Dear Mabby,

We have a 5th grader and the counselor thinks she needs summer school to get ready for 6th grade math.    She’s also a really good soccer player and might even make the Class 3 team next year.  Do you think I should keep her in all 8 weeks of soccer camp or spend a few weeks in summer school?  I think her soccer potential is unlimited and I don’t want to make the same mistakes with her that my parents made with me.

Anxiously awaiting your response,

Didn’t Make Varsity in High School Dad

Dear DMV,

We love soccer as much as anyone but 8 weeks in 90-100 degree temperature might be a bit much for your future Olympian.  Have you gotten an opinion from her personal trainer?

Seriously, all families should help their children get on their fastest math track (please note the use of the word “their” as opposed to “the”).  This may open more doors in high school that you might not be aware of when your kids are still in elementary or middle school.   For example, advanced math students have many more AP opportunities which bolster their academic experience and increase their options for college.

Your daughter’s academic fundamentals are even more important than her soccer fundamentals. Most people understand the concept of fundamentals when it’s applied to sports but few people realize just how important reading and math fundamentals are to school.

Thanks for listening,