“Practice makes man Perfect “ but only if you practice beyond the point of perfection as per an American Educator. This can be seen and learnt from people who excel in various fields like sports, academics, teaching and research. As is evident to remember something always, one needs to give total focus, attention and keep thinking about it many times. Many of the curriculum in schools are not designed keeping the memory in mind. Thus though the students study hard and cram everything before the exams after a few months most of it is forgotten.
How can kids train their memory to remember?
It is found from cognitive scientists that what sticks in memory and what doesn’t depends a lot of how we choose to process the information. Since the memory cannot store and remember all that is seen, read and heard to, it deals with it in the following manner. What is thought about carefully, again and again is likely to be remembered and stored.
Factors which help to remember:
If the kids are interested in any topics or lessons and have given continuous undivided attention to its learning they are likely to remember it in the long run.
Issues with Storage
With attention the information should have been assimilated. But it does not get into long term storage because of lack of practice. Thus repeating a task helps in remembering it better.
Issues with Usage
Information stored in the long term memory needs to be recalled and revisited for it to be maintained. Else it is likely to fade away. A recap and relearning ensures that the information is not forgotten.
Sometimes kids fail to apply concepts learnt to new scenarios. This is the case when information is not dealt with completely.
Thus kids who have good attention span, practice what they learnt and critically think about the concepts are likely to succeed in remembering concepts for a longer time.
Reading as an exercise
Reading is one of the oldest methods of assimilation of information for kids. In earlier days it was mainly text books, Reference books while today E-books, Online reading material are added to the list. The major factors that affect reading are how fast you read and how much you read. On an average Primary school kids read about 150 words/minute while middle school/high school kids read 250 words/minute. College going students read about 450 words/minute. The older you are the more you can read.The more you read, surely the more you will remember.
Thus when you make an impression with what you have read it means that you have given it a lot of attention. You might associate something with the text you have read to reinforce its storage in your memory. Finally reading the same matter again and again brings in practice and you tend to imbibe the complete scenario. Thus, all the points mentioned above arecovered by any serious reader except for application. Application of the matter read would need some out of the box thinking and spending more time in analyzing what is read.
The following points help in improving remembering what you read
For students whose learning style is audiometry this is very helpful in retention of information.
Write points after you read:
Writing down in bullet form the gist of what you read helps you to retain the matter and all the points of the lesson read. This is useful for kids when they need to remember all the points mentioned under a concept or topic.
Creation of questions :
You could prepare your own study guide by making a note of all types of questions one could ask about a lesson. After which you could answer them. Parents can try different activities to improve creativity of kids.
For students whose learning style is visualization, associating information with pictures increases their grasping power. Drawing pictures of concepts also helps.
Doing an activity
Indulging in a Hands On activity brings out and displays a lot of information about the concept. It caters to all the points mentioned under the subtitle “Factors which help to remember”. In addition to that the following are the added benefits.
By doing an experiment, doing an activity or just a field trip makes one more alert and focused on the concept. By working with material or playing around with it, many students may discover things by making observations. This crakes up the curiosity in kids and they tend to see the complete picture.
Depth of knowledge
Hands On deals with a specific topic or concept. The kids get a complete knowledge it by doing the activity or experiment.
Aids critical thinking and problem solving
In case an experiment does not show up the expected results it forces the kids to think critically and analyze the reasons for the same. The real curious kid would find the results for not working, make changes and observe ensuring that things are properly explained.
Remembrance is stronger
Active learning methods like Hands On definitely ingrain concepts and ideas for a long time in the memory of kids.
Reading Vs Doing an activity
Reading of concepts via lessons may not be able to give the complete picture. For example consider learning about a plant’s growing phases. A lesson on this topic with diagrams could try to explain how a seed gets sown in soil and the different stages of growth of the plant. But when a kid actually sows the seed in soil and sees the plant grow slowly all minute details of growth can be observed by them. The actual time taken for the seedling to come up and the environment it should be kept in for better growth can be observed. Thus the kid could grow the plant with adequate sunlight and water and keep another plant in the shade. The differences in growth between the two could be easily comprehended by them. This similar theme of learning is used in midbrain activation programs.
Just reading, necessarily does not imply that you are learning. When kids are playing, exploring, drawing, painting, writing, speaking and listening while applying the concepts several neural channels are set up in the brain. This fires the brain to retain the information.