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Summer Math Review: 5 Strategies for Success (and Fun!)

Summer is a time for relaxation and adventures, but learning never stops for us homeschool families! This is especially important with math because research shows that children lose math skills quickly without regular practice. However, keeping up with math review doesn’t mean that you have to do the exact same things in the summer as the rest of the school year. With creativity and consistency, you can make summer math review fun and relaxed for your child(ren)!

math review

This blog post covers some simple and successful math review strategies through the summer months. I’ll also share how you can use CTCMath, one of our favorite math curriculums at Hip Homeschool Moms, to approach some of these summer math review ideas in a way that keeps you and your homeschooler(s) motivated! (But you don’t have to use CTCMath to use these ideas).

Here are 5 math review strategies that will help children of all ages stay on top of their math game this summer!

“Consistency is key” applies to just about any successful endeavor, and this is definitely a MUST when it comes to successful math review over the summer months!  While reading books together and doing science experiments are easy and fun ways to stay on top of your child’s learning in the summer, it can seem intimidating to schedule something like math into your daily routine. My main tip? Keep it short, simple, and set for success.

Being consistent with math review doesn’t have to be complicated, or even take much time each day. In fact, I think it’s best if daily math review doesn’t take a lot of time.  And this may seem counter-intuitive, but I also think it’s helpful if most daily review is TRUE review: AKA isn’t overly challenging. In my experience, regular and positive math review helps kids succeed much more than pushing too hard and causing them to dislike math. Think of it this way: not falling behind over the summer is actually progress!

Daily Math Review Ideas

If you use CTCMath, this program easily supports several of the above math review ideas! CTCMath has tasks and lessons that can be fully customized with review tasks by the teacher (you). These lessons are available in bite-sized formats and can be printed as worksheets or completed online. During the summer, this means that you can choose the format that would be more fun or enjoyable for your student. CTCMath also offers speedy review challenges to hone math fluency each day!

2. Be Specific and Intentional in Reviewing Trouble Areas

While you do want your child to feel successful with math review as much as possible, there may be some problem areas you need to work on this summer, too. To avoid overwhelming your child, try to be specific and intentional about which troublesome concepts and topics you want to focus on.

For example, maybe pick one a day a week to work on re-teaching a difficult topic for your child, and then include one math problem each day that week that utilizes that concept–working through it together with your child if needed!

CTCMath is an excellent resource for re-approaching challenging concepts and creating custom lesson plans. This program allows you to fully plan your child’s math curriculum. You can create a task list for your child incorporating different concepts, specific lessons, and a range of grade levels.

So (for example) if your student is in 5th grade but never mastered double-digit subtraction with borrowing (3rd grade), you can include those types of learning and videos and problems in your child’s math lesson alongside 5th grade content. Especially as a homeschool parent who has the opportunity to customize your child’s learning experience, it makes so much sense to have this kind of flexible instruction.

3. Bring in Hands-On Application as Much as Possible

Since you’re a homeschool parent, you are probably already a fan of hands-on learning in all forms! Well, summer is a fantastic time to be hands-on with math as much as possible! Below are just a few ideas for finding math review in fun and daily tasks around the house.

Ideas for Fun Math Review

  • Cooking/Baking – Use recipes to practice concepts like counting, addition, fractions, measurements, and conversions. Here is our whole list of ideas for teaching math in the kitchen!
  • Math Games – Incorporate math games like TEAM Digger, Math Bingo, or even classic board games with a math twist such as Sorry and Scrabble. Outdoor math games are lots of fun, too!
  • Real-Life Math – Have your child calculate tips at restaurants, figure out sale prices while shopping, or help with budgeting for a small business.
  • Projects – Engage in DIY projects that require measuring and calculating, such as building a birdhouse or creating a garden layout.

If you think hands-on math might be your main jam for math review this summer, you can also check out this previous article on hands-on math.

4. Practice Recognition of Math in Art and Nature.

This takes hands-on application to a deeper level, branching out into fields of study that tend to naturally appeal to most kids–art and nature! Math exists in many forms within art and nature, and learning to spot it can naturally create more of an interest in math for kids. As they begin to notice math in the natural world, this becomes a very natural form of math review that they will always carry with them! Here are some ideas to prompt recognition of math concepts in art and nature:

Some Ideas to Prompt Recognition of
Math Concepts in Art and Nature

  • Integrate math with art by having your child create art projects that involve geometric shapes, symmetry, and patterns. For instance, create tessellations out of Magna tiles, draw fractals in the form of trees with plenty of branches, or design a perfectly symmetrical butterfly.
  • Use Tangram shapes to create art projects using geometry.
  • Game play with Minecraft and/or LEGOs, discussing geometry and area.
  • (For older kids): Study a famous building’s architecture and/or conduct some small architecture project of your own. There are some really fun design ideas on this page that are simpler than you may think!

5. Read Some Fun, Math-Centric Fiction!

Especially if your young learner (or learners) are resistant to math, delving into some fun summer reads that approach math from an unexpected vantage point can be helpful! Sometimes kids just get it into their heads that they aren’t “math-y,” and re-framing that internal narrative can make a huge difference in their success with math!

Most homeschool families that I know make an effort to read some fun books together over the summer, and there are actually some great ones featuring main characters who use (and love) math! Here are some books and series that do a great job incorporating math (or an appreciation for math), critical thinking, and/or STEM topics into the story:

Young Readers:

Middle Grade & Up Readers:

(Side note: These are the math-y books and series I know of and appreciate, but I’d love to find more! Do you have any mathematical novels you love and would recommend? Comment and let us know about them!)

Closing Thoughts

By incorporating these creative and engaging strategies into your summer routine, you can help your children keep up with their math skills in the midst of summer adventures. Remember, the ultimate goal is to foster a positive association with math and show your child that math is everywhere—it’s in the kitchen, the garden, art, nature, and even in their favorite stories.

CTCMath is also an excellent resource that can support you with consistent daily practice, reviewing problem areas, and keeping up with math fluency in a way that’s not overwhelming! With consistency, intentionality, and a fun attitude, you can turn summer math review into an enjoyable and successful experience for your child!

What unique ways have you found to incorporate math into your summer activities? Comment and tell us what to add to this list!

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