5 Tips for Getting Back on Track with Math After the Holidays

By Kim Vij


At times after a long holiday break there’s a higher risk for remembering the math skills a child has worked on over the past few months. Here are some tips and tricks for getting back into the swing of things.

  • Make math hands-on
  • Make math move
  • Make math techie
  • Make it on-the-go
  • Make it fun

As parents, we’ve all had those moments when a child asks for help.  Next, you glance at the paper thinking it’s a quick solve and then realize you’ve forgotten exactly how it goes.  It’s the “using all the time” part that we need as a child and, truthfully, as an adult too.  Using these various ways will help to keep your child’s mind fresh and actively engaged in math.

Make Math Hands-On

Each concept your child works on in math can be made into some type of hands-on game for them.  Create a memory or dice game for them where they manipulate pieces.  Finding real life examples from their problems on paper can help them to better understand what they are being asked to solve.  Find how you can sneak them into daily tasks, even cooking.

Make Math Move

Some children begin to process things more quickly when they are moving and using a different sense.  Take sidewalk chalk outside and have them create math facts that they can jump onto as they are called out.  Geometry can be brought to life in a huge way with chalk. Drawing the shapes will help your child to visualize the problem. Encourage them to jump in, out or around those shapes they create and discover the perimeter or area.

Make Math Techie

Many schools and school boards suggest specific online games for kids to practice their math concepts.  Set aside around 20 minutes each night to focus on those math skills using the computer.  Be sure to be specific that they stay focused on that one math game to make it worth their time.  Many of the games are skill based and increase in difficulty as the student performs better. Another little tip for parents out there: take a peek at their online math textbook together, we all can use a refresher and it shows your child you are invested in their math, too.

Make Math on the Go

Purposefully place one or two apps of math games on your phone, too. During wait times, like at the store or doctor’s office, you’ll often find them playing a pre-selected math game.  Have your child help you figure out sales at stores or even what the total cost should be of your purchase.  Add some problem-solving questions to your trips in the car.  Print out a few and have them ready to read and talk about together.

Make Math Fun

Working on math facts?  Set some goals at home for them to reach and track to get them motivated to try their best.

Set up a specific spot that you child does their math homework each night as you get back into your routine after the holidays.  Have the materials they will need such as their pencil, eraser, scratch paper, ruler or even calculator (if necessary) in a handy basket so they are not searching for supplies.  Have them decorate the container to give them some ownership, too.  Make math ROCK at your house!