An Opportunity for Learning
By Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D.
Summer is a time for slowing down, not shutting down learning. Parents can play a key role in reinforcing learning during their child’s summer break from school. Summer provides students who do well with an opportunity to keep their enthusiasm for learning high. It also provides children who have been struggling with an opportunity to catch up on key skills so they feel more confident when they head back to class.
To provide kids with a balance of free discovery, play, leisure and learning, here are some summer math tips to keep your child’s brain geared up for school in a fun way. These ideas can be adapted to a family’s needs.
Grocery store math
Counting, estimating, and making change are good math exercises. What can we get for $10? Will you count the change for me, please? Let me know when we’ve reached 15 items in the cart, please.
What’s the most expensive meal on the menu? What’s the least expensive? We have $20 to spend – what can we get? What’s the proper tip?
Practice fractions by using recipes or reading cookbooks. Practice numbers by counting the cutlery needed for dinner. Measuring ingredients is a perfect math lesson. Don’t tell them, though.
What’s the distance from home to our destination? How long will it take us if we travel the speed limit? What’s the most direct route? What do you think is the most scenic route? Why?
Teach about making change. Count change in a piggy bank. How many ways can I make 45 cents? Open a savings account and watch the amount rise with deposits and interest. Talk about the advantages of saving for a big purchase or for a rainy day.
Reading and writing math
Read books about math and mathematicians.