Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Brain in Shape Over Summer Break

By Huntington Learning Center

Many parents have probably heard the term “regression” before, but what exactly does it mean? Regression is the loss of academic knowledge learned during the school year, also known as the “summer slide.” According to Co-Founder and CEO, Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center, with a little effort, parents can prevent their children from regressing over summer break. “It is easier than most parents think to help their children engage in regular educational activities,” Huntington says. Need ideas? Here are several tips to help children keep learning this summer:

Enjoy summer reading. It’s on every list of top summer learning activities for good reason. Reading is perhaps the easiest way to keep up those literacy skills—and the most fun. Let your child choose the reading material and make it a daily activity. Take regular trips to the library and consider giving small incentives for milestones reached (e.g. each book, every 200 pages, etc.).

Review last year’s assignments. For subjects like math especially, one of the best ways to maintain those math building skills is to review/redo old problems. Before that final school bell rings, ask your child’s teacher for copies of worksheets and other assignments completed during the school year. Sort them into labeled folders for each week of summer and have your child review something every weekday, or at least several assignments each week.

Review last year’s textbooks. If you purchased textbooks for language, math, social studies, and science and they’re yours to keep, don’t throw them into the recycling bin. A quick call to the teacher should give you what you need in terms of the chapters covered this year and what would be best to review over summer break, but if school is out already and you forgot to do so, simply divide the text’s pages evenly and plan to have your child read sections each day.

Embrace the “something learned each day” mantra. Keeping the brain in shape is like keeping the body in shape: daily effort adds up to a lasting difference. For some children, a more flexible approach to summer learning will work better than textbooks and worksheets. Encourage your child to spend 30 minutes a day learning something new and keep a journal about those experiences. This gives him or her the freedom to chase those curiosities while acquiring new knowledge. Provide your child a list of questions to spark ideas, which might include the following:

  • What have I always wanted to know about <a favorite book, author, subject, or city>?
  • How are <a type of vehicle, a type of food, a musical instrument> made?
  • How was <a type of technology or other invention> first created or invented and by whom?
  • Who discovered <constellations, South America, sharks, how to make paper> and how?

Huntington reminds parents that the summer slide is preventable and can be reversed. “What parents don’t always realize is that summer tutoring is the best opportunity for children to overcome learning challenges or get ahead for the next school year,” she says. “With a more relaxed schedule and no pressure of homework and other obligations, there’s time for children to pinpoint the subjects that are troubling them most and make big strides between now and the start of next school year.”

For more suggestions on how to help your child retain everything he or she learned throughout the school year and overcome any problem areas, call 1 800 CAN LEARN.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit  

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