I grew up in the 70s and 80s with teacher parents and in a small town that I could roam pretty much at will. Summer was both amazing and boring. School was out, and I could stay up late (at least until the sun set). These were the months when we traveled — sometimes on a big trip, but always for a week to Virginia Beach, where we would rent a big house with all of my cousins, and I would get brown as a berry. I remember riding my purple bike with the banana seat and long handlebar streamers. Or spending my days at the pool and nights at the local movie theatre. Instead of canned green beans or tomatoes, we’d have at least three sides of fresh vegetables every night at dinner, and I could pick the raspberries in my yard as I mowed the lawn.
Life was slow and easy in the summer. And that’s exactly what I strive for now. I’m not as tolerant of the heat as I once was, but I’d much rather be barefoot and sleeping with the overhead fan on high. I try to knock off of work a little early each day, and I visit the farmer’s market every single Saturday morning.
So even though it’s not officially summer yet, June is dedicated to the math of summer. I promise not to sap all of the fun out of the most relaxing month of the year, but I will point out the math that is around you — from the vegetable garden to the pool, and from bike riding to watching the temperatures rise. In Math at Work Mondays, you’ll meet summer camp coordinators, a summer sweets maker, a pool manager and more.
A note about kids and math over the summer: I know that some parents worry about their kids losing math skills while on vacation. While this month’s content can certainly be used to keep kids engaged with the math side of their brains, I’ll devote all of August to this important task. And you can always visit me at Mom’s Homeroom, sponsored by Kellog’s Frosted Mini-Wheats on MSN.com, for great advice. (More articles and Q&As are coming soon!)
I hope you’ll join me in exploring the math of summer. If you have questions you’d like to see answered or themes that you’d like me to explore, please drop me a line or comment below. I’m always looking for great ideas to explore.
Meanwhile, enjoy the warmer months. Let’s dive into summer!