Children of school age have a greater need with regards to memory demands than adults. This may be because as adults, we already have most of the knowledge needed to get us through our daily activities. Whereas with children, they still need to constantly take in information in different areas and topics, which may or may not always be to their delight. In addition to this, they also need to be able to show an understanding of these newly acquired pieces of knowledge on a regular basis. This all will require their memory to be effective and efficient in order for them to be a success at school.
The inability of a child to retain information can cause him/her to fall behind in class, leading to ongoing struggles in the classroom.
You can help your child improve his/her memory by implementing simple strategies into their everyday life.
Conclude with questions
Once the concept has been explained, encourage your child to ask questions. This will help to ensure he/she has fully engaged with the process and will help you gauge their level of understanding. Also, feel free to gently prompt with questions to establish the above as well.
Combination of visual and verbal lessons.
We all have different ways of learning. Understanding which method of learning works best for your child would help to make the process more effective for him/her. The use of multiple senses can help to increase retention. Whilst verbally going through a concept with your child, it could help to bring in visual aids where possible to illustrate and cement the message for him/her. Often times, it will be the experience or image that sticks in your child’s mind, which will help him/her recall the concept much quicker.
Swap roles with your child
This can work in different ways for your child at different stages of their learning journey. When they’re young, children love to role play, so this would be the perfect opportunity for them to slip into the role of the teacher and teach you what they know. As the student (in this case) you would have the chance to pick their brains on they’ve learned and offer suggestions – as the ‘student’.
As your child gets older, the process of role-swapping would probably take on a different name and your child would come to understand that part of the learning process differently. It would now become that part of the learning process (either at the beginning or end) where your child briefly goes over what was learned previously (if at the start of the session) or in the current session (if at the end of the session). The ability to explain how to do something involves making sense of information and mentally filing it. This does not apply to only academics, but other areas as well e.g. learning a new skill - how to play chess, etc.
Break the information into smaller bits
You may be familiar with the scenario where a child is given some work to do and just one look at the length of the text and they become overwhelmed with what they perceive to be the ‘scale’ of the task. This does not necessarily mean the task is tough but their mind has so assessed it that way because of the number of words on the page. This in turn will have that mental effect on them where they feel they won’t be able to manage that amount of work and they shut down. If that same task is presented to the child in smaller pieces/sections, they will look more favourably on it and will be more likely to attempt it. They will not only attempt it but will process the information much better.
Encourage memory “cues.”
Examples include acronyms like “Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants” to remember how to spell the word ‘because’. Other ways to “cue” memories are to create songs that boost the memory about lessons, cue cards, etc. This practice condenses the information for your child and makes it much easier to recall when needed.
In addition to all of the practices above, consistency will be the key. Our award-winning programmes at Leaders are Readers can help with strategies to tackle the above. Contact us for a trial session:
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