These online resources provide plenty of great ways for students to stay on top of their math skills, or to build on them, over the summer.
This is the kind of thing I really love about the Internet – easy to access and use sites and tools, many of which are free, focused on a specific need. The need in this case is the desire to keep student math skills from deteriorating over the summer months. These resources can also be leveraged to enable students to build on their skills sets and get ahead of the curve for the material they'll be tackling in the fall.
Free Online Educational Game Sites
Most kids love playing online games – what a great way to entice your children to work on their math skills while having some fun! There are so many game sites on the ‘Net, and many of them are free. In this post last year, I provided links and information about 10 of these free site. Here's a few games sites that have math-specific sections (each of these sites also has games covering different academic areas as well):
- Funbrain's Math Arcade (Grades K through 8): This popular site from Pearson Education features 25 different math games, customized to your skills level (grade).
- FunSchool Kaboose Math Games (Pre-K through Grade 6): 33 Math Games here. Click on over and check out Action Fraction, Farm Addition, Fishing for Numbers, Monster Numbers, and more.
- Sheppard Software's Math Games (Grades K through 8): A couple dozen games here, grouped into 8 sections including: Basic Operations, Fractions, Telling Time, and Pre-Algebra.
Free Online Video Tutoring
There seem to be countless free video tutorials on the Internet, for just about any subject you can think of – a quick Google Search will generate a slew of results to investigate. I hope I've saved you some time by providing these three sites that are all about education and are loaded with math tutorials:
- Free math tutorials from Brightstorm.com: Hundreds of well produced videos, delivered with a highly functional interface. Categories include: Algebra, Algebra 2, Calculus, Geometry, Pre-Calc, and Trigonometry.
- The Khan Academy (1000+ free tutorial videos): Salman Khan has earned engineering, computer science, and math degrees, and he could be pulling in a sweet salary from gainful employment in the corporate world, but instead he quit his day job in Sept 2009 to record educational videos for his self-started Kahn Academy. His non-profit organization has a mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere (I wrote this post in march about Mr. Khan's impressive work). To view tutorial math videos, just scroll down the home page for a subject of interest – these include very advanced topics such as Linear Algebra and Differential Equations.
- WatchKnow's Math Videos: There's over 2500 math tutorial videos on this site, grouped into hundreds of subcategories, ranging from “For Youngest Learners” to Calculus (86 Calculus videos). Learn more about Watchknow.org in this post, or just click through and check it out for yourself.
Online Math Help & Tutoring Resources
I wrote an article listing 15 Online Math Help and Tutoring Resources in December of 2009, including 9 paid resources and 6 free ones. If you're willing to invest a little money in staying sharp this summer, click over to the article and check out the great sites listed there. For free help, here's some of the free resources cited in the article:
- CliffNotes.com: The Cliff Notes web site provides free study help in many math areas, including advanced topics.
- Coolmath.com: This colorful site provides lessons for arithmetic, pre-algebra, and algebra.
- Math.com: There really is a Math.com? Yes, there is. This site provides some free practice and review resources. They have a lot of ads, but that’s often the “price” of free.
- Onlinemathlearning.com: This site provides helpful explanations and illustrations of math concepts in a wide range of math subjects. Some of their help pages include instructional videos.
- Webmath.com: This site allows you to enter equations and have it solve them and show you the solution! The automated problem solver may include some irrelevant information, but the sophistication of the site, at no charge, is pretty cool. The site covers a wide range of math subjects. I used it with some of my son’s 7th grade algebra homework, and it was spot on.
Online Summer Bridge Programs
This is a growing business on the Internet, and there are not a lot of offerings out there yet. I wrote this post about some new Summer Math Programs from Tenmarks.com last month. These are not free programs, but they are pretty affordable. Since they're brand new, I can't speak to their effectiveness, but they look well thought out. I'd love hear from anyone who utilizes these programs or any similar ones – please comment if you have any feedback.
Well that wraps it up for now – I have no doubt that if you're looking for resources to help your kids (or yourself) stay up on math during the summer break, or learn more about a new topic, you'll find something useful in the listings above. Have a great summer!
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