What is this working memory or short term memory?
- Here we are talking about working memory in children meaning the capacity to retain and work with information stored in short-term memory.
- This memory is primarily used by children for learning and following direction related information.
- Working-memory can be enhanced by making these 8 memory boosting tips part of a person’s day to day life.
- Imagine your child having to process one or more information simultaneously. Say, while helping his dad blow balloons, he is asked to attend a ringing door bell and quickly runs to see who the visitor is. If, in the bargain he forgets that he needs to go back to help his dad tie up those balloons and if this memory lapse occurs often, then his working memory needs attention.
- In short, working memory is all about how information stored in the short term memory is retrieved and utilized in day to day life. This is the very factor which determines the learning of detailed processes, step-wise directions and mental arithmetic (solving math problems in your head).
You can bring about a marked improvement in your child’s overall academic performance by simple working memory exercises such as these. Here are the 8 Memory Boosting tips to score high everywhere
Tip 1 build Illustration and visualization skills
Instruct your child to get into the habit of drawing or visualizing information while reading or talking. Start with asking your child to form a picture of any instruction like preparing the hall for guests, setting the dinner table, explaining a story he read etc.by drawing them down. Gradually encourage him to mentally visualize and explain the same without needing to draw it.
Tip 2 Make your child teach or demonstrate
The ability to verbally demonstrate anything means processing information and storing it mentally. You can ask him to teach you the day’s karate session or how to toss the shuttle which he does in his badminton class. Allowing children to play the role of a director, dance master etc. can also be a natural way to doing this exercise.
Tip 3 work on visual retention
Help children play a lot of matching games to improve their visual retention. Good examples can be finding the single difference in the 2 images within a time frame. Spotting alphabets, articles within a page or illustration. Reciting alphanumeric information forward and backwards also does the magic of increasing visual retention.
Tip 4 Play Dual benefit games
Simple dual benefit card games like chance, Uno, pairing are seen to improve working memory in two ways. Apart from following the game rules, he is required to remember his cards and those played by his opponents.
Tip 5 Increase reading habits for short term and long term memory
Do you know why highlighters and sticky notes gained popularity? Making notes and underlining important text helps in retention of the information for longer periods for later reproduction. Reading out loud and raising questions on the passages can have a considerable improvement on memory. Simply increasing the hours of active reading can improve long term memory as well.
Tip 6 Break down information into smaller pieces
Breaking down information into smaller pieces is the same science behind why mobile numbers have hyphens between them, because numerals are easily remembered in smaller groups than as long strings. These simple ways to make your child remember longer processes or multistep functions it helps to write them or break them into points that correlate with one another.
Tip 7 Work on Sight, Audio and Action sensories
Expressing all tasks in as many sensory forms as possible like writing for the child to see, reading loud for the child to hear and expressing all this as you bowl to your batting child will help increase short term and long term memory of your child. The memory retention can last until they use the information stored.
Tip 8 Build links to remember.
Assist children to make links to string different processes, detailed procedures or steps. This is extremely useful to overcome the ‘detailed answer phobia’ in your child and retaining stepwise functions and long answers. Stringing of information helps strengthen and pull out the information from long term memory apart from assisting working memory which comes in to play when we relate old and new memories.
These 8 Memory boosting tips and tricks are only a few practical possibilities of the ways to overcome executive functioning issues. Should you feel your child needs more attention to deal with working memory, it might be a good idea to get an evaluation for possible attention issues. You may also want to explore tips from experts on topics like getting organized and managing attention. Remember there are no limits to working with short term and long term memories of your child or for that matter even you or your dad. All it needs is a proper understanding of these two terms and their functions within the world’s most advanced work station – the human brain.
- Help create ways to visualize thoughts to improve working memory.
- Multi-sensory exercises, Card games and other fun activities improve working memory.
- Stringing information does the magic on long-term memory as well as working memory.