Many students believe it’s best to leave their summer math review for the end of the summer; they fear that if they do the work too early they will have forgotten the material again by September.
In fact, the best way to make learning stick is to work at it consistently and review all summer long.
The brain is exposed to a barrage of information every day, so how does it decide what to keep and what to forget?
One big marker is repetition. The brain receives most facts only once, and because those bits of information never show up again they don’t need to be remembered.
But a fact that shows up twice gets the brain’s attention, and a fact that appears over and over and over is interpreted by the brain as being very likely to show up yet again, and therefore important and useful to remember. This is why information that is reviewed multiple times eventually gets stored in long-term memory.
There’s still plenty of summer left, so get going on those math packets and that summer reading now, for about 20 minutes per day, 4-5 days per week. Keep a journal or calendar to record your progress and keep you motivated.
Here are some resources students can use on their own or with parents:
- Khan Academy has a full set of instructional math videos and online practice problems. www.KhanAcademy.org
- IXL is a user-friendly math and grammar practice site for all ages, which charges a small monthly membership fee: www.IXL.com
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