Even though summer has started, it’s important for parents to recognize the potential math gaps that their children may have developed. These gaps can hinder their progress in the coming academic year.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, in the spring of 2022, the average student was half a year behind in math. Some of this can be blamed on the pandemic. But not all.
Math is a sequential subject taught by carefully constructing students’ understanding in a methodical manner, progressing from arithmetic to fractions, exponents, and eventually to algebra, pre-calculus, and calculus. When students lag behind in their math comprehension, it cannot be assumed that they will naturally catch up on their own. They need explicit instruction to understand and catch up.
Math Learning Loss and the Pandemic
The devastating effects of math learning loss as a result of the pandemic cannot be overstated.
This is documented in recently published national test results. Math and reading scores of 9-year-olds have plummeted to levels comparable to those from two decades ago, with math showing the first-ever decrease since tracking began.
It is crucial to acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on math education and address any resulting gaps to ensure that students have the necessary support and resources needed to regain their math proficiency. Targeted and specific instruction that is able to identify their specific learning gaps, fill them, and then build on top of them, is the method by which remediation can occur.
Math Learning Loss and Summer
Even before the pandemic, research has shown that students tend to experience a decline in their math fluency during the summer, with the extent of loss larger at higher grade levels, according to Brookings.
This loss of knowledge can create gaps in their understanding, making it harder for them to grasp new math concepts in the next grade.
First, the lack of regular practice and exposure to math concepts during the summer break can lead to forgetting previously learned skills.
Additionally, the absence of structured learning environments and guidance from teachers can make it challenging for students to maintain their math proficiency. Finally, the shift in focus during the summer towards recreational activities and relaxation may lead to a neglect of academic pursuits.
When school resumes in the fall, some students may have minor gaps in specific areas, while others may struggle with a broader range of math concepts. Without remediation, those students who are missing some foundational concepts may find themselves further and further behind as the school year progresses.
A summer math program might be a good time to close any math gap and even get a jump on what’s to come when school resumes.
Consider enrolling your child in a summer math program or hiring a private math tutor who can provide personalized instruction and guidance. By getting your student support, you will be helping your student gain math confidence so that they enter their next grade with a solid foundation upon which to build and experience success.
S4 Study Skills’ Summer Math Tutoring
Our summer math program, taught by a select group of our highly qualified teachers, offers comprehensive support in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre-Caliculus, and Calculus, focusing on offsetting any learning loss which might have occurred during the pandemic.
We focus on the mathematical foundational concepts needed to understand core principles. They are particularly adept at breaking down complex concepts into digestible chunks, making it easier for students to grasp and apply them effectively. We also tutor elementary school students in math.
The goal is to provide students with confidence in their mathematical abilities, so they will
eagerly engage in the subject with confidence and success.