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## Reversing Summer Slide

Imagine your child conquering math problems with the confidence of an explorer discovering new lands, their eyes bright with curiosity and determination. Now, imagine the summer sun shining, the school’s out, and that spark of academic achievement slowly dims as math problems are replaced with ice cream parlours and sandcastles. That’s the summer slide, an all-too-familiar decline in educational progress over the vacation period.

Summer slide is like a gremlin in the education world; it sneakily steals away hard-earned academic gains as kids bask in the freedom of summer vacation. But don’t fear! There are many ways to outsmart this gremlin without sacrificing a fun-filled summer.

At Dropkick Math Academy, we offer math help services that are aimed at diminishing summer slide.

With our approach, parents can turn the tables, making summer an opportunity to solidify and even enhance their children’s math skills. Here’s how to empower your little geniuses during those sun-kissed days and starlit nights.

## Why is the Summer Slide a problem and how it affects your child?

Picture this: It’s the first day back to school after a long, sunny summer break. Armed with a fresh set of school supplies, your child steps into the math classroom, ready to conquer. But your child’s face falls as the teacher begins to review last year’s curriculum. Numbers and concepts that were once familiar now seem distant and confusing. This, my friend, is the infamous ‘summer slide’ in action.

So, what exactly is the summer slide? In simple terms, it’s the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation. And the subject that takes the biggest hit? You guessed it – math. Researchers have found that students can lose up to two months of math skills during summer. Just imagine the impact of this loss year after year!

But it’s not just about forgetting the multiplication table or the formula to calculate the area of a circle. The summer slide can lead to a confidence slide too. As the child struggles to remember and catch up, their confidence in their math abilities may take a hit. And we all know how crucial confidence is when it comes to learning and succeeding in any field.

Furthermore, this learning loss can widen the achievement gap between students. Those who have access to continuous learning opportunities during summer maintain or even improve their skills, while others fall behind. This gap can be hard to bridge when the school year starts again.

Now that we understand the problem, the question is – how can we work together to reverse this summer slide? The good news is there are plenty of fun, engaging ways to keep math skills sharp over the summer. Stay tuned for some awesome ideas and tips!

## What are the signs that your child is experiencing the Summer Slide?

If your child forgets things they previously mastered or if they’re struggling with problems they could once handle with ease, this might be your first clue. Remember, it’s normal for kids to need some review, but if you’re seeing a significant decrease in their math skills, you’re likely dealing with the summer slide

Another sign is a decline in the child’s confidence or enjoyment in math. If they’re suddenly dreading math problems or avoiding them entirely, this could be because their skills have slipped and they’re feeling unsure.

## Does Your Child’s Behavior Seem Different?

Changes in your child’s attitude towards math can be another giveaway. If your child was once enthusiastic about solving math problems and now seems uninterested, unengaged, or frustrated, the summer slide might be the culprit.

Always remember, you know your child best. If something feels off, it’s worth looking into. So, keep your detective hat on and let’s tackle this summer slide together!

## How to prevent the Summer Slide in Math this summer

First off, let’s ditch the notion that math is a chore. How about we think of it as a puzzle, an adventure, or better yet, a treasure hunt? The key to preventing summer slide in math is to make it an exciting part of your child’s day.

You can also make use of online resources. Many educational platforms offer fun and interactive math games. These games reinforce what children learn during the school year and help keep their skills sharp over the summer.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Encourage your child to spend 15-30 minutes working on math problems each day. This can be through workbooks, online programs, or simply creating your own problems for them to solve. The aim is not to burden them with homework, but to keep their problem-solving skills active.

You may also want to consider summer math camps or online math tutor for your child. At Dropkick Math Academy, we offer a structured environment where learning and fun go hand in hand. Plus, your child will get to meet other math enthusiasts!

## Incorporating Math Into Everyday Activities And Turning It Into A Fun Experience

Most parents would agree that convincing your child to practice math skills over summer vacation can be as tough as solving a complex algebra equation. But what if I told you that it could be as simple as baking a batch of cookies or planning a family outing? The secret to reversing the summer slide lies in integrating math into everyday activities and making it a fun-filled learning journey.

Let’s ‘bake’ the summer slide away!

Transform your kitchen into a magical math lab. Baking is all about measurements and timing. Engage your child in baking their favourite cookies. Ask them to measure the ingredients, time the baking process, and even divide the cookies for sharing. They’ll practice fractions, measurements, and time calculations without realizing it.

Turn shopping into a problem-solving session

Next time you’re at the supermarket, hand over the shopping list to your child. Let them calculate the total cost, figure out the best deals, and even count the change. This exercise sharpens their addition and subtraction skills and imparts critical life skills.

Take learning outdoors

Planning a family picnic or a mini-vacation? Involve your child in the planning process. Let them calculate the distance, time, and cost involved. They can also help plan the meals, practice budgeting, and even map reading. This real-world exposure to math concepts will help them appreciate the practical importance of math.

Remember, the goal is to keep it fun and stress-free. The idea is not to bombard them with math problems but subtly integrate math into their daily lives. This way, they’ll stay math-ready, all set to beat the summer slide!

## The Importance of Keeping Children Engaged Year Round

At Dropkick Math Academy, we understand the importance of keeping children engaged in education year-round. That’s why we take the potential effects of summer slide so seriously.

We want to do everything we can to prevent summer slide from setting in, which is why we offer summer programs designed to keep students learning and growing even when school is out. We take learning math operations and turn it around to be fun and engaging. We offer a variety of programs to fit your child, no matter their level of understanding.

Our math help services are offered throughout the summer months and are designed to help your child stay on track. Learn more today, and get started with our FREE assessment.

Categories

## 5 Tips for Overcoming Math Anxiety

Math anxiety is a genuine phenomenon affecting many students, no matter their age. It’s a feeling of dread, fear, and apprehension that can overtake anyone when they’re faced with a math problem. For some children, math anxiety is so intense that it can cause them to completely freeze up, making it impossible even to attempt to solve the problem. It is often caused by a fear of failure, self-doubt, and negative past experiences with math. However, parents and children need to remember that everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Many children can overcome their math anxiety by trying different approaches to learning, including taking a brain break, learning a positive mindset or other such modalities. At Dropkick Math, our math tutoring can also help children who may be experiencing math anxiety. All of our programs are run by certified Ontario teachers who have been trained in how to address math anxiety.

## Nervousness vs Anxiety

Some children may get nervous, but for others, it is not simply a matter of feeling nervous. Being nervous is a perfectly sensible reaction to something that is truly scary. In a 1972 Journal of Counseling Psychology article, educational psychologist Frank Richardson and counselling psychologist Richard Suinn defined “math anxiety” as:

“A feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations.”

## Steps To Overcome Anxiety

If your child is struggling with math anxiety, don’t worry – there are steps they can take to overcome it and improve their performance in math class. Math anxiety can be managed and overcome with practice, patience, and perseverance. With the right support and mindset, anyone can learn to love math. The following are our top 5 tips on how to help your child overcome math anxiety.

1. One of the best things your child can do is experiment with different learning methods. Some students learn better by listening to lectures, while others prefer working through problems on their own using math manipulatives. There is no one right way to learn mathematics, so find the best method for your child and stick with it. With a little effort, they will be able to overcome math anxiety and succeed in math class!
2. If you notice your child feeling overwhelmed while studying math, it’s okay for them to take a break. A brain break can help refresh their mind, making it easier for them to focus later on. Brain breaks can be active or passive, depending on the child’s needs. Active brain breaks focus on physical movement and may involve jumping or dancing around. Passive brain breaks are more about mindfulness or sensory and may include taking deep breaths or listening to calm music.  Taking breaks is essential for keeping their mind sharp and ready to tackle challenging math problems.
3. Explain to your child the difference between understanding and memorization. Memorization can be beneficial in certain circumstances, but it may produce a procedurally competent student who can’t think their way out of a box. The sooner you can encourage your child to understand math operations instead of memorization, the sooner they will develop number sense and mental math skills, which will help boost their confidence in mathematics.
4. Never underestimate the impact that a few encouraging words can have on your child. Children experiencing math anxiety can feel hopeless and lost, but knowing that a caring adult is there and cheering them on could help boost their confidence. A study published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators explored the effects of positive and negative reinforcement and their impact on students’ mathematical performance in 6th grade. All participants were required to do mental math to calculate fraction problems after receiving a negative, positive, or neutral form of reinforcement. They wore a heart monitor to track their anxiety, and it was found that students who received positive reinforcement had significantly lower heart rates when calculating fractions. So, next time your child is struggling, try motivating them through positive, encouraging words or even rewards to help improve their learning and academic success.
5. Make math fun! At Dropkick Math, we believe that all children can become interested in math and overcome math anxiety if it is presented in a fun and engaging way. All of our programs offer game-based learning to help those who may be struggling. Through encouragement and rewards, children will begin to excel at completing complex math questions and beat their fear of math.

## Physical Symptoms Of Math Anxiety

Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart or sweating. With such physical reactions, many children who have math anxiety tend to avoid situations in which they have to do math. However, by following these simple tips, you can help your child overcome math anxiety and start to enjoy learning mathematics.

Along with interventions, Dropkick Math offers programs that can help a child improve their math skills. When a child becomes more confident in mathematics, their level of math anxiety decreases. With our fun and engaging programs, children will learn to become more at ease with math problems.