CHILD’S MEMORY: NOT LESS THAN THEIR MIND’S EYE
Memory is nothing but the ability to hold important as well as unimportant things in mind as per one’s free will. When we start to think over building, maintaining and developing a child’s memory, it’s no less than an exercise which will lay down the foundation of that young one. It is very important for teachers, parents and the rest of the world around to understand that a child does not know at all what the word ‘MEMORY’ holds in meaning to them. But, to those who know even a bit clearly what is it all about cannot do away with seeking an answer to the question as to how to increase child memory. Before going haywire, it is important to test a child’s memory in a playful method as he/she does not know what is being looked for in him/her in terms of memory. Several memory tests are available online as well as with the teachers and counselors in schools and counseling centers. Parents, on the same balance can do a lot in this respect as they accompany their child for maximum hours in a day. Remember, undertaking ways to improve kids’ memory has to be on a continual basis and is not something which can handle intermittent breaks.
It is also important to understand that there is a difference between general and specific memory of a child in terms of things to memorize. General memory implies retention and recollection of things or events in and of day to day life. For example, remembering acquaintances, recalling incidence of extreme happiness or sadness, mindfulness of way back to home, school, park and other general memory related events. On the other hand, specific memory of a child is what he/she learns consciously or with effort. For example, mathematical tables, rules of science, spellings, vocabulary, grammar, poems, stories etc. are an example of specific memory. General memory though is important at the first place and is to be looked at solemnly if the child has issues with it. The issue may be medical, cognitive or intentional non-learning and requires medical attention and proper treatment. Specific memory is important but its absence or shortfall can be made up by regularly practicing ways to increase child memory. There is also a segregation between active and passive memory of a child. Active memory is a thing that is intentionally seeded into the brain or learned consciously. For e.g. Learning mathematical tables and spellings is a part of active memory. Passive memory is what is not learned intentionally but the mind remembers it as important. For e.g. recalling a place where a child kept his notebook, a child’s way back home are a part of passive memory as it required no active participation of the brain while the event took place. Hope the difference is carved out here clearly for easy understanding. Let us now know about various ways to improve kids’ memory. Here, we will touch upon specific active memory of a child and answer- How to increase child memory?
- Big book reading program
Digital, colorful and attractive large prints in the form of text and images is always an impactful way of creating and maintaining a long term upshot adding up to and fostering child’s memory power. Thus, regular reading aloud of such books by pointing out and words being read should be a part of curriculum at school.
- Child Memory games are a must
Memory games such as playing cards, thematic apperception tests (TAT’s), picture-cards, abacus should form a part of child’s learning at home and at school. Such games are intended to develop and increase child memory.
- Simulated environment for long term impact
Creation of a simulated or a look-alike environment for the child while learning concepts enable him/her to connect the dots and link his learning towards the experiential scenario created by the teachers or parents. For example, to teach and improve child memory, a student will be taken to the post office for his chapter on Post and Telegraph services of India.
- Make them eat healthy
A lot of your food intake in eaten by the brain too, along with the stomach. It depends on the nutritional value of the food which you give to the child. Brain is cognitive and biologically connected to the body too. Thus, giving the child an enriched meal is a direct and may be the most controllable way to improve kids’ memory.
- Real life examples while teaching
Giving real life examples while introducing a child to a concept not only makes that learning fun-filled and relatable but also seed deeply the into the child’s memory. For example, a teacher at times might take example of child’s journey from home to the school to calculate time and distance travelled.
- Conduct memory test for the child
Neuroscience is vast and deep but when it comes to child memory, it has to be specifically studied in a particular direction based on individual’s capacity and traits. Thus, memory tests can be standardized if they are to improve general memory but customized tests have to be designed for each child’s specific needs. Such tests can be, at times, the combined effort of parents, teachers, counselors and clinician.
- Seek child counseling help for short memory span
There is neither harm nor shame to consult a child counselor or a clinician to check the issues with the child memory. This will not only highlight the reasons behind the distorted memory but also instrument together various ways to increase child memory.
- Develop a habit of learning by doing
A hands-on experience is always a win-win for a child grasping new concepts. For example, it is better to visit an animal related NGO to feed the animals to learn and memorize ethical and moral concepts related to animal care. Isn’t it fun both to the learner and the facilitator?
- Check information overload
A child’s mind is feeble and easily affected by both, good and the bad. More of any not so feasible information can create an information overload and the child might resort to memorizing unimportant information and dispensing important ones. Thus, explain in bits and parts and refrain from creating any kind of extra and unwarranted information.
- Audio-visual support while explaining
We watch movies and remember stories and characters for years long. Wouldn’t this work for your child then? Make concepts associated with the audio-visual aids such as digital board videos and online learning games and this will serve as one of the most effective ways to improve kids’ memory.
Why not take a step extra towards creating an experiential learning environment. Only these initial years of education will make the children build their world of good. You know about the child’s memory statistics. They do not even know that they are struggling with something called as ‘Memory Power’. Take these small steps and your little one will be good to go!