Even without the historical end to the 2019-2020 school year, I think teachers can agree that most students experience the ‘summer slide’ when they return to school in the fall which means there is a need for online math courses this summer. If you are not familiar with the term summer slide, here is Scholastic’s explanation:
“The concept of the summer slide has been on researchers’ radar since at least 1996, when one of the first comprehensive studies on the phenomenon was published. The study showed that kids lose significant knowledge in reading and math over summer break, which tends to have a snowball effect as they experience subsequent skill loss each year. A more recent study of children in 3rd to 5th grades also showed that students lost, on average, about 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math during summer break.”
What a devastating amount of knowledge lost! Summer is a time to relax and spend time with family, but it should not be completely wasted, much less put students further behind. Parents, if you are looking for some options to catch up your child, here are a few websites we believe are beneficial for summer practice to help retain knowledge and avoid the summer slide!
ONLINE COURSES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH
$12.95/student per month
I thought IXL provided great practice questions when I used it with my students to prepare for STAAR testing. More specifically, the real-time analytics tool allowed me to watch students work and target students who were struggling. There is a parent feature that walks you through how to assign your student assignments and how to monitor progress. This is an online practice tool. There are not any videos or instruction, so parents will have to fill in any gaps.
Free for Basic | Inquire for Premium
This website has a dashboard for both parents and teachers, and has resources and videos to help parents get their student started. The math section is comprehensive through 9th grade and Freckle includes a diagnostic test so students can start on their level. Students have many options under the free plan, but in order for parents to maximize learning, they will need the premium account. You can see the details here.
We have written many posts (see here and here) about our love for Khan Academy. Khan Academy has challenges, assessments, and thousands of practice questions based on skill or grade level for students to complete.
Visit their parent help center here or check out their daily schedules for families below. These are incredibly comprehensive as it has lessons mapped out for almost every single topic in each grade level. This would be a good fit for a parent who wanted their kids to go through each and every concept for their grade level. Khan Academy is free (and according to their website) and will always be free.
Online math courses can help your students prepare for fall and future grade levels. Whatever online math program you use, we hope that your student will benefit from the extra math and gain more confidence!