How to Improve Your Child’s Memory
Feb 8, 2022 When you see your kindergartener work so hard on his ABC's, but can't retain anything, what would you do? Here you'll find some strategies to help improve your child's memory.
Short-term memory and also long-term memory are interesting things to explore. A part of that is ‘auditory memory,’ which is an important part of auditory and listening comprehension. Studies suggest that 80% of the information that a child receives in the classroom is auditory. So, if your child struggles to process and retain information verbally, this will play a role in their difficulties remembering the information that is being presented AND in conversations.
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In addition, children who have deficits in auditory memory may also exhibit difficulties in the areas:
- Decreased concentration or attention,
- Following auditory directions,
- Learning new knowledge,
- Following instructions such as test instructions,
- Be unresponsive to verbal instructions,
- Remembering rote information – math facts,
- Recalling details in conversation,
- Telling a story in a logical order,
- Social function/interactions,
- Remembering the information taught in the classroom,
- Say “what” often,
- Remembering phone numbers.
Typically, auditory memory problems are lifelong. That’s why it’s important to get help early so your child learns what their deficits are and how to compensate for the memory problems.
Factors Affecting Memory and Expectations
There are other factors that can affect memory and should be monitored as well:
- Knowledge of the topic
- Emotional status
- Language skills
- The complexity of language in the message
- Length of the information
- Speed of speech
- Physical health.
There are appropriate developmental skills for auditory memory based on the child’s chronological age. So, the following table will show what a student of a certain age should be able to remember in terms of numbers and sequences. Please make sure that the task for the student is developmentally appropriate for memory skills.
|Age||Numbers||Sentence Length (words)|
|4-5||4 digits||7-8 words|
|5-6||4 digits||9 words|
|6-7||4 digits||10 words|
|7-8||4 digits||11 words|
|8-9||4 digits||13 words|
|9-10||4 digits||13 words|
|10-11||5 digits||14 words|
|11-12||5 digits||14 words|
Strategies to Improve Auditory Memory
1. The chunking method
If the student is given different units of information, they should learn to use strategies to organize the information into meaningful chunks for easier recall. For example, memorizing a phone number by dividing it into two “chunks” (i.e., 555-7777 become “555” and “7777”) makes it easier to recall.
2. Mnemonic Devices
These can enhance the memorization of similar units of information. For example, H.O.M.E.S. is used to remember the names of the great lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Also, it may also be helpful to repeat a message or keyword over and over, first out loud and then silently, to provide extra cues for memory.
The student can use songs or music to sing the information. It’s well known that music improves memory. You can use ABC songs, number songs, or make up your own.
Divide information into smaller categories. For example: Divide vocabulary words into groups of people/places/things or words with the same beginning letter or words with the same number of letters.
6. Use concept imagery
Create a mental picture or draw a physical picture of what is to be remembered. For example, Dr. Claire Jones, a learning disabilities consultant, suggested picturing a bay with pigs wearing a T-shirt with 1961 on it to remember details about the Bay of Pigs.
7. Games and Other activities
Here are some games you can try: “Simon Says,” the education toy ‘Simon’ (have the students say the color that lights up before pushing the panel), the Telephone Game, Memory, or Concentration (have the child repeat the words as they turn it over).
So, try these to improve your child’s working memory and brain health so that (s)he can recall information faster and more expansively.