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Chester County Press

The summer is a perfect time to improve math skills

05/14/2014 12:59PM ● By Acl

Parents and educators are increasingly seeking new ways to help kids perform better in their math classes, as standardized testing and critical placement exams are putting additional pressures on everyone. Yet, there’s a simple way to pump up children’s math muscles that doesn’t involve learning a whole new discipline. 

“Take advantage of the more relaxed environment of summer break as a golden opportunity to improve math performance,” suggests Larry Martinek, Chief Instructional Officer at Mathnasium (

“During summer break, children typically have a lot of unstructured time, allowing them to unplug their busy minds and become more focused. These are ideal conditions for effectively absorbing new information and having a sudden ‘aha’ moment when concepts click into place. We have found the summer to be a great opportunity for students to work on mathematics and have seen children make great strides with a serious commitment of just two to three hours a week,” Martinek says.

Indeed, Mathnasium students have shown significant increases in performance in fewer than 20 sessions. This number of learning sessions can easily fit into the summer months, giving kids a substantial leg up for the school year ahead.

Studying math during the more relaxed summer break provides some significant advantages over studying during the school year. Numerous studies have found that relaxation helps release endorphins, which calm the nervous system, sharpen concentration, promote positive thinking, and strengthen memory retention while helping reduce the anxiety that can often obstruct the learning process. Relaxation also helps develop children’s imagination and self-expression abilities.