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Brain Training to Prevent the Summer Slide

by The Bethesda LearningRx Brain Training Center:
National Speech/Language Therapy Center

"Summer Slide" Poses Problems when Vacation's Over Brain Training Experts help by providing smart ways to spend the summer

The lazy days of summer have a hidden danger lurking. It's a phenomenon so well-known to educators, they call it the "summer slide." It's the loss of knowledge and ability that typically occurs when formal education stops during the summer months.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that, on average, children are set back by 25% in reading skills each summer.

The average student loses approximately 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math computation skills over the summer months.

Research shows ALL young people experience learning losses when they don't engage in educational activities during the summer.

Teachers typically spend 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching or reviewing material that students have forgotten over summer break.

"It doesn't have to be that way," says Sabra Gelfond of the Bethesda LearningRx brain training center. "Just as physical training improves the body, mental training improves the brain. The right activities over summer break can easily exercise the brain so the summer slide can be avoided."

According to Sabra Gelfond the seven major learning skills parents should focus on with their kids are: attention, working memory, processing speed, long-term memory, logic and reasoning, auditory processing, and visual processing.

Here are just a few of the free and fun brain-training games Gelfond recommends:

  1. Mental Tic Tac Toe: Similar to traditional Tic Tac Toe, this game uses a 'mental' grid numbered 1 to 9. Players remember where their opponent has already been and call out an unoccupied space. The player who calls an occupied space loses.
    What it helps: Attention, logic and reasoning, and working memory.
  2. Needle in a Haystack: Take a page from a newspaper and time your child as she circles all occurrences of a specific letter. Focus on increasing both accuracy and speed.
    What it helps: Visual processing speed
  3. 20 Questions: Think of a person or object and give your child 20 chances to narrow down what you're thinking of by asking yes or no questions. To help them improve their logic and reasoning, teach them to strategize by using questions that will significantly narrow down the categories, such as "Are they alive?" or "Is it bigger than you?" What it helps: Logic, reasoning, memory
  4. Poetry: Have your child choose four words that rhyme and then ask them to use those words to create a poem or a rhyming song. What it helps: Auditory analysis, verbal rhythm, memory
  5. For a free 4-page list of more games, or more information on fun ways to build cognitive skills and prevent the summer slide, please call: (301) 897-3237.

About LearningRx
LearningRx specializes in identifying and correcting the underlying cognitive skill deficiencies that keep people from achieving their full potential in school, business or life. Personal trainers use intensive one-on-one game-like exercises to quickly enhance weak cognitive skills such as attention, memory, processing speed, and problem solving. More than 15-thousand students have gone through the training and graduates now see average gains of 4.12 years across nine essential cognitive learning areas. To learn more, visit

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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