Summer Brain Drain…Summer Slide… (whatever you call it)…how to stop it

capability mom ten marksWe are just into the last month of summer – long, hot days at the beach or pool, still some summer camp and here in the NorthEast, we don’t start school until after Labor Day and, even if your children don’t agree, they are losing some math skills. How do I know this? Because I read about an on-line math tutoring program called Ten Marks the other day and it got me thinking…hush, it happens.

From an article in Boston.com: In a study released in June, the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that students typically lose one to two months of reading and math skills during summer break, and that teachers often spend up to six weeks reviewing topics already covered. Yikes.

Here is a link to a nicely formatted page that highlights the research from the National Association for Summer Learning (yes, there is such a thing).

So I have a math packet for one child (courtesy of her teacher) and she has been faithfully working at it but I do need to give a boost to my younger child in fractions. I contacted TenMarks and the company, a local (Newton) based organization let me try it (so I could write about it here) but even the demo (take a test drive) on the site is nice and a good representation of the program.

So here is what happened -

I got an email with sign-in information and telling me (the parent) about the weekly lessons. My children (who are both solid math students but not making up math problem sets for each other on long car rides – okay, or anywhere else) found the site easy to navigate and easy to work on the topics they wanted (er, I wanted them) to highlight.

Both logged on with a code scribbled on piece of paper (I, lazy summer mom, gave them the codes to get into the site and did not help, I mean, hover) and both were able to finish the worksheets with relative ease (meaning the problems were not out of their knowledge base but challenging).

Here is why I like it – If a problem is confusing, there are helpful hints and if the student is still stuck, there is a video that walks through the problem.  An interesting part of the program allows the student to go back over their work and get all the problems right – good reinforcement of the math concepts and nice (for the confidence) to get all 10 out of 10 problems correct.

As far as confidence and competency and math – it is obviously important for everyone but it has been shown that girls self-select out of math (even if they are good at it) in the upper elementary grades (source – here) and that 50% of all jobs are math-based – I don’t know where I got that statistic but here are some cool jobs that need math). Now I do not care if they don’t want to be math majors in college, but I do care if they limit their options in general.

TenMarks is running a special summer package now and click here to find out more about it and stop the brain drain, well, at least for the children. No promises for parents.

6 comments to Summer Brain Drain…Summer Slide… (whatever you call it)…how to stop it

  • W

    Thank you Capability Mom for such a useful recommendation! I do agree that the kids seem to slip alot especially in math over the summer. The Ten Marks program is definitely something I will seriously consider! Thanks again!

  • I told my friend at work about it on Monday. She just signed up her daughter (going into 4th grade) and her daughter thought it was so much fun that she’s doing 5 worksheets a sitting. The mom is relieved b/c she did feel that her daughter needed core concept review plus math fact review. Her daughter is stronger in reading than math at the moment. Nice to know that it worked for your daughter as well.

  • Here’s what the 1st grade teacher has to say about Little Giant Steps’ Rapid Recall System. She was a part of a research project to prove the effacy of a neuro-educational program and the difference it can make for those who struggle with learning math facts.
    It Works In Schools – It’s Guaranteed

    “What a fantastic math facts system! In 18 years of teaching, (first-graders) I have tried many ways to teach math facts but this system was by far the easiest to implement and I had better results with this system than anything else I have tried – all in just 7 minutes a day! Even my lower-level students flourished and were successful under this system. (3 students did 100% in 3 min or under.)

    Here are just a few of the results that made me sit up and take notice:

    Child #1 – Able to do all 70 problems in 2.5 minutes – 100%!

    Child #2 – Unable to identify numbers at year start. At end of the year,

    he did better than all the top students in other first-grade classes.

    My biggest success story in math!

    Child #3 – Considered RTI, he was easily able to do math and was

    keeping up with the rest of the class.

    An Exciting and Unexpected Result

    After using the neurodevelopmental approach in my classroom this past year, my students improved academically, gained strength physically and matured emotionally. These students individually were able to complete sequences of tasks without prompting, as well as staying focused on the task that was before them. Other adults around them commented that their reasoning skills as well as their organizational skills were far above those of peers. Unlike other first grade classrooms in my past 18 years of teaching and those around us not participating in the program, these students were more respectful of each other and worked together to accomplish tasks without arguments. Students were successful, so both the students and teacher’s stress level came down. Together, we were working “smarter”, not harder.”

    Tanda Trussell, First Grade Teacher, Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips CISD, Stinnett, TX

    To see actual test results: http://www.lgseducationalservices.com/rapid-recall-system/what-does-the-scientific-data-show

  • [...] is an on-line math help program that I found through a neighbor called Ten Marks (I wrote about it here ).  It is an individualized program and really well-designed – there are games and incentives [...]

  • Thank you Capability Mom for such a useful recommendation! I do agree that the kids seem to slip alot especially in math over the summer. The Ten Marks program is definitely something I will seriously consider! Thanks again!

  • Online math tutoring is a great help for the students across grades. Since, the time has changed, the way of teaching too. Nowadays students are more internet-savvy and so inclined to online tutoring services. They like online tutors as they provide 1- to-1 tutoring to the students. Online tutoring is pocket-friendly too!
    Thanks

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