You may have heard about the “Summer Slide.” It’s how teachers refer to the significant decrease in material retention that requires them to spend an average of four to six weeks re-teaching materials each fall when students return to school after the lazy, hazy days of summer. But even a two-to-three week holiday break can put a serious dent in learning.  To help keep your child’s brain strong when school is out of session for the winter break this year, consider these seven tips:

1.      Get them moving. Exercise isn’t just good for the body; it’s also good for the mind. Increasing oxygen flow to the brain helps increase its performance, and time spent playing sports or bike riding is time away from the TV.

2.      Play board games. There are plenty of fun games to engage brains of any age. From jigsaw puzzles that strengthen attention and visual processing skills to games for two (like Battleship or Connect 4) or for families (like Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit) that work multiple cognitive skills, building a family tradition on board games is good for the brain – and the soul. For a list of LearningRx Warren’s 2012 recommendations for the 15 best games under $15 check out the December 5, 2012 Brain Training 101 column featured on The AlternativePress.com.

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3.      Feed them healthy foods. Just as junk food can muddle your ability to focus, think and stay alert, healthy foods like beets, berries, lentils, salmon, walnuts, sardines, and green tea can increase clarity, memory and focus. Looking for a quick way to bring quality nutrition to your hectic life? Supplementing your own or your family’s diet with just a scoop of Mila each day can give your brain and your body an excellent boost. Try it for 30 days and see for yourself!  For more information, visit www.lrxwarren.lifemax.net or www.lrxwarren.fueledbymila.net. You can also stop by the LearningRx Warren Brain Training Center if you would like to pick up a bag or learn more.

4.      Keep them reading. Kids don’t need to be studying their science books to fight off the brain drain. Even leisure reading can keep them in the habit and help them increase their processing speed.

5.      Do yoga. In addition to being a great form of exercise, yoga incorporates the practice of meditation, which has been shown to be very beneficial to the brain.

6.      Keep them on a sleep schedule. One of the most vital pieces to a healthy brain is getting a good night’s sleep. There’s no such thing as “catching up on” sleep, and while it’s tempting to let kids stay up later during the break, any extreme change is going to make it that much harder to adapt after the break ends.

7.      Play school. Fake it ‘til you make it! Whether you’re the teacher or the pupil, keeping your child in school mode can do wonders over the break. Give them plenty of supplies, a space of their own and invite over a couple classmates. It’ll keep them busy in a way that doesn’t drain their brain – or your energy!

While these tips will help to stave off the boredom and slippage that can come from too much downtime over the winter holidays, to make a real impact, consider one-on-one brain training.  Learning struggles are very frequently caused by weak cognitive skills.  The best way to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses is with a cognitive skills assessment, which pinpoints each person’s skills in the areas of memory, processing speed, logic and reasoning, processing speed, and visual and auditory processing.

LearningRx brain training is perfect for students of all ages and abilities (struggling and enrichment); kids and adults with autism, ADHD, dyslexia & other learning problems; seniors who want to stay mentally sharp; and victims of strokes, concussion or other traumatic brain injury.  And the results are life changing!  People with improved brain skills do better in school, on the job, on the athletic field, even behind the wheel of a car and they have greater self-confidence.

We invite you to take advantage of our special holiday promotion. From now until December 31st, we are offering our first ever “Buy One, Gift One” promotion.  For each cognitive skills assessment and consultation package purchased (regular price $299), receive another one free! Use it for yourself or gift it to your child, your spouse, your parent or a friend! For more information, or to take advantage of this special offer, call 908-22-BRAIN today.