“Summer Slide” might sound like a fun amusement park attraction, but it’s actually scarier than the world’s most terrifying ride. Research spanning decades of years has documented the frighteningly true fact that the academic skills of most students “slide” backwards over the long summer months. When school starts in the fall, students who don’t actively use their brains over the summer don’t perform as well in class as those who have been productive.
However, the good news is that this disturbing decline is entirely preventable. Mental stimulation helps the brain grow stronger, faster and better able to complete the millions of daily tasks it is charged with, from memory to problem solving to attention. The brain forms new connections every time it is exercised. To prevent brain drain, or even improve cognition, individuals need frequent opportunities to acquire new skills and practice existing ones. As the phrase goes, “Use it or lose it!”
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