Does your child have trouble keeping one thing in mind while he/she is doing something else? For instance, suppose he/she is helping you in the kitchen and the phone rings and attending the call made him/her forget all about going back to the kitchen. If such stories are common with your child, he/she might have working memory issues. Working memory refers to how one can hold on to and work with information that is stored in the short-term memory. For kids, this is what they need particularly for solving math problems without a paper and pen or for following multi-step directions.
But no, you need not worry as this is one of the most common problems among children. And the good part is that this working memory can be very well improved. Just try and follow the given eight steps in this article below and you will find the working memory of your child boosting up.
Ask him/her to visualize the details
Ask your child to make a picture in his/her mind about what he/she has just heard or read. For instance, when you tell your child to set the table for four people, ask him/her to create a mental image of how the table should look like. You can also have him/her draw the picture he/she has in his mind on a piece of paper before beginning with the task. This way, the child will gradually get better at visualization and then after a few days of practicing the same, you can ask him/her to just describe the image to you instead of drawing it. His/her working memory will slowly improve as visualization becomes a habit.
Let your child be your teacher
Offering explanation about something involves mentally filing the information and making sense of it. If your child is learning anything, for example, how to bat, ask him/her to teach that to you. Children love playing teachers, and he/she will draw from memory to teach it to you. We, at school, also use this technique when pairing up students in the class to make them start working on the information right away. Discussing the information beforehand helps in improving their remembrance power.
Involve them in games that utilize visual memory
Go for games that need children to use their visual memory. There are loads of games like puzzles and number games that can help a child to work on his/her visual memory. You can also make up games with everyday objects. Give your child a page from a magazine and ask him/her to circle out all ‘in’ and ‘the’ written on the page in one minute. Likewise, you can also turn license plates into a fun game and ask him/her to recite letters and numbers from license plates and then to recount those backward.
Play simple card games
There are two ways through which simple card games work at improving the working memory of children. Firstly, your kid has to remember all the rules of the game. Secondly, he/she also has to keep in mind what cards he/she and the other players have played. Besides, games like Uno, Crazy Eights, and Go Fish are super fun and kids love to play them. With such games, it is not like you are forcing them to improve their memories, it just happens naturally
Engage them in active reading
Active reading strategies can help in the formation of long-term and strong working memories, which also explains the reason behind the popularity of sticky notes and highlights. Writing down notes and highlighting or underlining the text aids the kids in keeping the information for long enough in their mind to answer any questions about it. Asking questions or talking out loud about the material is also a part of the active learning exercise.
Give bite-sized pieces of information
The kids with working memory issues find it easier to remember smaller pieces of information rather than the elaborately big ones. You need to keep this in mind when you give them multi-step directions. Write down the steps or give them one step at a time. You can make graphic organizers like flowcharts and the like to break one assignment into several small pieces. They will perform the task faster and with more accuracy.
Appeal to more than one senses
Make processing of information multisensory if you aim to improve the long-term and working memory of your kids. For this, see to it that the tasks that you assign to them are written down at an accessible place so the child can take a look at them. Also, say the task out loud for your child to hear out the task clearly. Besides, while you discuss with your child about the tasks that he/she needs to complete, keep asking him/her questions back and forth so as to ensure that he/she is concentrating on what you said.
We, at the K.R. Mangalam School, believe that the development of a child, be it his/her memory or overall grooming, is not the task of the parents alone, and the school has a significant role to play in the matter. This is why we have come up with several strategies to help children with working memory issues to boost their memorizing abilities. We always ensure while teaching that information is fed to students in small pieces and highly emphasize on interactive learning. Children are encouraged to share and discuss what they have learned in class to make sure that they have a better chance of remembering the lessons.
Besides, we, at KRMS, make sure to inform the parents about the assignments, due dates, classwork, and so on, just in case the child has forgotten to convey it to them. Our teachers constantly communicate with the parents to work out what is best for each child. We understand that every child is different and has unique abilities and skills. To that end, providing attention to each child is one of the many positives of the learning that is imparted at the K.R. Mangalam School.