Poor memory does not have to be an issue for your child – An untrained memory can have a huge impact on learning and comprehending, and yet it is so trainable.
Below are common poor memory problems:
- Copying from the board: Johnny can only remember one word at a time and so must constantly be looking up at the board, down at his paper, up at the board, down at his paper. Copying from the board is a tedious task for him whereas other children can remember a sentence at a time. For Johnny it is hard work and for children with good memories, it is easy.
- Reading comprehension: In the English language, it is essential that you be able to remember the beginning of the sentence by the time you get to the end of the sentence. Otherwise, you can’t comprehend what you read very well. Other languages are easier. Spanish, for example, puts the question mark at the beginning so you know it’s a question before you even start reading the passage.
- Math computations: Math requires very good visual memory in order to understand word problems and determine relevancy of the information given. To perform two-digit addition in your head requires remembering the numbers to be added and what numbers you are carrying to the next column, while recalling single-digit addition facts.
- Math facts: There is a difference between memorization and knowledge. Memory is the way to knowledge. Only a limited number of math facts can be held in the brain. If they aren’t making the transition to knowledge, they will never be retained and must be “learned” over and over and over again. To truly learn them, the task must become automatic. PACE trains this.
- Spelling: Many poor-spellers depend on memory for spelling and so they don’t do very well. Even someone with a superior memory can only “remember” the spelling of a few hundred words. Spelling is actually an auditory and visual skills. You must be able to hear the sounds within the words and to visualize. How often have you spelled a word and recognized, “No, that doesn’t look right?” Children who memorize spelling words often forget the words soon after the spelling test. The brain says, “we don’t need that any more,” and dumps the words to make room for next week’s spelling list.
- Note taking: This is a very complex task. You must listen to the teacher, hold what you heard in memory while writing it down, while still listening as the teacher continues with the next sentence. If you are not writing verbatim what the teacher says, you must also use logic and reasoning to form your own thoughts about what’s being said, while writing, while listening. If you are low in auditory memory, auditory processing, processing speed, or logic and reasoning, note taking could be practically impossible.
- Auditory memory vs. visual memory: You can be strong in one and poor in the other. We frequently hear parents explain how good their child’s memory is for things they’ve done or movies they’ve seen, so the parents find it difficult to understand why this same child can’t remember three things to do to get ready for bed.
Memory is so trainable! With PACE, we have 64 procedures for working just on memory. They start easy and build in complexity. We can even modify these procedures to make them even more difficult. In just 12 weeks, while working on a wide range of other cognitive skills, we see an average improvement to memory of 3.7 years.