How to avoid summer maths loss
It’s possible for a significant amount of learning during term time to be lost over the summer break. Summer maths loss might be a concern for you over your child’s summer break, but with just a little bit of practice and the right summer resources, you can keep on top of learning so they’re ready for the next school year.
Some parents may perceive maths as something to only be done in school. You think of summer and you think family holidays and sunny beaches, not sums and fractions. However, did you know it only takes practising just one or two times a week to keep your child’s maths knowledge going strong over the summer, preventing summer maths loss without sacrificing their summer holiday fun?
Keeping on top of maths doesn’t have to be a chore, summer learning can be as fun as you make it.
What is summer learning loss in maths?
‘Learning loss’ refers to the loss of skill in particular subjects when children don’t continue their learning over the summer. In the case of maths that can be the equivalent of between one or two months worth of academic learning lost over the summer break. So, as you can see, it’s worth putting in just a little bit of practice.
Is summer learning loss real?
When you’re looking for things to learn in summer maths might not always be top of the list, particularly if it’s a subject your child struggles with. But it’s important to ensure children are practising their maths, even just a little bit each week. Particularly at the moment given learning loss is something children in the UK are still recovering from. Many studies have shown that children not practising over the summer will experience summer maths loss.
Both studies in the UK and in the US have shown summer learning to be very real, with maths and reading being the most heavily impacted skills.
What causes summer learning loss?
Simply put, summer learning loss is caused by a lack of practising mathematical or other learned skills over the summer.
Of course, children deserve a break after the school year is over and you deserve some family time with them without having to worry about their schoolwork. There are lots of ways you can keep on top of their maths learning over summer without sitting down to do sums every single day. Even just a little bit of practice a couple of days a week will do.
How to prevent summer learning loss in maths
Preventing summer learning loss in maths is easier than you might think, and you can do it without giving up much time sun at all.
Practice maths regularly in small amounts
Maths doesn’t just have to be in the classroom. You can either practice maths with your child one or two times a week for about an hour at a time, or if you can, just ten minutes a day will keep their brain trained.
There are plenty of maths apps out there that can make learning engaging and allow children to learn independently when they’re not doing anything else. Encourage them to practice a little bit of maths regularly throughout the summer, and check in with them once in a while to ensure they are learning.
Mix maths into daily activities
The great thing about maths is that it’s everywhere, and it’s easy for children to learn without realising. Why try practising maths in the kitchen? Teaching children how to cook and bake will also teach them about measuring, adding, multiplying and sequencing.
You can show children that maths is everywhere by getting them to put their skills in to practice when you’re out shopping. Get them to calculate the price of small shops and figure out how much change you’ll get.
Try bedtime maths stories
This might sound like an unusual idea, but studies have shown that children that practice maths at bedtime can gain a huge advantage in the classroom. So, particularly for summer bedtime reading why not incorporate maths into some bedtime stories? You can find ways to do that yourself, or you can try children’s bedtime books specifically about maths.
Make maths into a game
Who said maths can’t be fun? There are plenty of fun ways to turn maths into a game this summer. In fact, there are plenty of existing games out there that are perfect for a rainy day that’ll also teach children about maths.
Monopoly springs to mind as one way to teach children about the value of money, and the maths involved in managing it. In fact, most board games will involve maths to some degree, whether that’s simply just counting or teaching children about probability through the roll of a dice.
There are also plenty of outdoor maths games you can enjoy with your children too. Even a simple game like noughts and crosses can be played with some chalk and ensure your child is keeping up with their basic counting skills.
Summer maths tuition
Some children need a little extra help when it comes to keeping up their maths learning over the summer, and that’s okay. They don’t need to be tutored every day, even just one session a week can help them keep on top of their learning.
Even with just a few sessions over the summer, some maths tuition could go a long way to ensuring that your child doesn’t lose any of their maths skill over the summer. They might even develop greater maths skills than they had before. They can even learn online at their own pace and from the comfort of home, so they don’t have to worry about being in a classroom over the summer.
How to improve math skills over the summer
There are plenty of ways you can help your child work on their mathematical skill over the summer. The important thing is to keep it simple, after all your child does deserve a little break over the summer. So try some fun and simple strategies to improve their maths over the summer.
Maths summer activities
We have plenty of free maths resources to help you and your child to keep up their maths skills over the summer break, and prevent a summer slide in learning.
Our top recommendations for maths summer activities are:
- Work maths into everyday life so that children don’t have to feel like they’re in a classroom
- Think of ways to get children thinking mathematically without putting too much pressure on them
- Try to create fun maths problems to solve through activities and crafts
- Make sure you’re looking after your and your child’s wellbeing over summer, don’t pressure yourselves too much to learn every day.
Remember, the summer break is all about having fun for children. You won’t be able to work maths into every activity and every day. So long as they’re doing a little bit of learning to keep their minds engaged over summer, you can let a day or two slide from time to time.
Summer maths tutoring
If you do want to give your child a head start in their maths for the next school year and make sure they’re keeping on top of their summer learning, why not consider online maths tuition?
With online maths tuition you won’t need to worry about getting your child out of the house or set a day aside if you’re particularly busy with work over the summer. You can set your child up with a laptop or tablet and they’re ready to go. They can either take part in online session with our expert tutors, or they can learn independently through our curriculum-led maths activities and videos. Why not try out maths tuition for free over the summer, and see if it helps your child?