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Morning Shift

2 x 2 = Whaaa? How To Help Kids Avoid ‘Summer Slide’

Summer is in full swing, and while you were probably praying for its arrival and break from the routine of school drop-offs and pick-ups, summer also comes with one major downside: the summer slide. 

The “summer slide” may sound like a fun activity at the playground, but it really describes when children — after a summer of little to no educational activity — forget some or even most of what they learned the previous school year. This means that they could enter to the following grade academically behind and spend weeks or months playing catch up while other students — who may have spent their summers more productively — race on ahead. 

So what can parents do to prevent the summer “brain drain” from hitting their kids? We talk to Bryan Wunar, director of community initiatives for the Museum of Science and Industry, on ways kids can stay mentally sharp during summer vacation. We also hear from Lindsay Harris, assistant professor of educational psychology at Northern Illinois University about which kids are most at-risk of the summer slide.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story named a guest incorrectly.   

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