Welcome back to our blog series on summer activities for your family to enjoy! Beating the summer slide is essential for your child to do well in the coming school year, and our middle school in Loveland is more than happy to provide you with some ideas of math activities that are fun, while also making a difference.
Let’s face it, math gets a bad reputation. But math is truly everywhere, in nearly everything we do, even though we rarely realize it. Math is a necessary aspect of most jobs and navigating life as a whole. Understanding this makes it easier for your kids (and even your teenagers) to get invested in math over the summer — and even have fun while they’re at it.
Math activities do not simply need to be workbooks and flashcards. Take a look at some of our ideas, and find out about enrolling in our charter elementary and middle school for the upcoming school year!
Start a small business.
As soon as kids are comfortable with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, they can start creating a small business — a practical and exciting way to secretly emphasize math over the summer. Plus, as an added bonus, they could very well get some money out of it as well! From the classic lemonade stand to mowing lawns or walking dogs, this is an opportune time to teach your child about managing money, finances, predicting financial outcomes, and so much more.
Think about something your child loves to do. Making bracelets, blankets, or some other craft is a great start. Do they love to work with kids? Tutoring or babysitting (if they’re old enough) is another excellent opportunity. Practically any passion or interest that they have can be turned into a small business, and incorporate tons of math skills along the way.
Build a garden.
How are gardens reliant on math, you might ask? In so many ways! Area, perimeter, and multiplication are all applied in practical ways when planning and starting a garden. For the kid or teen who loves labor-intensive work or has a lot of energy — or simply loves playing outside and/or in the dirt — this is an excellent opportunity for them to get their hands dirty (literally).
Help your child create a garden box for a true hands-on experience, and help them plan out what they’re trying to grow, keeping things like space and orientation in mind. By providing them with a set monetary amount (which could very well be their own money), you’re also encouraging budgeting skills — all while helping them grow in their math literacy.
Sign them up for music lessons.
Most (if not all) kids have, at some point or another, wanted to learn to play an instrument, and summer is an excellent time for them to explore their interests. The added time means they can sign up for a day camp or start taking weekly lessons. Especially for students looking to join band, orchestra, or choir in middle school, this is a great way to get them to start mastering some of the basics.
Music, whether we realize it or not, is about as mathematical as it can get. Reading music requires counting notes, and understanding what they represent (which is even algebraic by nature). Playing requires rhythm, which is built on mathematical principles, as nuanced as they may be. Learning an instrument at any age, but particularly when children are working on adding and counting, makes this a mathematical skill in ways that far surpass that of a traditional classroom.
At our charter school, we believe that learning should be a lifelong endeavor, and one that is loved and cherished all along the way. When we create practical, enjoyable, and useful opportunities for kids to advance their skills and academics, everybody wins. It can seem like math is one of those subjects that is truly confined to a classroom, but this is far from the case.
Any of these math activities would work great for an older child, such as one who’s finishing up elementary school or in middle school, but these also work for younger children as well — with appropriate guidance along the way. Summer should be so much fun, and also an opportunity to continue developing one’s love for learning.