Summer vacation is only a few short weeks away, and if you’re like many parents, you may worry about the academic summer slide. You know, that time when our children forget much of what they learn during the academic year, and their brains turn to mush.
I jest, of course, but there is a summer slide, which is why teachers must spend weeks reviewing last year’s material when school resumes in August or September.
For the last few years, I’ve attempted to stop the summer slide with my son, specifically with math. He’s a voracious reader and is an excellent student in English and social studies, but he’s weak in math, and the last thing he needs is to fall further behind during the summer.
One program we love to stop the summer slide is K5 Learning.
This program is great for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade. When the student signs up, they take an assessment so they’re placed at the right level. The assessment isn’t based on grade level but at the student’s ability.
Then, there are four areas the program concentrates on–reading, spelling, math and math facts.
My son loves this program because it has a video game feel to it. Plus, after he’s done a quiz, he earns 5 minutes of arcade time.
We’ve been using the program extensively with math facts as he tries to master multiplication facts. After a quiz, he can play a game that reinforces the facts he just learned such as Math Jong. Like Mahjong, Math Jong has tiles that you must match, but the tiles have cartoon faces, multiplication problems like 11 x 9, and answers like 99. You must match the faces or the multiplication problem and answer to clear the tiles.
Parents will probably like that the arcade time is limited to 5 minutes. Then, the student must practice again and take a quiz to earn more arcade time. Best of all, I’ve seen my son improve dramatically in his knowledge of math facts by using this program.
The program is $25 per month, or you can pay for a year at $199, lowering the cost to $16.58 a month. This is the program we’ll use this summer.
My daughters are only in preschool and don’t have to worry about summer slide yet. Instead, they love learning, and one program I’ve found to nurture that love of learning is ABCMouse.com.
This program has several different levels. We started using ABCMouse.com 4 months ago, and my youngest began with the 2 year old program. She’s since graduated from that program and is now in the first preschool level for 3 year olds.
Her 4.5 year old sister is in the first level of the 4 year old preschool program.
ABCMouse.com teaches kids basic math, art, phonics, and reading through fun activities. Each unit has 4 to 8 activities that include such activities as having a book read to them, coloring, doing a jigsaw puzzle, or playing a game.
Each unit is part of an environment. There are about 5 to 7 units to complete before the child moves to a new level. After each unit is completed, the child gets to pick a small virtual prize.
My girls enjoy ABCMouse.com so much that they ask to do it every day. Best of all, my 4.5 year old has begun writing her name and other words since we started using the program. At only $7.99 a month, I consider this program a bargain.
Whether you’re trying to stop the summer slide or just help your children learn and grow, I highly recommend these two programs.
What’s your favorite online educational program?