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Excel Math Blog

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Solstice: Let the Sun Shine!


Tomorrow marks the day with the most hours of sunlight during the year, also known as the summer solstice. 

The word solstice is from the Latin word solstitium. Sol means sun and stitium is to stop.

The solstice is the day on which the sun appears to stop, giving us some extra hours of daylight.

In many parts of the country, families will take advantage of the extra daytime hours with fishing, swimming, biking, camping, hiking, and many other outdoor activities to begin the official start of summer vacation.

Excel Math has a six-week summer edition so students of all ages and abilities can continue to learn math concepts over the summer. For over 35 years, Excel Math has been a proven method to help kids from Kindergarten through Grade 6 achieve measurable results.

The unique spiraling process is an important component of the program that leads to mastery and long-term competency for each student. Students regularly review concepts throughout the lessons while developing a solid foundation of skills. Read more about Excel Math on our website.

This year the summer solstice will occur on June 21 in the in the northern hemisphere. During this time, the winter solstice begins in the southern hemisphere.) Around December 21 the solstices are reversed and winter begins in the northern hemisphere.


The earth's seasons as seen from the north.
Far left: Summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere
Far right: Summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere

Since the solstice occurs at 1:04 a.m. on Friday, it actually happens on Thursday, June 20 for places in  North America west of the Central time zone. Here in California, it begins tonight at 10:04 p.m. (Pacific time).

The summer solstice marks the astronomical beginning of summer and the longest day of the year north of the equator. From this point until December, the days will gradually get shorter, though not necessarily cooler.

Build Summer Skills

Last year's summer solstice took place a day earlier than it's been for the past three years, due to the fact that 2012 was a leap year.

February 2012 got an extra day (for a total of 29 days), to keep our calendar year of 365 days in sync with the astronomical year, which is about 365.24 days. Learn more about leap year on our March 14, 2012 blog post.

In general, the exact timing of the summer solstice changes from year to year, "but there's a bigger jump when you have a leap year," explainedMark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Read more on our 2012 post: Summer Solstice—Longest Day of the Year.

If you're looking for an excellent way to keep your students engaged mentally during the summer, Excel Math Summer Edition is an affordable option.

Excel Math is used by teachers, camp directors and tutors to provide remedial instruction for students who need extra review and practice.

It's also been successful with more advanced students to keep them focused and challenged during the summer months.

How do you keep students engaged with math over the summer? Leave a comment in the box below.

Build Summer Skills

New to Excel Math? Preview elementary math lessons that really work for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade on our website: Also find math resources for teachers, parents and students and take a walk through the curriculum at

You might also like these articles:

School's Out for Summer
Staying Fit Over the Summer Break
Helping Math Students Excel During the Transition to Common Core
Summer: A Season of Math Learning

Learn about Excel Math Summer School.

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