My daughter has always struggled in school. She is in the fourth grade now and it seems to be getting worse. Her teacher says that she knows the information one day but when it is presented again it’s as if it is totally new information. Is there any hope for her? Janice T. – Acampo
This is a common problem, believe it or not. Some kids don’t seem to have enough “Velcro” to make the information stick in their brains. There are many factors that play into this, but working on your daughter’s memory skills will help. Just like working out for a marathon, you can exercise the “memory muscle” in a student’s brain. With regular work-outs memory can be built up so that information can be held in short and long term memory. With other activities, the student’s working memory can be increased as well.
The Harp Learning Program uses memory at every step of the way. At every session students are given memory building activities to help them succeed in the modern classroom and world, where there is an enormous amount of information being presented to them at all times.
Two of the memory avenues that are easy to address are auditory and visual memory. You can play games at home and in the car that can help sharpen these skills. Following is a list of activities that will help your daughter strengthen her “memory muscle”.
1. Cut out pictures from magazines that have details within them. Hold up a picture for several seconds and have your daughter examine it. Then take the picture away. Ask her to name two things that she remembers from the picture. If she is able to recall two things, move on to three and then four and so on.
2. Play the grocery store game. This can be done while you are driving in the car or waiting at the doctor’s office. Tell her you are going to the grocery store and you are going to buy….then name an item that you would get at the grocery store, such as bananas. Then it is your daughter’s turn. She tells you she is going to the grocery store and she is going to get an item as well. But before she can tell her item, she must remember and say your item and then say the new item that she chose. Continue going back and forth as long as you can. Each of you must remember all of the items from the beginning.
3. Concentration with a deck of cards is a wonderful game to enhance memory skills. You can also purchase a ready made game. Most people are familiar with this game where the cards are placed face down and you each take turns uncovering two cards. When a pair is matched, you get to keep it and get another turn. The person with the most cards wins. This can be too much for a student struggling with memory skills initially, so it is best to just start with about ten cards at first and then slowly work up to the entire deck.
There is a lot more that needs to take place to get a student’s memory skills working efficiently, but these games can help.