By: Kelsey Coaldrake, M.A., CCC-SLP
For school-age children and teenagers, memory strategies can be beneficial for recalling directions, lists, studying for tests and other important information. It can be frustrating when a child or teen is trying to complete an assignment and they have difficulty recalling the instructions. Or even when they are asked to complete a couple chores at home and they can only remember the first one. Here are 5 helpful strategies to improve memory.
This strategy involves grouping information into smaller chunks so it is easier to recall. For example, if you had to remember to brush your teeth, wash your face, put your pajamas on and put your dirty clothes in the hamper you could chunk the four tasks into two groups. So, you would need to remember “brush teeth, wash face” and “pajamas on, clothes in hamper”. Now you have two chunks instead of four separate tasks to recall.
The linking strategy works great for lists. It involves linking items together by imagining silly situations. For example, if linking a grocery list of apples, milk, and bread, you could picture apples going swimming in a glass of milk, and then you could picture milk pouring over bread like a waterfall. These silly images that relate one thing to the next stay in our memory better than just a list of items. You can even draw out silly pictures!
3. Semantic Mapping
This memory strategy can be drawn out on paper or visualized in your head. It involves connecting information within a topic on a web-like map. You can connect information based on your own personal experiences or how the information relates to each other. For example, if working to recall a group of animals that are able to camouflage you could group them based on their similarities. You would draw a map or visualize a map in your head with “camouflage animals” in the middle and then draw lines to each animal (arctic fox, arctic rabbit, chameleon, tree frog). Then, you could connect arctic fox and arctic rabbit because they both live in the arctic. You could also connect chameleon and tree frog because they are both reptiles. This strategy helps your brain make connections so information is easier to recall.
Visualizing information as pictures or words in your mind can help commit it to memory. The more detailed the visual you create in your mind, the more vivid it will be in your memory. Visit our blog about visualizing and verbalizing in more detail as a strategy for comprehension.
Rehearsal simply involves rehearsing the information over and over in your mind. You repeat the information to commit it to your long-term memory. You can practice this first for short intervals of time and gradually increase the length of time required to remember information. You could use a strategy listed above first and then rehearse the information that you chunked, linked, mapped, or imagined.
Partner with Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center
While forgetfulness can be frustrating, these memory strategies can be helpful when practiced and implemented over time. Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center facilitates exercises like these to help children achieve their social, personal, and academic potential. Schedule a call with us to discuss partnering in leading your child down a path for success.
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
1210 Jordan Street, Suite 2A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131