Beating the Brain Drain Through Computing: Webinar Recap with Printable Activity Sheet – by Julie C. Lyons

This past week, Lumos Learning hosted its second webinar in the “Beating the Brain Drain” series. During this interactive workshop, students were given many practical ideas and tips for keeping their math skills sharp in the summertime.

Beating the Brain Drain

To review the webinar content, use this chart with your child to reinforce his or her math skills. Work together to select ideas that appeal to your son or daughter. And be sure to get involved: many of these suggestions are ideal for two or more people! Please note that there is an additional column so that you can keep track of and check off activities that your child has completed.

Summer Learning Kit for Parents

Create a family project that involves measurement, basic math calculations, geometry, etc.
Area Perimeter Measurement Basic facts
As a family, decide upon a project that you can do together. Possible project ideas include: creating a family garden, building a bird feeder, or tackling a home improvement project. Ask your child to help list the items you need to purchase at the store, read the directions (if applicable), and help with the installation, building, and measurement. In addition to math skills, your child can improve his or her fine motor skills. Of course, be sure to supervise properly and follow all safety precautions when using tools and equipment.
Go shopping together.
Estimation Addition Subtraction Multiplication Mental math skills
You can shop for back-to-school items – or simply go grocery shopping together. Have your child estimate the total cost of the items in the cart, determine sales tax, and figure out the change (if you’re paying in cash).
Budget together.
Financial literacy skills Estimation Addition Subtraction Mental math skills
If your family is planning to take a vacation, ask your child to help with the budget! During the trip, keep all the receipts, and then tally up the cost of the trip. Have your son or daughter break up the trip into categories to track spending, too – food, fun, hotels, gas, etc. As a challenge, your child can calculate what percentage of the budget has been spent on each category.
Track family or individual spending.
Financial literacy skills Addition Subtraction Estimation
Use a blank checkbook register to monitor spending (real or imaginary). You child will need to learn how to document the date, event/item, withdrawals, deposits, and keep a running balance.
Host a family game night.
Skills will vary based on the game, but may include:
Strategy Basic facts Making change Spatial awareness
Designate one evening each week as “family game night” and enjoy some of the following math games: Q-bitz, Bop It!, Monopoly, Qwirkle, Blokus, and Rummikub.
Download math apps and games.
Basic facts Algebra Geometry Mental math Flexible thinking Spatial awareness Reasoning Logic Strategy
Check out Google Play or the iTunes store for ideas. Some popular games include: 2048, Nozuku, TanZen, and Lumos Learning’s StepUp App.

Ask your child to choose just three of the activities on the list to start with. Try to start the first activity as soon as possible – today, if time permits! – and then work the other activities into your daily routine as you see fit. By asking for your child’s input, you’ll have a better chance of him or her “buying into” the idea of reviewing math concepts during the summer months. With games, apps, and time with family built into these suggestions, though, you shouldn’t have much difficulty convincing your child that math can actually be a lot of fun!


Julie Lyons