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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Improving your Child's Memory - Basics

By Andrew Loh

Memory is a fascinating thing! Having good memory can help everyone immensely, be it a child or a grown up adult. Having good memory is essential to achieve success in both personal and professional life. Memory is very critical for growing children, especially the school going ones, who will need to perform better in their classroom. However, some children struggle very hard to remember simplest lessons and school timetables. The surprising thing with them is that they can easily reproduce from their memories very obscure and unheard things like the names of those hundreds of cartoon characters. In fact, children are more adept at remembering something that they feel is very important to them. Getting your children to remember and recite what their teachers teach in the classroom has been a challenge for most parents and teachers.

A child may be very smart and mentally agile both in classroom and out of it. However, he or she still has to developing memory skills to succeed in the classroom. Parents and teachers often find even the most friendly teaching approach will not help some children to remember simple instructions given just an hour ago. It is a well-known fact our present-day education system relies heavily on children reciting and reproducing lessons from their memory. Thus, the big question here is how we can assist our children to streamline and develop memory powers that can help them perform better in the classroom.

Before we talk about memory in children, we should try to understand the intricate relationship between memory and learning. Both these terms are essential for the academic success of your children. Academicians segregate memory into two distinctive types of entities - long-term memory and working memory. All children need these memory types, if they want them succeed in their classrooms.

Long-term memory is your child's innate ability to remember past events, happenings, facts learnt before, by accessing the pool of information stored in the brain. Long-term memory is essential for success in schools and colleges. On the other hand, working memory is your child's ability to latch on to a number of ideas in his or her head simultaneously and later employ them for short periods. Some examples are remembering some names heard over a telephone as you search for a pen and piece of paper.

To succeed in a classroom, your children need to develop and possess good working memory. Working memory can come in many forms. For example, a common reading response in a classroom may involve a child express his or her opinion by reproducing from a just written sheet. The teacher may evaluate his or her child's memory by checking the recitation word by word. Children participating in this exercise may also need to rely on their long-term memory for issues like using grammar and spelling.

In a practical sense, most children carry out this task almost unconsciously and without their knowing. Working memory plays an important role in schools and colleges. It helps your children stay on their assigned tasks, remember lessons and instructions and later complete the academic projects by using the available information. In essence, your children must process available information as working memory, before actually seaming it into long-term memory. Working memory must work in an efficient manner before someone wants to store all those crucial bits of information.

All children are born with a capacity to remember things and a basic ability to acquire memory. However, using memory is an accomplished skill. Your children can use it to some extent or lose it by a large amount. Providing your children enough opportunities to exercise memory skills is possibly the best method to train them.

Here are some basic methods to help your children develop memory skills:

Rake up past events and discuss about them: When you discuss about past events with your children, you are actually helping them to develop memory skills. To help streamline the process, you may need to actually elaborate and discuss about those events so that you can initiate an interesting discussion. Let the discussion be smooth and without any artificialities attached to it. Allow your child to talk more and interrupt only when it is necessary. Examples of some of the important key sentences are:

  • "What happened when we went to see those big bull elks? Did you find their calls very good?"

  • "Do you remember the roller coaster ride when we were in Orlando Disney?"

Playing memory games: Games like board games and card games can help your child to use memory skills to play the games. Your child will also use temporary memory skills to hone their skills.

These are just the two of the well-known memory skills enhancing methods available for your children. You can use a number of other methods to help your children improve their memory skills. Continue to read Helping Your Children Develop Memory Skills!


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