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How to use the summer to catch up in math or get ahead – without burning out or going crazy (part 2)

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Are you excited about using the summer vacation as an awesome opportunity to do some serious math review or really get ahead? But does it feel kind of crazy overwhelming scary to do all that math without any structure – and to do it all alone?

In my last article, I talked about three simple ways to really learn a lot of math over the summer – starting with clarifying your goal, getting materials that you really enjoy working with, and being sure to get feedback as you go. In this article, I’m going to share three more special tips that I use with my own clients over the summer so they can walk into their first math class in the fall knowing deep inside that they’ve totally got it down and they are ready to do their absolute best.

Here we go!!

4. Pace and schedule yourself.
To make sure you reach your goal, you want to pace and schedule yourself so you know you’re on track to meet your goal before school starts.

Before you do anything else, go through and mark off on your calendar when you’ll be taking time OFF from working on math because you’re on vacation, at camp, or just having a weekend. This will make sure you don’t burn out and also that you don’t get resentful or cranky about working hard over the summer. You’ll get more done if you plan to take breaks than if you work every single day. If nothing else, be sure to take at least one full day off every week.

Once you’ve marked off your time OFF, estimate how long it will take to do each section or chapter that you decided is part of your goal of what you want to cover.

Then, schedule these sections onto your calendar, so you break your summer-long goal into smaller weekly and monthly goals. Be sure to leave a couple extra weeks that you’re not on vacation at the end of the summer, so in case it takes longer than you expect, you still have time to meet your goal.

5. Adjust your plan as necessary. Sometimes mastery just takes longer than expected. Remember, it’s OK to adjust the plan. If you find yourself taking more time to really internalize the material than you planned, adjust your pacing so you spend a little more time on math each week to meet your summer goal.

Or if you’re coming up to the beginning of the school year and you’ve still got a ton of stuff to learn, if you are really committed and focused and willing to put the time in, you can still get a lot done. (I’ll be writing more about this in an upcoming article!)

6. Be sure to get support.
When you’re working to learn math independently over the summer, make sure you have someone to go to when you get stuck and can’t figure something out, even though you’re trying your best. This could be a parent, sibling, classmate, or friend. Being able to talk things out with someone you feel safe with will only help you meet your goal, and also give you good practice for explaining your ideas to others! (Because your classmates and friends are totally gonna want you to explain things to them when they see how much math you know from your summer math practice!!)

If you don’t have someone in your life you feel like you can turn to with your questions, or you don’t have someone who can explain things in a way that makes sense to **you**, I’d be so happy to set up a time for us to talk one-on-one and explore whether or not it would be a good match for us to work together! Just send me an email at rebecca@zooktutoring.com or call me at 617-888-0160 and we’ll get that all taken care of!

Related posts:
How to use the summer to catch up in math or get ahead – without burning out or going crazy (part 1)
Got the summer math packet blues? Try some purplemath!
I was a t(w)eenage scheduling gladiator
Do you overlook yourself? Mindset lessons from the NYC Highline (and Moneyball)

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