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Make Time for Math Over the Summer Holidays

Where are children most likely to experience learning loss in the coming school year? Math or reading? If you guessed math, you are 100 per cent right.

Canadian children are more likely to struggle in math than in reading after an extended break from school.

Here are the facts:

The majority of Canadian families do not participate in math activities over the summer holidays to keep their children’s academic skills sharp, according to findings from a survey on education conducted by Ipsos-Reid and Kumon Math and Reading Centres.

The amount of learning loss children experience over the summer months is greater in the subject of mathematics than it is in reading, according to findings cited in the Canadian Council on Learning’s (CCL) report, Lessons in Learning: Summer Learning.

Math learning loss is greater because:

  • It’s easier to get involved in reading programs over the summer (book clubs, the local library, etc.).
  • Math is based in factual and procedural knowledge. These skills are difficult to maintain without actual practice; like throwing a curveball or learning a tough chord progression on the guitar. The less you practice, the harder it is to call upon these skills when needed.

To help families make math an interesting, daily part of their children’s summer holidays, Kumon Math and Reading Centres are pleased to offer the following suggestions:

Daily math challenges - Using a post-it note, write a single math question on at least five sheets and place them all over the house: the pantry door, the fridge, the TV, for your children to find and answer. Include an incentive to motivate your children’s active participation. You can find sample questions from your child’s homework from the previous Grade. This ensures that they’re maintaining the proper skills for entrance into the next Grade level.

Recipes for Success - Baking and cooking are simple ways to ensure that math plays a daily role in your children’s summer holidays. From working with measurements, ingredients and quantities, studying math has never tasted so good.

Are we there yet? Vacations play a large role in any summer. What better way to help your children tackle math learning loss than by having them help you with vacation planning? From travel, food and souvenir budgeting, to calculating the best route, your
children can maintain their math abilities and learn life skills that will help them outside the classroom.

Learning Programs in your community - Summer is the perfect time to enroll your children in a program committed to long-term education and development. Enrolling in a program of this nature will ensure your children maintain and improve their math abilities, build confidence and a love of learning while developing a consistent academic routine.

Remember, it’s not about overdoing it, but about daily practice in manageable amounts. Consistency is crucial in making sure your child is prepared and confident when the school bell rings.

More information on the Kumon program is available online at

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