Boost working memory

Working memory in action
An example of working memory is when a teacher asks the class to add the numbers 7 and 15, thereafter she will ask them to minus 6 from the total amount. Working memory holds the information (total amount 23) for a short while so that the brain can do the next function (to minus 6 from 23)

Because working memory is so important for children to learn well at school, here are a few tips on how to improve your child’s working memory at home:

  • Give information in small bits. It is easier to remember small groups of information instead of a large amount. For example when giving your child directions – write them down or give them one instruction at a time with numbers. 
  • Include all the senses while giving the information. For example, make a list of tasks for your child to do before they go to school. Let them have a look at the list, say them out loud so that they can hear it. Getting dressed while discussing the task is also very effective. 
  • Let them teach you! If your child is learning a new skill, let them ‘teach’ you by showing you how to do it. 
  • Visualise. Visualise. Visualise.  For example, if you’ve asked your child to set the dinner table for the family, let them draw a picture of it even if it is just in their mind. Later on, it will not be necessary to draw a picture of the setting.
  • Games that improve memory. There are a lot of games on the market, but one of my favourites is the Memory Game. This game also helps with hand and eye coordination. 
  • Children Checklist. Teach them to create checklists of things they need to do or remember.
Get your kids to think about some ideas for them to remember important things, then you can work on getting a method that works for both of you.
You might also want to read about raising responsible children.