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Summer math resources — 7 wonderful ideas & resource lists

It's summer, and kids are out of school. Many of us consider doing some summer math to help them not forget what they've learned, to prepare them for the next school year — or simply to keep them busy. Here are seven wonderful ideas & lists of resources for your child's summer math time.

The first suggestion (we could title this number ZERO) is...

    seal relaxing
  1. DO NOTHING
    Perhaps your child doesn't need to study math during the summer and it's simply time to take a break and enjoy the summer!

However, if you prefer your child to get involved with math at least for part of the summer, check out these 7 ideas:
  1. brain teasers, puzzles and problem solving
    Do these together! They will develop your child's (and your own) logical thinking and problem solving skills, which will help with math.

  2. interactive activities, games, and simulations
    Surf into one of the math websites filled with math games, and let your children have a blast with them. Here are some:
    Math Playground screenshot

  3. online math practice programs
    You could purchase a subscription to an online math program for a few months (typically $10-20 per month). They allow your child to practice unlimited math problems, and give you detailed reports.

    Dreambox learning screenshots
    Such services include:

    Most of them include a free trial — so one option is to use all of them in succession!

  4. REVIEW the previous year's math
    a> For review, consider Math Mammoth Review Workbooks for grades 1-7. They provide a comprehensive review of a specific grade level of math, and include both topical and spiral review worksheets. They are available as inexpensive downloads or as printed books.

    Caveat: If you used Math Mammoth Light Blue Series for the past school year, then don't purchase those review workbooks, as their content comes from the Light Blue series. (If you have used the BLUE series books, then go ahead with the review workbooks as those two series don't share content.)

    Here's another (FREE) way to review the previous year's math. Simply get or borrow (e.g. from a library) a few regular math textbooks for the grade the child just finished. The copyright year won't matter too much; just check that the book contains review or test pages that you can use.

    And of course the online math practice programs listed above will work for review purposes also!

    If your child is seriously behind, check out this article of mine for a more complete plan and suggestions.

  5. cards
    math games with cards, dominoes, and dice
    First, I want to recommend this ULTIMATE math card game: The game that is worth 1000 worksheets. You can TRULY use it for topics from simple addition & subtraction, to multiplication, to fractions & negative numbers!

    Secondly, download Acing Math — a 69-page book filled with neat math games for grades K-6 that can be played with a standard deck of cards.

    dominoes
    Here are math games to play with dominoes, and last, not but not least, math games with dice.

    If those are not enough you'll find lots more math card game suggestions here.

  6. MATH READERS
    Math readers are story books that have math topics weaved into them. These are especially good for young children. Check the "MATH READERS" menu item at the top of the page at LivingMath.net for book lists by math topic.

  7. summer math programs & contests
    These are specifically designed to hone children's math skills just over the summer.

    You can check out this list of resident summer math programs.

    Very few of them are online programs, but Noetic Learning has one called LeapAhead!

    Another possibility is to take part in Problem of the Week programs or math contensts. They provide some variety and challenge!

That's it! I hope you found something useful to spice up your summer with math. :)

By Maria Miller

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