Helping children develop memory skills
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Once, I had a child with a razor-sharp
memory. I could never make empty promises. He would always remember
and remind me at every turn. Suddenly he's in fourth grade and can't
seem to remember anything -- particularly when it comes to his
school work! Is there anything I can do?
This probably sounds familiar to many
parents. The good news is that remembering is simply a skill. Like
any other skill, it takes practice to become proficient. And
practice at home is one of the best ways to help students develop
the skill of remembering. You can make it fun and it can result in
better grades too!
Here are some ways to help your son
Make lots of copies. Write a fact on
each one and place the footprints throughout the house. Move them
each day. Although 5 x 7 = 35 may have been in the hall yesterday,
today it might show up in the kitchen.
the facts on self-stick notes.
Place the notes in the refrigerator,
inside the cookie jar, in lunch boxes and anyplace else you can
Encourage your son to use a tape recorder
to "dictate" notes to himself as he
studies. Simply putting the ideas into his own words in order to
"tell" them to the recorder can help him remember. He can also
review by listening to the recording.
Let your son be the teacher.
Sometimes, the best way for him to
remember something is by teaching it to you. As your child is
studying for a test, let him make up his own test and ask you the
questions. You'll both learn something! This idea works on nearly
any subject. Something happens as you explain a subject to someone
else. The "teacher" understands it better too. Try it!
Have him learn actively.
It's much easier for
kids to remember things if their whole body is engaged in the
learning process. So don't just have your son sit quietly while
he's trying to memorize the elements for chemistry. Say them out
loud. Walk around. Write them on a big piece of paper.
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column in this article]
(nih-MAH-nick) is a short (and usually silly) verbal device that
can help your child remember facts. You probably already know some
mnemonics -- for instance, "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean
blue" and the calendar rhyme that begins, "Thirty days hath
September, April, June and November." Another mnemonic involves
creating words with the first letter of the things you have to
remember. To remember the Great Lakes, use "HOMES":
H = Huron, O = Ontario, M = Michigan, E = Erie, S = Superior. Help
your son make up his own mnemonics.
The memory skills you help him learn
now will make it easier for him to remember things throughout his
school career… and throughout life.
* * *
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question to The Learning
Advisor, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
© Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
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