Fighting The 'Summer Slide' With Your Kids - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/19/08 - Tyler

Fighting The 'Summer Slide' With Your Kids

School's out for summer, but not forever.

Right now, thousands of kids are running free from fractions and spelling, but over the next few weeks, it's not just the days that are becoming lazy.

KLTV 7 News' Layron Livingston found out how you can keep all that was learned the last school year from slowly sliding away, as the summer rolls along.

Out in the pool, it's about fresh air and sunshine. Inside, it's about refreshing the mind.

"We're exercising the brain. It's just like we've heard for the body - use it or lose it!"

Hannah Oliphant is the director of Learning RX in Tyler.

Her goal is to help make brains sharper, smarter and faster, and to avoid the dreaded "summer slide."

"That refers to young minds that remain idle over the summer...and they actually lose an astonishing amount of knowledge from the previous year," explains Oliphant.

Research shows that on average, children are set back 25 percent when it comes to reading skills during the summer, not to mention the more than 2 months of math skills they forget.

Those are skills it normally takes teachers 4-6 weeks to re-teach each new school year.

"Our 5 year olds...they know every president forwards, backwards," says Oliphant, talking about the children that Learning RX serves.

It's training she says can easily be done at home, by parents.

"If families can go back to playing games at the table and doing it on a regular basis, and interacting with each other you're going to get much more out of that, even for a young child. Having them form a movie in their head works on comprehension in reading, works on quick decision making in math computation," says Oliphant.

Once back in the classroom, Hannah says the results speak for themselves.

"They walk into that first day of school ready to go. They're ready for a new school year because they know that they've prepared themselves for it."

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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