Hi, I’m Nancy Balter. I am the math and science product developer here at Educational Insights. I was a math and science teacher for 11 years, and I’m also the mother of two young children.
Unfortunately, research suggests that kids lose up to two and a half months worth of math skills over the summer. This is probably because math doesn’t slip as easy into summer activities as, say, reading or science exploration. So, we have some ideas for what you can do to help with this problem and even perhaps give your kids a leg up in math over the summer.
1) One thing that you could do is make homemade flashcards. For younger kids, you could make flashcards with say, two circles and the numeral two, so that kids can learn the numbers. For older kids, you can have them work on their addition, their subtraction, their multiplication, and their division.
At Educational Insights, we’ve taken flashcards one step further—after all this is summer and it should be fun—so we have a set of interactive flashcards that actually provide your children with feedback as they work their way through the flashcards.
For the younger kids, we have Ace the talking, teaching dog, and now we also have a cat! The kids use them with the flashcards. They use the pen, they select the answer, they touch it to the dot, and it gives them feedback with flashing lights and interactive phrases to let them know if they’re right or wrong. For older kids, we also have a Hot Dots pen that looks like this. We have interactive flashcards, for example, in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and kids can even work on word problems. We have a word problem card sets as well.
2) Our electronic games are also a great way to practice key math skills over the summer. For example, Math Slam is great way to practice addition and subtraction. Math Shark you can use to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, and percentages. These are a great way to pass the time in the car, on long road trips, and on airplane flights.
3) Games are another a great way to slip math practice into your summer routine. Lots of parents just make up their own. For example, you can grab a ruler and measure things around the house or at the park. I used to have my students actually measure their bedroom and their bed and their desk and then actually create a bedroom blue print. For younger kids, you can trace your foot or trace their foot and then cut it out and measure things by feet.
Of course, Educational Insights has a measurement game. We also have math games focused on fractions and this year we even have a cool Rockin’ Math game which is focused on a variety of key third grade math skills.
I hope you’ve been inspired by these summer math activities, if you have a great idea for a way to practice math with your kids over the summer, I would love to hear about it. You can shoot me an email at Nancy@educationalinsights.com.