By Sean Alexander

Here’s how to get better at math over the break so your child can keep their math skills sharp and go back to school with confidence.


As a parent, it’s normal to worry about the summer slide, the knowledge and skills that students lose over their summer vacation. As early as 1996, researchers found that kids lose a large chunk of reading and math skills over the summer unless they continue to review and practice at home. While this tends to affect younger children more since they are still developing and making major learning gains, all students are at risk of getting a little rusty over the summer holidays.

5 Math Improvement Techniques To Avoid Summer Learning Loss

There are many ways to get in some quality math practice over the summer. The key is finding the right activities that make summer math fun and not a chore for your child. After all, they’re on vacation! Here are some tips for making summer math practice something that’s both beneficial and exciting for your young learner.

    1. Identify a Study Method That Resonates With Your Child

    The first step to fighting summer math loss is to find the best way of studying that works for your child. Studying for math is different than studying for other subjects because it isn’t as simple as reading a textbook and taking notes. Instead, students tend to master math concepts in more active ways, like working on problems from summer math workbooks or old exams. Flashcards are great because they’re fast and keep your child’s brain active. You want to make sure that you find something engaging, effective, and that has a good number of problems that your child can work through.

    It’s important to keep in mind that in addition to study methods, there are lots of different learning styles out there, too. Is your child a visual learner? Do they retain oral information better? It may take some trial and error to find which learning style and activities work best for your child.

    2. Create a Summer Schedule for Math Lessons

    abacusOnce you’ve found the best way to study, it’s time to put it into practice. Creating an effective study schedule should make studying a part of your child’s everyday life, but it shouldn’t be all-consuming, either. For younger learners, start with two or three study sessions a week for about half an hour. If your child is older, they should be able to handle longer study sessions to reinforce their math knowledge.

    When creating a schedule, it’s important to make sure that it’s realistic. Your child will want to enjoy other fun summer activities, like hanging out with friends, going to the beach, or taking part in summer camp. Having a study schedule at a set time that works around these activities will help to keep things consistent and still make sure that your child has an action-packed summer vacation.

    3. Take Advantage of Online Math Resources

    Luckily, making time for basic math over the summer can be easy and dynamic thanks to the wide array of online math resources that are available out there. Students today don’t know a world without technology and have no doubt been using it as a learning tool since the beginning of their educational careers. Not only that, many enjoy trying out new resources online, especially those that are interactive and seem like games.

    There are tons of free resources available to parents and students that are focused on math thinking. Some students do really well with print materials, like worksheets and books, while others need something more dynamic to get them engaged and interested. It all goes back to what kind of learner your child is and which ways of studying work best for them.

    4. Make It Fun With Math Games

    Kids of all ages would rather be playing games in the summer than doing math homework, so why not make a compromise? Within the abundance of math resources available on the internet for sharpening skills, are math challenges and review games. Online math games are the perfect way to motivate your child, but more than that, these tools make them actually look forward to studying math.

    What’s more is that there are online games that cover a number of levels and topics, including algebra, geometry, and basic math skills. Having your student play online math games is a great way to keep them entertained on those hot summer days while having them close any learning gaps they may have in a particular area. So the next time your child asks to play video or computer games, why not? Find a math game that your child will love and you both win.

    5. Find a Summer Math Program

    If your child is enthusiastic about math, look into summer math programs where they can join other kids in collaborative workshops, camps, or projects. There are several types of math programs out there depending on your child’s goals and skills, but studies show that kids who participate in summer math programs tend to get higher grades in math class and perform better on standardized tests than their peers who don’t. These same studies also report that students who take part in summer programs also have higher school attendance rates throughout the year.pen math sheet

    When looking for a math program, ask yourself a few questions, like is it fun? Is it going to address my child’s needs? Will my child get one-on-one attention, or is the program mostly based on small groups? You’ll want to select a program that properly meets any of your child’s achievement gaps while still being something that they look forward to doing each week.

    Avoid Summer Setbacks With Alexander Tutoring

    Give your student a boost this summer by choosing Alexander Tutoring. Our experienced and professional educators are excited to share their passion for math and physics with learners of varying ages, abilities, and needs. During private one-on-one tutoring, your child will get personalized attention to address their learning needs to inspire a genuine love of learning. Get in touch with us to learn more about your options when it comes to getting better at math over the summer through a program designed just for your child.


    • Sean Alexander

      COMMAND PILOT, OWNER Sean has been a professional educator for 15 years and has taught math, physics, and astronomy at all levels.  His experience ranges from working at a high school for severe learning differences to teaching advanced physics at Stanford.  After completing his graduate work in theoretical physics Sean founded Alexander Tutoring, with the mission of revealing the deep connections between math and nature to as many students as possible. 

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