You’ve heard of the dreaded “summer slide,” where students lose up to three months of learning progress over the summer. But it’s easily avoidable. It just takes a few minutes of consistent practice each day in order for students to maintain their skills during the summer break. Here are some resources we love that will make summer math practice a piece of cake.
We all love free stuff! Luckily, there are plenty of resources available for free that will help your child get in some solid math practice in a way that’s engaging and interactive.
Freckle is one of our favorites. It’s an adaptive program for kids in grades K-12 that uses baseline assessments in each major math topic to shape each user’s individual learning path. No two paths look the same, and student practice is always appropriately challenging based on how they are performing. Students love it because of the fun characters and the opportunities to “shop” for items for their character using points they’ve earned solving problems. There is a paid version which allows a lot more features for monitoring student progress, but the free version does the trick most of the time.
Khan Academy is another online platform for math skills practice. Their curriculum is comprehensive, aligns to standards, and is easy to use. Students can choose which topics they want to practice and it shows their mastery level every step of the way. Courses are separated by grade level through 8th grade. After that they are separated by math topic.
Math Playground, as the name suggests, is all about having fun while learning. With games for Kindergartners through 6th graders, they have virtually every aspect of every math skill you can imagine.
Desmos is great for the older set. Their “explorations” introduce students to advanced and often confusing topics in a way they can actually understand. Desmos activities make it easy for students to see how concepts apply to the real world through specific scenarios and situations.
Resources with Subscriptions
IXL gives users 10 free questions per day—enough to supplement as long as this isn’t the only math they’re doing. But if that’s all you have time for, or if 10 problems is all your student is willing to do, it’s still better than nothing! For unlimited practice, you can sign up for anywhere between $10-$20 per month, depending on which membership you choose.
Splashlearn is another web platform that provides math practice in a highly engaging virtual environment. It’s interactive and super user-friendly. All skills align to standards and kids love it!
If you want to keep this summer low-tech, a good-old fashioned workbook will do the trick, and won’t hurt your bank account. Just be sure to look for ones that require critical thinking. While it’s important to maintain math facts, simple drills won’t be enough to stave off skill loss. Here’s an example of a 4th grade workbook that fits the bill.