So summer is here, which brings up visions of swimming pools and breaking out the grill, vacations and math. Wait, mathematics? Is that honestly a characteristic of summertime frivolity? Most likely it's not for the majority of kids, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be part of summer fun. Truly, couldn't it help if it was part of a child's summer? It's not a disputed fact that the long stretch of time that most American institutions of learning break for during the warmest time of the year is also the time when they forget what they've learned. It makes remembering those hard learned chapters of the rest of the year really tough. Instead of watching the knowledge melt from your child's brain like an ice cream cone on a June afternoon, why not think of a few ways to assist them to keep learning during that break. Here are a few ideas for starters.

First, why not go to a museum? There are many of science just about everywhere, and most of them are extremly child friendly. This kind of museum tends to have lots of interactive activities, many of fun attractions, and they don't really feel like a drag to kids. They may not even think of it as learning. What does this do for you? Most science museums will also have some math exhibits. You'll probably notice that the kind of thinking stimulated at a science museum is to the what any student of math needs.

Second, how about buying a math game for your child? There are numerous kinds of games on the market that make learning math loads of fun. Some are computer games that you can quickly and easily install. There are games for video game systems like the PSP. You can also find printable math games that will allow you the opportunity to try new games all the time or replay the favorites over and over. You can also go to just about any Barnes and Noble and walk out with workbooks full of mathematical games.

Lastly, consider the possibility of getting a graphing calculator for your child. You might be surprised when you learn how many neat calculators there are available to buy. They have capabilities now that make them very easy to use and don't require your child to learn a lot of calculator syntax (i.e. exponents finally look like exponents). The latest calculators are in color and can display photographs like the TI-Nspire CX. Kids approach math with more enthusiasum when they've got the right gear. As a "grown up", you can probably relate. Think about how much more fun it is to go to work when you're driving a new car.

Summing up, even though most students don't think about summer break as a time to learn math, it should be. It's not even necessary to hit the books as hard as you can just to keep the benefits of all the hard learning of the last school year.



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