equals 12) before turning over the second card to find the answer.

You can do a reward program (a treat or a movie night, etc.) for reading so many books or so many minutes per day. Be sure to ask your child about the book they are reading to see if they are comprehending what they have read.

Do you have any fun things you do for review with your children? Please share!

Have a great week! ~Lisa~