Kids have the strangest memories. They’ve not yet learned to slow down and play things sensibly, so while they can remember a bunch more details than their moms about something that fascinated them, the important stuff seems to slip through their minds like a sieve.
Teaching them to be punctual or the importance of homework can be kind of pointless if they’ve no framework for remembering the times of things or memorizing facts and figures. Fortunately, such a framework does exist – or better said, a handful of memory cheats that can help junior and mom alike! These techniques go as far back as human civilization. After all, we couldn’t always set reminders on our smart phones or even scrawl down memos in a notebook.
One such technique that is sure to impress the little ones can in fact be traced back to the ancient Greeks. It’s known as ‘the method of loci’ or ‘the memory palace’. It works well when junior needs to recall a series of items, such as a shopping list or a speech for school. She should begin by thinking of a place she knows well, such as your house, and then connect each item to be remembered with a particular room within it.
When it comes time to retrieve that information, she should mentally tour the house again – remembering each item or each line of her speech with each room she visits. It may take a few ‘practice tours’ to make the information stick, but it’s better than proceeding with no technique at all – and it seems to have worked for the Greeks!
Creative youngsters will be excited by the idea of rhyming memories. Some are already in popular use (‘30 days hath September…’) while others need to be invented on the spot. Our brains love patterns and the sound structures of language, so rhyming things together is a great way to get them to stick – just think of how many unnecessary pop song lyrics you have stuck in your head because the lines fit together so well.
And talking of language, if your kids are having trouble picking up Spanish, Chinese, or Latin in class, it could be time to get that notebook out. Science has shown that writing things out by hand makes you pay more attention to the letters and words than purely oral/aural practice or using a keyboard. No groaning, but it could be time to switch that computer off!
For a range of great tips on how your kids can improve their memories, check out this new guide from Quid Corner.