How to help a child memorize

If you feel as though you've tried everything, here are a few more tips to help your child memorize.

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  • It can be frustrating, I know, to help a child memorize, but it doesn't have to be! Our children have the capacity to retain so much knowledge, and their ability to memorize may be better than we think. If you feel as though you've tried everything, here are a few more things to consider:

  • Repetition, repetition, repetition

  • (Did I repeat that enough?) This is critical. The more they hear something, the more likely they are to remember it! Many of my children's favorite story books have an element of repetition in them and I will catch my kids repeating sections of those stories all the time. This is a great way to teach memorization skills at a very young age. Some of our favorites (that my children can almost rehearse by heart) are: The House in the Night, Goodnight Moon, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

  • Sing

  • Put the words to a catchy tune. It doesn't matter if it is technically a "real" song, if it's memorable, the chances of your child remembering the words greatly increase. Think about all of the information you learned as a child through music. The ABC's is probably at the top of your list. If your child is struggling to remember their address and/or phone number, putting it to music may do the trick.

  • Break it up

  • never

  • Being overwhelmed is the worst feeling. Some kids may feel as if they'll never memorize something that is long. So slice it up into manageable portions. A little at a time can go a long way.

  • Get creative

  • Have you ever tried flash cards? Mr. Printables has some of the most darling flash cards I have ever seen in about every category imaginable. (Plus, they are all free downloads.) Other ideas might include thinking of simple hand actions to prompt your child as they recite their memorized passage.

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  • Use your senses

  • We have five senses for a reason, let's put them to good use. Is your child having a hard time with an element of math? Bring out the grapes (or any small snack) to help them visualize what is actually going on.

  • Write it down

  • If your child can write, have him or her write (with pencil and paper) the words that he or she is trying to remember.

  • Erase it

  • To take the above idea a step further, erase to remember. Sounds like a silly concept, doesn't it? Erase what you want to remember. But give it a try and see how your child responds. This would be a fun activity to do on a chalkboard, white board, or simply on a page protector. If you don't have access to any of those items, consider making a chalkboard yourself. This paint is a personal favorite and can be applied to almost any surface.

  • Above all, when working with your children remember that these things take time and some kids catch on quicker than others. Be patient, and while you're at it, why don't you try memorizing something as well.

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Jessie McKinley is a city girl living in a small town. A graduate in Home and Family Living, she now puts her knowledge to use daily as she teaches and raises her two young children, whom she adores.

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