Every year, you can expect your school to send you a calendar of the year. Before you stick it in a binder somewhere, consider this: that calendar can be an awesome learning tool for your kid. In most public schools around the country, a school year means a minimum of 180 days of instruction…but how the days are divided, when vacations happen, and exactly how many minutes are spent on what, are up to local discretion. Invite your child to do some serious Calendar Math this fall, to help her get grounded in the schedule she’ll be following. In the process, you'll be pulling out some math skills that have probably been taking a long summer break!
What You Do:
- Take out your school’s calendar, and set it side by side with a general 12-month calendar. You’ll be working most heavily with the school calendar, but you will also want to have your 12-month calendar handy for reference.
- Start with a quick “eyeball” look: When does school start for the year? In what month does it end? How long is the holiday break? (Parents, this is also a terrific time to share stories of what the school year was like when YOU were growing up!)
- Now pull out your School Calendar Worksheet, and see what your child can do! She'll start with simple calculations first, and then build up to more challenges.
- The first levels require math skills that kids generally work on in first and second grades; the extra challenge at the end moves up into third or fourth grade math standards. Make sure you explain this to your child as she works—and if she struggles with any section, don’t hesitate to help out.
This worksheet offers a great chance for you to see what math your child can do easily, and what problems may require a little help. And no matter what, your whole family will benefit from the security of knowing exactly what's coming up in the year ahead!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school history and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.