“Mathematics, it’s not that kind of discipline where you can go away for a long time,” says Peter Atakpu, owner of the Mathnasium in White Bear Lake.
Summer poses a tricky problem for a lot of parents—how to keep their kids engaged with learning when they want to be relaxing and having fun.
“If those concepts and skills are not well consolidated, then the students are not going to be able to make that connection to the next concept, to the next skill, to the next unit,” Atakpu goes on.
“That’s where the frustration comes about. And the confusion. Because if they’re not able to bridge that gap or connect with the unit from the previous school year, mathematics becomes even more complicated and they get frustrated.”
Atakpu and his team of instructors at the Mathnasium see the summer as the perfect time for a student to bridge those gaps from the last school year and start laying the groundwork for the next.
“We assess the kids before we start working with them to identify the gaps or holes in their grade level mathematics,” says Atakpu. “When we discover these gaps, then we develop a learning plan.”
But there are also steps parents can be taking themselves to lay a successful foundation for their young student over the summer. Such as? Try taking your student to the store with you, and have them total up the shopping cart, apply discounts to products. Cooking is another great method, Atakpu says.
Getting kids accustomed to using fractions, halving or doubling a recipe, not only gets them comfortable with the math, it answers the age-old question, “When am I ever going to use this?