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As the end of the school year approaches, it may be tempting to view the upcoming summer holiday as an opportunity to take a break from math for the time being — especially if your child is less than enthusiastic about the subject because it is too easy or too hard. On the contrary, with the boredom that comes with school temporarily on hold, summer may just be the perfect time for you to help your child start afresh with his or her performance in and attitude toward math! Here are some things you can do now as you formulate a plan to reinvent the relationship between your child and math.

  • Schedule a meeting with your child's math teacher. Ask the teacher about your child's performance in class, skills covered during the year, and any other helpful feedback about your child's behavior and attitude towards math. This conversation is a great starting point and will give you the insight you'll need as you decide how you can best help your child.
  • Meeting with your child's math teacher should leave you with a fairly accurate sense of what to expect in terms of final grades. While you should always encourage your child to do his or her best in school, understand that if your child is extremely behind in math, it might not be realistic to attempt to salvage final grades at this point. In cases like this, it may be best to look ahead—things you can do going forward to ensure that the following school year ends on a much higher note.
  • Did you know that during the summer, kids can lose approximately two months worth of math learning gained during the school year? Fend off the dreaded "summer slide" by seeking out kid- and math-friendly summer activities and projects that will help your child boost math skills. Mathnasium offers fun and flexible summer programs tailor-made to address your child's problem areas in math or simply give them a challenge. Give us a call or stop by—we'll be glad to speak with you about how our program can help your child, or simply give you some helpful suggestions on how you can work some math-related fun into your child's summer schedule. 

    Summertime math fun can also come in the form of math games you can play at home, or simply seeking out "teachable moments" such as using cooking to teach your child about measurements and proportion; shopping at the Town Square to work with money and basic addition and subtraction. At Mathnasium, we believe that "mathing" with your kids is just as important as reading to them. Showing your child the more enjoyable side of math during leisure time can do wonders to change negative attitudes toward the subject. Engaging in these types of activities also reinforces how having solid math skills can make life easier and benefit your child in the real world.
  • Sit down with your child and have a year-end review—an honest conversation about his or her performance in math and academics in general. Use this conversation to gain a sense of your child's attitude towards math and school and get on the same page regarding long term academic or career goals. Ask your child about ambitions and goals and help him or her understand that doing well in school is a critical step in making these dreams come true. 

    During this talk, it's so, so important to stay positive, optimistic and encouraging, especially if your child didn't do too well and final grades aren't looking pretty. Bring up the possibility of working on some math over the summer and together, research options and check out summer programs. Reinforce the fact that good, honest effort yields results. Change is possible, and there's a strong chance that the grades you're seeing this year won't necessarily be the grades you'll see next year. Getting your child to buy in may seem like an uphill climb at the beginning, but the benefits will make it all worthwhile. 

Good luck and happy "mathing!”

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