How to Help Your Kids Develop Their Memory
Good memory skills are important at every stage of life. However, during the formative years, they're especially essential. Not only does developing memory help children retain more information, but it also establishes a solid foundation for future learning. Kids with strong memory skills tend to do better in school. They also have more confidence and a greater willingness to try new things. Fortunately, there are several ways to help your youngsters enhance their memory.
Do Use Visualization
For most children, rote memorization or memorization by repetition is boring, redundant, ineffective, and downright unpleasant. Using visualization techniques is a great way to spice things up and keep your little one engaged. With visualization, you aren't just presenting information and demanding that it be stored. Instead, you're getting your child actively involved in the process.
One way to do this is by presenting new information and then asking your children to establish a visual image to associate it with. For instance, if you want them to remember that lionesses hunt for food rather than lions, have them picture a female lion stalking her prey, or share a colorful and exciting photo of this activity.
Don't Skip Breaks
Working harder isn't better. This is especially true for small children. Too much work can cause a child's mind to shut down. When using learning activities and other tasks to improve memory, build regular breaks into your child's schedule. Go for a walk or take a trip to the park. Take breaks for snacks and hydration. More importantly, listen when your child says that they're tired. Fresh, clear, and well-rested minds are infinitely more receptive than are minds that are groggy and tired.
Do Use Methods That Engage All of the Senses
Have you watched ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ (playing on Hulu + Live TV)? In this film, Akeelah, a young and incredibly successful competitor earns her way to the national spelling bee. Here, she uses multiple senses to remember the spelling of difficult words. Her most successful method of preparation didn't rely on mind-numbing repetition. Instead, she used a rhythmic tapping on her leg to give each word and its letters their own distinct feel. Her method built confidence, gave her a way to stay calm under pressure, and worked reliably well from beginning to end.
Multi-sensory learning is helpful for children. It engages multiple areas of the brain. Allowing kids to process new information using sight, scent, sound, taste, and touch also acknowledges the fact that all children learn differently. Moreover, multi-sensory learning provides different channels for association so that kids have multiple ways to recall the information they want.
Don't Use Pressure and Stress to Force Outcomes
At times, attempting to remember something when you're under absolutely no pressure to do so can be challenging. Attempting to remember something in the heat of the moment can be downright impossible. For most people, it's more difficult to both learn and recall learned materials while under stress.
It's also important to avoid engaging in memory-building activities at the wrong times, such as immediately after school or when a child is tired, overly emotional, or aching to get out and stretch their legs. Keep your lessons lighthearted and fun, and schedule learning when you're sure to have their full attention.
Do Create an Active Learning Environment
Kids learn best when they're part of the teaching process. Encourage engagement as often as you possibly can. You do this by asking questions, being responsive to questions, and by holding open discussions about challenging subjects in interesting ways. Two-way communication fosters curiosity and encourages kids to use their critical thinking skills. It also lets them know that they're a valuable part of the learning process rather than veritable sponges that are meant to soak up what others say.
Engaging in memory-building activities with your child can be an enjoyable way to spend quality time together. When you structure these sessions correctly, your child will hardly notice they're studying at all. With the tips above, you can avoid common and incredibly frustrating stumbling blocks, and you can make the most of these shared experiences.
By Education Writers at HotDog.com