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Stay Sharp Over Summer

By The Princeton Review

Do you want to lose your math or reading skills over the summer?  Decades of research confirm that summer learning loss is real.  U.S. high school students lose, on average, about a “month” of math and reading skills during their summer vacations. Yikes! 

So don’t let your summer be a cause of underachievement in your school and stay mentally sharp this summer.  Here are a few tips to stay engaged.  Well, there are lots of options and, yes, you can still have fun!

1. Read: I’m not necessarily saying that you need to slog through War and Peace, but you should read over the summer.  Many of you will have a summer reading list and, contrary to what you might think, the suggested books are not chosen to torture you.  I bet you’ll actually love them.  If you don’t have a summer reading list or want to go above and beyond, try these favorites.

  • Nice and Easy (AKA fewer than 100 pages)
    • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Then you can see the movie!
    • The Old Man and The Sea, Ernest Hemingway.  Read it at the beach!
    • The Call of The Wild, Jack London.  Buck could take on those Twilight wolves any day!
  • Step It Up
    • Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift.  Something for the road trip to the Grand Canyon.
    • Anything by Shakespeare.  Drama, comedy, action.  It’s all in there!
  • Go For It!
    • The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas.  Who doesn’t like a good story of revenge? And I love the movie with Jim C.
    • Light In August, William Falkner.  It might take until August to finish, but it’s fantastic.

2. Get Moving: Yes, as in get off the couch and get physically moving.  Sharp mind, sharp body.  Sharp body, sharp mind.  I’m not saying you should surrender your all-night sessions of Madden, but you need to mix in some good physical activity.  How about a hike or swim?  Try a sports camp.  What about just going to the park with friends or just riding your bike.

3. Riddle Me This: How about a puzzle?  I’m serious.  Do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.  Get the whole family to participate, because you’ll have a better chance of figuring out a seven-letter word for a small object of curiosity, beauty or rarity if everyone is involved.

In the end, your summer bibelot could be a good book, newly discovered trail or Sunday family crossword ritual.

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